packing for the next adventure

Next week we leave for the European summer for some adventuring and painting. Here, in New Zealand, it's very cold and wintery, so I'm looking forward to catching some UV.

Our first stop will be France to pick up our little mini camper van - which has been parked up over the European winter. Then the adventures begin :-)

Of course, before I pack anything else, I sort out my sketching and painting gear. I try to keep things as light as possible as we also have climbing and BASE jumping gear to take with, but over the years I've gotten the packing light thing down to fine art. Excuse the pun!



Clockwise from top left

  1. Small moleskine watercolour sketchbook. Rather tiny for eveyday sketching, but perfect for taking for a walk. These little books can go anywhere. And they do. I've taken them to some amazing places. I don't paint in them very often and they can take a year or so to fill. But then it's great fun to page back through them and see a page from somewhere else far away on the other side of the world.
  2. Handbound watercolour sketchbook. This is essentially my travel journal. In it I do sketches outside of most of the places we visit. I bind a new one for each trip as they get super precious. Towards the end of a trip I won't let it out of my sight! So many memories get crammed in these. Most pages are a sketch and/or collage and a story of that day. I make these myself now as I have yet to find the perfect store-bought book.
  3. Spiral bound sketchbook. I like to have a cheap book for jotting down ideas, doodling, keeping notes, writing down peoples names and contact details. Rarely is anything in this book a complete work of art, but sometimes there's a surprising gem or an idea that leads to something.
  4. Watercolour block. Last year for the first time I started sketching on loose sheets. These drawings, done on location in Europe, became more than just a quick sketch of the place I was in, they became finished works. You can view the portfolio of these sketches on my website.

Drawing and painting tools

This is the maximum I take on a trip. However, I do have the advantage this year of having a set of cheap acrylics stashed in our camper van in Europe. 

Lamy fountain pen with F and M nibs. De Artremis Document Ink (permanent, black)
Parker fountain pen. Quink Ink (water soluble, black)
Sakura Micron felt tip pens.
Signo Uniball pen (white)
Mechanical pencil and eraser
Watercolour paint brushes
Watercolour travel set (pans), watercolour paints (tubes) and gouache paints. Palette not shown.
Inktense pencils.
Ruler and straw

On a lightweight climbing trip this set of gear gets drastically reduced - and that is why my Inktense pencils are cut in half. Sometimes even a full length pencil weighs too much!

Getting excited! Time to start counting sleeps!


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