It won’t be long now before I take off for my Tuscan painting adventure. I am updating my watercolor travel kit from the one I used in France two years ago. The simple watermelon-striped satchel I carried throughout France was terrific. It was stylish, light-weight and big!
Style aside, I couldn’t resist purchasing this artist’s satchel with all its wonderful pockets. I am still playing with how to arrange all my papers, paints, and brushes. In France, I simply threw two packs of watercolor postcards and a travel palette with two brushes in a plastic bag. I carried it everywhere, whipping it out in cafes, on park benches and picnic blankets. I hope this black one doesn’t tie me down. I’m throwing my watermelon one in just in case!
Watercolor Travel Kit
This bag has a stiffener built into the bag itself. I thought it was cardboard I could take out ~ NOT! I guess it will keep my papers from getting messed up.
With all its pockets this watercolor travel kit is getting kind of heavy as I am loading up more and more supplies each day. I ordered some watercolor crayons and pencils which I will show you when the shipment arrives.
Even my 9 x 12″ palette fits into this bag. Watercolors dry out on the palette and are easily reactivated with a little water. No wasted paint here. The large wells are for mixing. My colors are the same as my oil palette: from the bottom up, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Green, Yellow Ochre, Lemon Yellow (it’s got a smear of green on it), and Cadmium Yellow Medium.
I have laid them out in the sequence in which I would use them to mix specific colors. For example, Alizarin Crimson is beside Ultramarine Blue. This is coolest red beside warmest blue. Together they make a lovely purple.
If I were to mistake one color for another (which is easy to do as they are so dark in their full strength form), I might mistakenly mix Alizarin with Cerulean or Phthalo. Instead of lovely purple, I would be shocked to see muddy brown!
Like the keys on a piano, it’s best to keep each color in a predictable position. This rigid structure frees me to paint spontaneously. Stopping to hunt for stuff is a great deterrent to creative inspiration. A predictable structure is a huge aid in painting loose and freely.
It’s all about balance. If I control the structure; my paint, palette, brushes, papers ~ I am free to go with the flow. I can throw paint on paper willy nilly if I feel like it. The best watercolors have that sense of wild abandon ~ yet are crisp, clean and simple.
I am hoping my upgraded watercolor travel kit will have the same effect on my watercolors. In France I struggled for control of the medium. In Tuscany I am hoping to cut loose with my watercolors and fly free. We’ll see if this kit helps me do that!