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Travel Sketching basic supplies and techniques for beginners

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Drawing / For Beginners / Inspiration / Painting technique / Sketching / Thoughts

Travel Sketching basic supplies and techniques for beginners

Travel sketching is a very enjoyable activity. I don’t consider myself an advanced sketcher, but I am really enjoying recording places and people while on vacation. I think sketches have a way to bring back vivid memories at least as well as a picture would, and they are more unique.

You might also be interested in: watercolor and pen figure drawing

We traveled to Thailand for Spring break and here is what I brought with me. With these basic supplies you will be able to sketch while travelling:

travel sketching supplies for beginners

You can make a small portable watercolor set from a box of Barklays or similar candy and chewing gum packaging.

Here are the colors I used for my travelling watercolor box:

Paynes grey, sap green, Winsor green, ultramarine blue, Turquoise blue, permanent red, Alazarin crimson, cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, yellow ocher.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.


Da Vinci Artists’ Permanent Watercolors, 292 Yellow Ochre, 15 ml

Da Vinci paints are exciting, intense, and rated among the best in the world for quality. The paints are permanent, with the highest tinting strength and pigment concentration available, and a creamy consistency for smooth, easy dispersion with water.

(Click on a picture to see a larger version)

We traveled with a group and a local guide and the rhythm was quite intense so most of the opportunities I had to draw and paint were during our travelling times or waiting in hotel lobbies. I will have to use my reference pictures to make more drawings of the places we visited.

Travel Sketching techniques

For drawing, I recommend you use a fine liner or fountain pen to make contour drawings. I like it better than using graphite as it will forces you to draw with assurance, knowing you won’t have the possibility to erase.

Don’t try to make your drawings perfect, little inaccuracies in perspective or lines that are not straight are part of the charm of sketching. Try to not use a ruler as it will make your drawings look very starch and unnatural.

Adding watercolor to your sketches

For adding color, the watercolor travel box will be very convenient. You can also use the watercolor pencils with the water-brush.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Molotow Aqua Squeeze Brush Pens

Molotow Aqua Squeeze Brush Pens are great for coloring and painting. These sophisticated application tools are easy to fill with water, fluid watercolors, or inks. Mix your own colors, thin them with water, refill, repeat! Regulate the flow by squeezing the pen’s body. – Set of 3

Here is a selection of my drawings and some of my daughter that she made from imagination while travelling:

5/5 - (1 vote)

Comments (6)

  1. Excellent sketches Sandrine. Looks like your daughter is following in your footsteps hers are brilliant also.

    1. Thanks Sonia, she will be very happy to read your comment 🙂

  2. Eddi Reid

    Endlessly creative! Some of the products are new to me but I promise myself a trip to Dick Blick in the very near future – so am adding to my shopping list already.
    The sketches are fun, Charlotte’s animals look great. I actually have sketch books almost unused – now I really must pack them when travelling, or even in the car.
    Thank you Sandrine.

    1. Excellent! Thanks Eddi.
      I am sure you will enjoy sketching on your next trip 🙂

  3. tracie

    Sandrine you are a genius. I love the way you think. A gum box. 😀

    1. Thanks Tracie 🙂 Maureen from our life drawing class gave me the idea.

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