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Monday, September 23, 2019

My Smallest Pastel Travel Kit Ever!

My latest and smallest pastel kit

I'm calling it the Mini Mini. It is the smallest pastel kit I have ever put together. Everything I need to paint fits in a zippered pouch measuring just 8 inches long by 4 1/2 inches tall. I wasn't going to bring pastels at all on my upcoming adventure. (more on this trip in my next post!)  

I was trying to pack light. I was only planning on bringing a small sketchbook. No pastels. The more I thought about it the more I started to panic. No pastels for 2 weeks! What if I had free time and really wanted to paint and not just sketch? Would I regret not having any pastels? 

If you have followed me then you know I always bring pastels on a trip and I have downsized and have a great compact set up. (link here to see this set up)  But frankly I didn't want to deal with even that set up on a long haul trip. But in the end I was feeling pressure to bring some pastels. 

Introducing the Mini Mini! I wanted a very small pouch that I could fit into my daypack or even my purse. I will only be painting mini pastels 2.5x3.5 so even the paper fits in the pouch.  Have a look att the photo above to see what I have in the kit.

  • Pastels: I started with the Cretacolor starts set of 12 pastels. These pastels look like Nupastels but they actually are a bit softer. I planned to use the basic colors in this set and modify with black and white. It would require some thoughtful layering to create new optical blends. After testing I decided to break a few of the pastels and substitute my gavotte Nupastels. See photo below. Basically I added a duller version of some of the bright colors and my favorite Price Blue 305. (I thought about putting a bunch of Nupastels in a small container but everything was too thick for my zippered pouch!)
  • A pencil
  • A drawing board. I am using a thin hard board by Ampersand meant for oil or acrylic. It is hard, the perfect size and rigid. It won't bend like a piece of foam core would. I am using tiny binder clips to attach my paper to the board. This eliminates the need for tape. 
  • Paper: I cut some sanded paper scraps into 2.5x3.5 pieces. I put them in a plastic snack baggie. I love this size baggie that I get at Target. 
  • A business card size watercolor set. This set is tiny but mighty! With such a limited pastel palette I thought I would extend my possibilities with a watercolor underpainting! A friend gifted this set to me but I have seen them on Etsy.
  • A Water brush. This brush from Caran d'ache is hollow so you can fill it with water for the watercolor underpainting on the go. I also have a tiny jar lid from room service jam jar that I can use for water if needed. 
  • Clear Bags from to use for the finished paintings. 
  • A tiny pack of wipes. This pack only has 10 tips but I can save , wash and reuse them if needed.

So That's it! I am putting it into my checked suitcase so I don't have to deal with TSA and pastels.I will report back on my kit and how it worked when I return. I will be sharing some of my favorite posts from the archives while I am away.
 I do plan to post on my Instagram so be sure to follow me there @karenmargulis

My kit fits into my hand!

A very quick trial painting 2.5x3.5 with no underpainting.

My refitted pastel set. 


Rick Petersen Daily Paintings said...

Looks great - anxious to see some more of the results.

cinnie2 said...

How fun! I love the idea of painting tiny and this is so creative.