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My NEW road trip art essentials! Art supplies for travel!

July 7, 2023

Hello friends!

I just returned from Summer vacation and I wanted to share my favorite art supplies for travel, and tips for creating on the go with you!

My Summer vacation usually consists of a road trip.  In the past, I have traveled to San Francisco, California; Moab, Utah; and hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon!  These trips take me away for about two weeks and I can tell you I always return re-invigorated and re-inspired.

Now you may be wondering if I am able to take a break from creating for two whole weeks?  The answer is NO.

So how does one stay creative on the go you might ask?

Staying creative on the go, made easy

First of all, staying creative on the go is a challenge!  It always has been for me, no matter what I take I always feel like I left something behind, some vital piece or product that I must have to make anything worthwhile.  Then there are travel factors to consider, will my paint tubes explode in my check bag? Can I bring sharpeners on the plane? Can I fit my entire paint collection in my bag?

Sometimes I bring so many things that I end up not using any of them.  I lose products and art supplies in motels and rest stops and campsites across the country, along with my shaver, every time.

So, what is the solution?  Which art supplies for travel should you bring?

You simply need to simplify.  I have come to find that being creative on the go does not always mean completing a new masterpiece on your transit.  This time is a great opportunity to get your thoughts and ideas flowing and to be inspired by what you see as you travel, colors, shapes, people, etc.

Capturing these at the moment, if you can, so you can return to them or use them as a starting place for art you may want to create once you return.

art supplies for travel, stay creative on the go

What supplies to bring while traveling – art supplies for travel

I will start by saying that your travel creative time is also a fantastic time to try out some new mediums or techniques.  Why?  Because you are not necessarily making your masterpiece right?  So why not play and experiment a little?

This is exactly what I have been doing on my last few road trips.  I have always been intrigued by pastels.  So last year I bought a pack to take with me on my trip to Moab.  I was very disappointed at first, I struggled with the oily sticks that are shaped like big blunt crayons.  I felt like a child drawing sticks and scratches and I thought WOW, these are terrible.

Turns out I just needed to keep trying.  With some hesitation, I packed up my (LINK- perfect pencil case) with these horrid pastels.  Since we were doing a considerable amount of lightweight hiking and backpacking I decided to only bring these, a few pencils, a(LINK- micron pen) and my sketchbook.

safely store your art supplies for travelart supplies for camping art on the go art at the ocean pacific northwest artists

It turns out I just needed to give these little pastels some more time.  I experimented with them, drawing different scenes from wherever we were on our trip.  Spending a few hours here and there capturing the world around me in an impressionistic fervor.  Drawing with these oil pastels is a little tricky, but they are so fun once you get the hang of it!  The colors are bright and rich and fun to blend.  I learned that using a lighter color stick to blend the underlying colors worked well to smooth out the artwork.  It began to look less like giant crayon strokes and more like…art!

I loved the simplicity these art supplies brought to my travels.  I had a limited way to express myself but I was able to bring them everywhere we went, and when the sun set over the beautiful ocean or the creek turned an enchanting teal green I was able to pull them right out and start creating!

This is the exact set and brand of oil pastels I used on this trip, they are inexpensive and come in 48 colors!  (LINK View the pastel set here.)

oil pastels, artist loft oil pastel reviewartwork of the pacific northwest pnw artist, landscape art supplies for travel

Should you try oil pastels on your next adventure?

Well, yes!  I have become quite fond of these little sticks and the sketches and artwork I have made with them.  However, these are not the only art supplies for travel available to you.  I am working on a post of a more in depth list of art supplies for travel to be posted soon, in the meantime think about keeping it simple, maybe even just some pencils and a sketchbook or a small watercolor set.  Let go of any perfectionism and have fun capturing the things you see on your adventures!

LINK to Artists Loft oil pastels Oil pastels

LINK to Micron Pen set of 2 Micron pens

LINK to perfect pencil case Pencil case

Looking for more art supply ideas?  

Check out this blog post – click this link to read –  My 4 MUST-HAVE art supplies when setting up your studio 

Want to start a creative practice and KEEP creating?  Join ME in the paint club!

click this link to find out more – Join the Artvana paint club here



*This post may contain affiliate links however, the products listed here or similar products have been used and the reviews are authentic and based on my opinions of these products.  Thanks for reading, paint soon! – Coach Rikki