The summer is upon us finally, the long wait for some sunshine is over and there has been a massive surge in people becoming interested in art. This means as the world cautiously moves towards a new state of normal there is a whole new wave of people who want to bring their newfound artistic endeavours with them into the outside world.
We will be covering some of the best products available and sharing a few things to keep in mind when packing up and taking your creativity with you on the road or on holiday.
Daler’s Edinburgh box easel is a highly popular and modestly sized storage box come tabletop easel. It features a spacious interior for storing all manner of art materials and equipment whilst featuring a removable lip and adjustable mast clamp for holding a painting board or sketch pad steady and in place. Made of lightweight yet sturdy beech wood it is a top pick for anyone looking to take their paints and equipment with them on holiday.
For other materials such as larger sized canvas boards and paper pads the ART Essentials Carry All is a highly versatile carry bag that doubles as folio style carry case or a backpack. It has space enough to fit A2 sized paper and boards and plenty zipper and buckle sealed compartments for your other materials.
If you are interested in utilising watercolour and inks then we suggest a Hahnemühle watercolour book which features a cloth wrapped hardback cover and an elastic strap to keep the book shut tight between uses. In place of cartridge paper, it features 30 pages (60 sides) of cold pressed 300gsm watercolour paper, robust enough to stand up to heavier washes of wet media without buckling as much.
These are both excellent choices for taking on the road with you as they are both equally hardy and handy.
Pencils are the simplest tool in the artists toolbox and yet one of the most versatile, they come in a variety of styles with all manner of cores from graphite to watercolour and it cannot be understated how useful the humble pencil is. Derwent offer an all-encompassing range of pencil centric carry cases for easy and convenient access to a variety of pencils whilst you are out and about. The simplest is the Derwent Pencil Wrap which is a simple canvas wrap with a press stud which can carry up to 30 standard sized pencils and will roll up neatly and fit nearly any bag with little hassle. The larger A4 Folio and A5 Carry All both have optimised internal pencils holders bound to ring-bound clip-on leaves that sit inside of each case and can be removed for quick rearrangement. The rest of each case has space for a variety of equipment and either an A4 or A5 sketchbook or pad (depending on the size). Both come with zippers to keep their contents nice and secure.
Those who need a pencil that will keep a consistent line width or do not want the hassle of sharpening will enjoy using mechanical pencils such as the Pentel 120 A3. As the refillable lead is fed down the pencil it ensures you have a sharp, consistent and uninterrupted line whilst working. Similarly, you will find many artists using pigment liners such as the Uni Pin fineliner for their excellent permanence, coverage and consistent line. Often coming in sets including different nib sizes that easily fit into a backpack pocket, they are a useful tool for either pen sketches or for lining and inking prior sketches. Most pigment liners are waterproof as well so you can paint over them with watercolours without them bleeding.
Watercolours are perfect for use outdoors as they require minimal set up and there is a broad selection of travel and pocket sets available. The Cotman Brush Pen set is one of the neatest compact sets on the market as it features a range of 12 standard colours, an integral palette and a refillable waterbrush, so when paired with a sketchbook you will always have swift access to your watercolours no matter where you are.
For a more comprehensive travel set you cannot get much better than the Cotman Travel Bag, including a full a Cotman Compact Set, a collapsible water bucket, an A5 watercolour pad, a plastic water bottle and a selection of brushes. With space enough to fit additional supplies inside, it is a superb starting point with options to expand upon its content to suit your particular travelling art needs.
If you are looking for a great starting set that offers the basics, or something perfect for a beginner or younger artist, then we have a few recommendations for you that maintain a high bar of quality at an economical price. The Pheonix Watercolour and Acrylic Travel Cases both include 5 tubes colour that can be used to paint and learn colour mixing accompanied by a selection of 5 brushes in different styles which give you a nice variety of brush strokes. These sets come in their own sturdy little zip case which keeps both the paints and brushes safe and secure.
We have expanded our range of Frisk paper pads and they come in a truly staggering variety of sizes, styles and weights and these two sets are best complimented with a pad of Watercolour Paper or Acrylic paper respectively. An excellent and economical way to get started whilst still being small enough to be highly portable, just pop them in your suitcase or back pack and you will be ready the moment inspiration hits.
For the plein air painter one of the more cumbersome things to haul around can be canvases, and even if you are driving, they can very quickly take up valuable space. That is why we suggest considering canvas boards, they provide the same canvas support for painting that you might want at only a fraction of the weight. You can carry 4 canvas boards per standard canvas and 8 for every deep edge canvas, this lets you take additional boards for painting more pieces or take the same amount whilst taking up only a fraction of the space. Alternatively painting boards are another robust alternative to canvas for acrylic and oils but also for watercolour as well. Usually, painting boards come in the A sizes and in gummed pads, the back is tough rigid card stock which is laminated with a paper surface suitable for acrylic, oil or watercolour. These pads are easily stored and taken places like any equivocal paper pad.
Header image and image above courtesy of Azenart Painting Holidays
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