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10 Tips For Creating Art While Traveling

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

If you like talking about or reading about Artsy musings, you will love my semi-regular email, Art Letters, where I talk about ways to add creativity into your life :) Join now to get 5 free Ocean wallpapers sent to your email!

Small watercolor study I made to test out my new Sennelier Travel Watercolor set before bringing it on the road

As we are starting to come out of travel restrictions, I know a lot of us artists are looking to travel and wanting to create art while we do so.

Trying to paint while traveling can be a challenge, but you can prepare for it and make the most of the beautiful locations around you.

Here are my 10 travel tips for artists:

  1. Carry the bare minimum - You don't want your entire cabin bag to contain only art supplies. Unless you're going away on an art retreat.

  2. You need only 3 colours - Whatever the medium is, you need only a black, a white, and one other colour to play with values and create anything! (Or with watercolor, just one colours and water to get as many values as you want! :))

  3. Only carry hassle free mediums. Don't carry oil paints, acrylic paints or even charcoal. Coloured pencils, graphite and watercolor are the best while travelling.

  4. Make small art - Don't expect to create finished pieces while traveling. Make studies and sketch out ideas with a few strokes. Then take it back to your studio at home, and make a bigger piece based on your sketch.

  5. Don't leave supplies out in the sun or in the car. They'll melt or leak or become toxic.

  6. Click pictures wherever you go. There's nothing better than creating your own bank of reference images for future paintings.

  7. If you make art in public, be prepared for onlookers. People will come to you, look at your art and talk to you. They will find you fascinating. They will be nice to you, but you'll hardly feel as invisible as you do in your studio. So if you don't like attention, and if it makes you uncomfortable, don't draw in public.

  8. If there's a piece of art supply that is not available where you live, this is your chance to get it without paying a bomb for shipping. Do your research and visit an art store.

  9. Maybe try a different form of art on holiday. And I use the term "art" loosely. Write about your travels. Make videos. Watch their local dances. Learn their local cooking. Learn about their local outfits. All of these will feed into, and inspire your art in some form or the other.

  10. Enjoy your holiday! You don't have to paint. Take a break from art and focus on the place and your company.

Have a great trip! :)

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