Vacation art supplies

Vacation art supplies

As I'm writing this blog post, I'm on vacation at this amazing place in Southern Finland. It's called Fish & Fun Holiday Village, and it's a piece of land, near a lake, with a lot of small cottages, barbecues and, obviously saunas.
We've been talking about spending time at a cottage since we moved to Finland, over 3 years ago, and just now we finally made it. But what do we do in a cottage? Especially when the weather is cold and rainy. Well, we write blog posts, do a little bit of work, and draw. 
So today I will share with you what I usually bring on vacation. This list may vary depending on the time I will spend on vacation and what I plan to do there.



Business notebook

This notebook is 95% of the time with me. Here I have all the ideas that randomly come to mind, I write down to-do lists and business-related “stuff”. As you can see this notebook is well-loved and even more well-used. I always like to use my notebooks until the end, so covers falling apart is not a good excuse for me to throw them away.



Plain notebook

This notebook rarely comes along on my journeys, but lately, I have been using it more to sketch ideas for future projects or illustrations I want to do. Because it is so tiny, I don't mind bringing it along, but if this was any bigger I would definitely leave it at home.



Kraft notebook

Lately, this is the notebook that I always think of when packing for anywhere actually. But the reality is that I don't tend to use it as often as I think I will. I love this notebook as it gives a more natural “vibe” to my drawings or sketches, and when I use my Polychromos, the drawings pop way more than on white paper. But Polychromos drawings take a long time, and usually, I don't do it in a short time vacation. Still my hopes are always up, and this notebook ends up tagging along.



Watercolour notebook

Now this is the important one that I tend to neglect when it comes to putting it in the bag. As you probably know by now, watercolour is my medium of choice (no matter how many other mediums I try), so even when I forget about these notebooks, or purposefully leave them behind, I always regret it. 

90% of the time I get that urge to draw something beautiful, it's in watercolour. So I better set it straight in my mind that this, or any other watercolour capable, notebook, has to always come with me on vacation.



Pencil cases

You probably thought that one pencil case was enough right? Well think again 😂

As someone who loves everything drawing/writing related, one pencil case is not a possibility. Let's see why.


Business pencil case

Yes, you read that write. I have a business pencil case. This pencil case is the pencil case that always accompanies the business notebook. It's small enough that can fit in basically any bag that I carry and has the “essentials”

  • 3 erasable pens (black, turquoise and purple)
  • 2 mini highlighters
  • A big highlighter (because sometimes you need the bold colours)
  • A mechanical pencil 
  • And eraser



Drawing pencil case

This is probably the pencil case you associate to an artist. It has all the essentials of drawing plus some. This pencil case tends to be moved around a lot as most of my tools for, well basically everything, are here. So this is what I have inside it:

  • 2H pencil
  • 4 matt graphite pencils (2B, 4B, 6B and 8B)
  • 5 Micron pens (08, 05, 03, 01 and 005)
  • Gelly Roll pen 06
  • Zebra brush pen
  • 7 Paper stumps
  • Dust free eraser
  • Gum eraser
  • Tombow mono zero eraser
  • Tomobow refills
  • Sand paper ( for cleaning and sharpening the paper stumps)




No, my brushes are not on cases because so far I haven't found a case that I trust won't damage my brushes, so I continue to always carry them in weird ways trying to make sure they are safe. The number of brushes and which brushes I bring, are not always the same. Some are essentials (for reasons I will mention soon) others are a “nice to have” thing or a “what I have in mind to do, this might help”. Here is a list:

  • 1 (or 2) water brushes (these are the essentials as they work even if I don't have any container around to carry water. They are also super handy to add water to activate my watercolours)
  • 3 da Vinci Petit Gris Pur 0, 2 and 3 (This was a gift and I had no idea of the material it was. With this being said, now that I have it I will not be throwing it out as I see it as an even a bigger waste. There are similar brushes to this made with synthetic fibres and if I were to buy them, this is what I would buy.)
  • 3 Gold line brushes 4, 12 and 18
  • 1 Giorgione brush (came with some watercolours I was gifted I have no idea of the number)
  • 2 small brushes that I have no idea where I bought it or the name of the brand, but they are super handy for details.



Colouring pencils 

Is this a bit of an overkill? Yes, probably, but recently I have been carrying my Polycrhomos pencils everywhere. I don't tend to do bigger pieces while on vacation with them, as it takes me a long time to finish a piece, but it's great for details on watercolour pieces and for the occasional colored sketch.




Other things that fit in no category but I always carry with me are:

  • Watercolor palette from Winsor & Newtow 
  • Plastic watercolour pallet
  • Reusable towels


Do I use all of these while I'm on vacation? Definitely not. But I always like to have them with me just in case the creativity sparks. On vacation I prioritize resting, disconnecting and spending time with family and friends, but sometimes the desire for drawing comes up and I know that if I don't fulfil it, I will be feeling awful, like something is missing. So I rather carry these things around, even if I don't use it, than to miss the opportunity to spend time doing what I love when I truly desire it.


Funny story about this particular vacation. I started by only bringing my colored pencils, drawing pencil case and the kraft notebook (of all the more art specific things). I thought that would be all that I needed as I would only spend 5 days here. First day here, I saw these cute saunas, that looked like an enchanted cabin in the woods. I NEEDED to paint it. I already had a vision of what I wanted to do. Just for the fun of it. But I wanted and needed my watercolours. That was at home. Lucky me, 2 days after I had a doctor's appointment back in my city. Yes, I went back on purpose for my appointment. And yes, I went home for a while to grab a few extra things like... Watercolours. I did my drawing. Non bird related but I had a blast. And I probably learned to never leave my watercolours back home.




Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful summer (if that is the case), and let your creativity fly.


Ps: Am I back home now that I'm finishing this? Yes. Will we ignore it? Also yes. Thank you very much.

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