Perfecting A Traveling Watercolor Set Up

Have you ever set out to paint out of doors and found yourself fumbling with your supplies? Dropping things? Not finding your pencil and eraser? Having to borrow artist’s tissue from your painting buddy?

All of the above have happened to me and made me feel frustrated. I resolved to create a better set up for my next workshop. I’ve been assembling things for quite a while and studying other artist’s past & present set ups.  

The biggest problem I wanted to tackle first was to make my set up light weight and easy to pack in a 22” suitcase. I replaced my favorite cigar box that I use to hold everything on my lap with a smaller much lighter weight box. I replaced my metal palette with a very lightweight tin pencil box which I sprayed with white matte paint so I could mix paint on its lid. Most importantly I reduced the size and weight of my painting book by creating sets of 4 pages folded together which I can bind to a spine when I get home. I only need to carry 4 pages with me at a time instead of lugging a heavy book on every paint out containing all my paper.  

I tested out my new set up this afternoon when I painted in our back yard. I had to eliminate at least 3 extra pencils, a pen, several brushes and 3 extra erasers. This made it light and almost closeable. I moved the cloroplast folding support with the paper inside out of the box and it closes perfectly!  

I can throw the box in my tote with a waterbottle and a snack and I should be a less fumbling artist on location. 

Any ideas for replacement items or additions to my painting set up are welcomed. 

Here it is: 


Top left, the box with supplies, top right, the supplies that fit in the bag on the right, bottom left, the pencil box paints and palette and bottom right, open and ready to sit on my lap to make painting anywhere easier!