My Minimalist Carryon Travel Art Supply Kit – Fits in a Zipper Pouch

Minimalist Art Supply Kit - fits in a zipper pouchThis creative challenge began with the desire to travel carryon only, and still bring a decent amount of art supplies with me for working in my visual art journal.

On this trip to Mexico City, I knew I’d be doing a lot of walking, so also needed to keep my purse as light as possible. I even hauled this art supply kit around the Teotihuacan Pyramids, in the blazing sun (the actual walking in between pyramids is SO much longer that it looks!).

The secret to traveling light with art supplies is to limit liquid items, and instead pack water-soluble media like pencils or markers that can double as paints. The tubes of paint I bring go into my liquid clear bag for the airplane, and then go back into the art supply bag when I land.

In this video I show you what made the cut, and how I packed it all into a small zipper “envelope” pouch.

Following is a linked supply list to everything I use. (Shopping links to Amazon, where I get a little commission if you buy from my links. Thank you!) I don’t bring every single pencil, for example, out of the box of 72 or 48, just my favorites at the moment. The rest wait for me back in the studio.

Journal & Sketchbook

My own handmade sketchbook – I made this the same size, about 5 x 8 inches, as the Moleskine writing journal I use, below. This is my preferred travel size journal.

Moleskine Cahier Journal  – these come in packs of three, either lined or unlined paper. Soft cover, great for travel, although I used them constantly for all-around note taking and writing. I am fond of unlined paper.

My Favorite Pencils for Drawing and Painting

Lyra Color Giants Pencils 

Prismacolor Ebony Graphite Drawing Pencils, Black

My First Ticonderoga Primary Size #2 Beginner Pencils – these are simply large pencils, like the Lyra Color Giants, only in graphite. First found in the kid’s school supply aisle.

Water-Soluble Pencils – for Sketching and Painting

Black Water Soluble Stabilo Pencils

ArtGraf Water-Soluble Graphite Sticks

LYRA Water Soluble Graphite Sticks

Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils

Derwent Metallic Watercolor Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Acrylic Paint Tubes

Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint 2-oz tube, Mars Black

Liquitex Professional Soft Body Acrylic Paint 2-oz tube, Titanium White

Travel Watercolor Set

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Pocket Box

Canvas Roll Pencil Holder – handmade by my friend Rachel. You can order on her Etsy shop, Bundle & Stow.

Sakura KOI Watercolor Brush Pens

2 Hole Pencil Sharpener

Travel Pack of Wet Wipes – Sensitive Skin

Travel Art Supply Kit Zipper Pouch

Everything fits inside these wonderful “envelope” zipper bags. Here are the exact bags I use:

Zipper Bag 3-Pack 

They come in packs of three, and besides the cute black and white designs, there are other colors available.

Using the minimalist art supply kit at a coffee shop in Mexico City

Art Journaling in Mexico City at a Cafe

Julianne is coloring in one of her nature-themed adult coloring books.

She brought along a box of colored pencils that her dad gave her when she was a little girl.

vintage colored pencil set

Aren’t they beautiful?

I knew Julianne has been into coloring lately, so I brought her one of Rachel’s canvas pencil rolls. It came in handy, as we found a lovely little (tiny!) art supply shop in downtown Mexico City that sold individual Derwent colored pencils, in metallics! So lovely!

art date in a cafe in Mexico City

I’m not a fan of Starbucks in general, but it was these couches and the big coffee table out on the patio that lured us in.

We enjoyed our art date here until all of the smokers came in and started smoking.

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