Art on the Go!

Why is it so hard to do a daily sketch while traveling? It doesn’t seem to matter the destination, the travel partners, or the cool travel art supplies I buy myself, I often return home with an empty sketch book. 

For my upcoming trip, I’ve resolved to do a little art each day. Here are the easy-peasy rules I've made for myself:

  • Make a quick pencil sketch and outline it in ink each day. 

  • Add color if I want to or have time. 

  • Note the date and location. 

I’ve weaned myself down to 9 art items–a pouch to hold a square tip brush, 2 ultra fine point sharpies, a good ol’ yellow #2 pencil, an art gum eraser (cheaper by the dozen), a palette with 12 of my favorite watercolors, a pencil sharpener, and a sketchbook.

Check out the size! 

Ok, the book...It needed to be small enough to carry and big enough to use, so I went with the 5 x 8.25 moleskine art sketchbook (the paper is dreamy and it can handle some water.)

The fantastic art motif on the Linnea Design pouch is reason enough to buy it (total fan girl!), but the size sealed the deal: 6 x 8 holds all the stuff.

Like any routine, it is about making art a daily practice even when we're out of our natural habitat.

How do you keep yourself motivated to sketch while traveling? What are your favorite travel art supplies? Other ideas to keep us motivated to create art while on the road?

Drop an answer in the comments below to share your wisdom AND get entered into a giveaway inspired by travel and summer. Giveaway ends June 15, 2024. Open only to those with U.S. addresses. I know it's a long time to keep a giveaway open, but I'm in vacation mode!


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By keeping my supplies to a minimum, and smaller sketchbooks keeps it easy to pull out and capture a thought or observation on the fly. To keep they motivation going, have blank watercolor postcards in your stash to sketch/ paint something and mail it right off to a friend with an encouraging note. (Be sure to snap a photo of it first).

Roberta Graver

I stay motivated to sketch while traveling by researching new art supplies and methods, which keeps my creativity flowing. I bring a small journal to jot down ideas and research for future projects, ensuring I always have fresh inspiration when I return home.

Megan ivanoff

I’m a writer, not a visual artist, but I love writing in my journal each morning (Morning Pages a la Julia Cameron!). But I struggle to keep up my habit when traveling, especially while juggling schedules with my family. Your daily travel-sketching habit is inspiring me to try to write (and maybe try sketching?) daily when I travel! I love your work!

Janelle Bretz

Sketchbook (any)
5.6mm mechanical clutch with graphite
0.3mm fineliner (black of course!)
2-3 colour pencils
Diy viewfinder
And… Your creativity!

Ally Ryde

I haven’t traveled with painting or drawing supplies, yet!
I’ll bring supplies with me that will fit into a pencil pouch intended to be in a 3 ring binder. This fits nicely in my hand carry without taking up too much room. Usually i’ll have beads, a wire wrapping project or a hand sewing project.
I can’t sit idle too long, got to do something productive!

Kathy Johnson

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