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Sunday, June 02, 2019

The Pastel Supplies I am Taking to IAPS

Everything fits into a 10x8x2.5 zippered book cover

This is it! The ultimate pared down pastel kit for travel! I put it to the test last summer on a two week adventure to Provence France. It wasn't a painting trip so I didn't want to lug all of my Plein air pastel supplies even though I have also pared down that set up. But I also didn't want to be without art supplies at all! I knew I would have some downtime and I planned to bring a sketchbook. But I was worried that I would regret not having any pastels at all!

The kit in the photo was the perfect solution. I will be bringing it to the IAPS convention next week as well as my summer travels to Alaska! It is the perfect solution for those times when you want to paint but don't have the room or desire to bring a lot of pastel supplies. Everything I need fits into a zippered book cover that measures 10 x 8 x 2.5 inches. You could use any kind of small bag or even a soft side lunchbox.  Here is what I keep in the kit:


  • My Heilman single sketch box. The box fits perfectly in the book cover. It also holds enough pastels (more on this next). Before I invested in the Heilman box I used a small cigar box lined with foam. I LOVE the Heilman box though, It is well worth it!
  • Pastels. I haven't counted but I have two sets of Girault pastels broken in half. They are the two Richard McKinley Girault sets. I love these pastels for travel. They are small but sturdy and go on much softer than they look. LOVE! I also have a small piece of Terry Ludwig eggplant and a Diane Townsend light warm yellow. I love my Terry Ludwig pastels but I get more Giraults in this small box. I also packed a small Sucrets box with some broken pieces of hard pastels (Nupastels) for details and toning paper.  
  • A piece of 5x7 foam core in a clear bag for protection. The Heilman box acts like a pochade but I prefer to paint away from the box and clip my paper to foam core. I use bankers claps or binder clips to attach the paper to the board. This saves me from bringing tape. 
  • A few clear bags by www.clearbags.com to store the finished paintings. 
  • A selection of pastel papers cut to 5x7. 
  • A travel size pack of baby wipes. 
  • A few pieces of pipe insulation for dry underpaintings.
This kit has everything I need to satisfy the itch to paint! I don't mind making small studies on the go. I look for a table or a flat surface to work on so I don't need to bring any kind of easel. 

Over the years I have shared many versions of small travel set ups but this is by far my favorite. On my Provence trip I painted 40 5x7 paintings with this set up!  Why not put together your own Summer Travel Pastel Kit!


1 comment:

jcwnorfolk said...

Looks great! I keep a tiny kit of small broken pastels and little tiny clipboard and 4x6-6x8” papers in my car all the time. Fits into a zipper pencil case. 🥰