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Sunday, March 06, 2016

From the Archives: A Great Idea for a Travel Kit for Pastels

'Island Dreams'           6 x 6           pastel           ©Karen Margulis
Never have any regrets!  Have you ever gone on a trip without pastels because it wasn't a painting trip.....and then you kick yourself for not having something to paint with. Anything would do...paper and pencil even. I never go on a trip without pastels even if the trip is not about painting.

It is easy to do if you keep your pastel kit simple, light and portable.

My Pastel Travel Kit
On my recent trip to Chicago I converted a Book cover into a small pastel kit. See my post here
I havent been able to find more of the book covers (for backup!) so I am always looking for good potential kits.  I found one and took it on a test drive on my cruise last week.

This kit is a winner!  It is a rectangular fabric insulated lunch box!

It is slightly larger than the book cover measuring  10 x 8 x 4.  The insulation gives support and padding to protect my supplies and is easy to wipe clean.  It has one mesh pocket.  It has a zipper all around which allows it to lay flat. And it has nice handles which makes it portable. You can see form my photo that it easily holds all the pastel supplies I needed for a week of painting. I did 50 minis and 10 5x7and 6x6's. Here is what I put in the kit:

  • 3 small boxes of pastels. The large box holds a big selection of small pieces of soft pastel and the two smaller boxes hold a selection of nupastels and holbiens.
  • a clearbag filled with lots of paper cut to 2.5x3.5, 5x7 and 6x6.
  • a small photo album and binder clip to hold my finished mini paintings and a clear bag for the finished larger paintings.
  • a travel pack of Wet Ones wipes and a small microfiber towel.
  • a 5x7 piece of foam core in a clear bag for easy cleanup along with 2 small bulldog clips for holding my paper. This is my working board.
This lunch box kit is small enough and soft enough to easily fit in a backpack or carryon....or maybe make a kit to throw in the car. You never know when you might come upon something that begs to be painted!

'Under the Swaying Palms'          5x5       pastel

'Anchored'            6x6            pastel


Sue Marrazzo said...


leslie said...

What a terrific idea. When I first looked at the photo, I though you might be using a big makeup case, which could be another great idea.

robertsloan2art said...

This is awesome! Also a good reason to keep all those small boxes from sets of Ludwig violets or sunset or whatever, they become travel boxes with or without the slotted foam inserts.

Love the small lunch box thing. I found in packing to go anywhere that I have to limit the size of the bag because I will fill whatever space I have with supplies. It has to be light weight when full, that's essential!

Betty Smith said...

Karen, this is perfect!!!! Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks so very much. I've been looking for a good, minimal supply list to bring with me to Alaska this summer. This should work out quite well. I have a backpack, but filling it is going to be a much easier process. I want to get out and do some plein aire painting before I go, too. I recognize that it's much more likely to happen if I already have a kit in my car, instead of having to put one together every time. Will put together the "Alaska kit" with specific pastels and a plein aire kit to leave in the car. Thank you SO much!!!

Betty Smith

Anonymous said...

For the microfiber cloth, try eyeglasses cleaner cloths. They are microfiber, washable, cheap, and small enough for your kit. Karen Rodgers

Kendall Kessler said...

Lovely work!

Betty Smith said...

You know, I found an item in our fishing tackle box that might work, too. It's a microfiber cloth with a large clip that will fit right into my belt loop. It's not huge, but it's about the size I would use a couple times then throw into the washer. I have a couple of them, so I'll bring them along for the trip!