Tag Archives: packing

CASS Art travel Tips how NOT to overpack


Cass Art shops are full of helpful, experienced artists who can guide you towards delicious bits and pieces of equipment. When it comes to packing for a holiday what do you take with you? Clearly you can not take everything. Below is part of the CASS Art Blog. For more go to their website.

I thought the bit about being Airport Savvy was particularly useful.

HOW TO PAINT ON THE GO: OUR TRAVEL TIPS & TECHNIQUES

in How To by Cass Art

How to Paint on the Go: Our Travel Tips & Techniques

‘Windmill’ by Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016

Packing light is every artist’s nightmare. Whether you’re painting in plein air or planning an urban sketching tour, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to narrowing down the essentials for a trip. With your studio host to hundreds of materials at your fingertips, where do you begin? We asked our staff artists about their must have materials and their top tips and techniques for taking your practice on the go.

LIMIT YOUR PALETTE


Reducing your palette is first trick to travelling light. A core range of colours can be used to create a spectrum of different shades. Try limiting your choice of palette to six essential pigments, such Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow, Terre Verde or Sap Green, Ultramarine and Titanium White. Using an artist quality paint loaded with pigment will ensure the colours don’t muddy, and your hand-mixed shades will remain bold and rich in colour.

Whether you’re painting or drawing on the move, most brands offer sets tailored to plein air, landscape or portraiture themes, helping you limit your colours to just the essentials. Michael Harding Plein Air Set offers a selection perfect for outdoor painters whilst the Sennelier Landscape Set offers oil pastel artists a selection of earthy pigments.

If you’re looking to capture a portrait on the move, Unison Soft Pastel Portrait Set offers a selection of light pinks to rich browns, whilst Winsor & Newton Skin Tones Set offers a blendable range of colours to help you achieve the perfect skin tone.

BE AIRPORT SAVVY


There is nothing worse than having hundreds of pounds worth of art materials confiscated at the airport security desks. Explore our top tips for taking your materials abroad and make security a stress free experience.

1) If you’re travelling hand luggage only at the airport, remember that all liquids in your hand luggage must be below 100ml and in a clear, zip lock bag. This includes all toiletries, creams and gels and is limited to a maximum of 15 items per person. Tubes of paint, inks, mediums and gels all count towards this restriction.

2) If you’re planning a big painting trip, artist paints are permitted, providing they are not lead based. To be on the safe side, check a bag into the hold to avoid disappointment when travelling through security.

3) Be mindful of the materials you are packing. Hazardous or flammable liquids are not allowed, so leave your brush cleaners and turps at home.

4) It may not seem like a dangerous item, but some materials can fall under the sharps and tools category. Ensure all lino cutting tools, palette knives, scalpels and scissors are all checked into your hold luggage to ensure they aren’t disposed of at security.

 

OUR STAFF ARTIST’S ADVICE


“I was in Bologna and kicked myself for not taking the Rembrandt Retractable Brushes!” says Heather from Soho. “Small and affordable, they were perfect for painting on the go – especially if you prefer to paint with a natural hair rather than the synthetic brushes.”

“This year I am going to South Italy and Israel. For both destinations I need to take a flight so lightweight and portable art materials are my thing.” says Aurora in Soho. “For the past two years I have been travelling with a standard size watercolour set and I have always noticed how much heavier my overall luggage is because of my full size equipment. This year, I bought the Cass Art Watercolour Quarter Pan Set with sketchbook bundle, and I am absolutely amazed at the quality of the paint!

The quality choice of pigments such as Cadmiums, Cobalt, Viridian and Quinacridone and the little brush make it a must have for me. I can already feel the bliss of being with my friend by the River Jordan, holding my slim watercolour set under the sun.”

“Plus, there are a range of sets that combine everything you need. The Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour Field Boxhas everything you need to set up a mini watercolour studio on-the-go.”

YOUR TRAVEL TOOLKIT


Winsor & Newton offer a diverse range of watercolour markers and watercolour sticks as a great alternative for taking artist quality pigments on the go. Plus, these will not register as liquids when passing through airport security, so are perfect addition for those trips abroad.

Derwent Pencil Wrap

Pen wraps make organising your essential materials a simple process, whilst saving space in your bag. The elastic tags expand to fit an array of different materials, from brushes and pens to pastels and charcoal. The range of different compartments lets you take the vital parts of your studio away with you, whilst keeping your colours separate. As the wrap tightly holds your materials, it also reduces the risk of breakage in transport.

Painting in plein air can be a challenge, especially when the comforts of your studio are left behind. The Jullian Sketch Box Travel Easel is light and easily dismantled, with a free carry bag to make transporting from A to B a smoother ride. The Jakar Easel with Telescopic Legs lets you adjust your easel to suit your surroundings. Whether you’re on rocky moors or a sandy hilltop, this easel can adjust to suit any situation.

Water brush pens are perfect for on the go watercolour and ink work. Fill up the handle with a small amount of water and apply directly to your palette or drawing. No more balancing pots of water. You can create washes by gently squeezing more water through the brush.

 

TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLING LIGHT


Try soaking a small cloth with some turps and sealing it in a zip lock bag to clean your brushes on the go. This will remove the majority of the paint until you get home, saving your brushes from being ruined by dried paint.

Consider taking preparatory sketches and drawings to revisit when you return home.

Ask yourself, do I really need it? Can this be worked in more detail when I get home? Chances are the essentials will be enough to help you capture your scenes on the go.

Winner Richard Allen on set of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016

 

PREPARE WITH ARTIST TIPS


“My tip is to pack all three basic colours and then maybe three more that you really like, which should be enough to start with (especially since it also means they can be mixed).”

Artist, illustrator and designer Felix Scheinberger challenges you to take your watercolours on-the-go and refresh your approach to capturing urban scenes. ‘Urban Watercolour Sketching’ offers tips and techniques to help you capture the moments around you with colour confidence. Find out more about Felix’s approach to watercolour in our exclusive interview: Storytelling in Colour: with Felix Scheinberger.

“I have a very tiny box of half pan watercolour paints which I use for everything – even quite large works, and I keep the same colours in my watercolour and oil selection which is very tight – two blues, two reds, two yellows, golden ochre, burnt umber and cadmium orange.”

Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016 uses her Moleskine sketchbooks to capture on-the-go watercolours, before bringing them back to the studio to experiment with scale. Explore more about her practice and how she prepared for painting on-set outside for LAOTY in her exclusive interview.

5 things to pack in your holiday art bag


It is holiday time of year – Packing is an art form – I ALWAYS take too many things with me on holiday.


When I go on holiday I have plans, aspirations, good intentions, and hopes – I’m sure you know what I mean. I used to pack accordingly, and on arrival I was almost too scared to open my very heavy art bag.

This does not need to happen. Less is more, as always.

List of Five Essential Items

Famous Fishing cap ready to go in my holiday ART bag
Famous Fishing cap ready to go in my holiday ART bag

  1. 1 sketchbook, no bigger than A4 (possibly a handbag size one as well but you will NEVER use both)
  2.  1 roll masking tape (small)
  3. 2 x Faber Castell thick pencils, 3B and 7B, 2 x diposable WH Smith retractable pencils with rubbers on the end
  4. 2 black waterproof pens of different thicknesses
  5. 1 set KohiNoor soluble dyes and a medium size watercolour brush

You could mistakenly call that a list of 10 items.  I think we can stretch the point.


1. The Sketchbook

I always plan to do major things on holiday so imagine I need a huge pad. This is unnecessary. If the size of sketchbook is not big enough for a picture stick two pieces together with masking tape on the reverse side. Thus any size sheet is possible.

Everyone has their preferred size, shape and quality of paper for their sketch book. I like square books, with a reasonably heavy paper, and a strong, hard cover to lean on. The cover is very important as it will double as drawing board.  Seawhite do a series with 160gsm paper in a firm, black cover.  I use the square one. http://www.cassart.co.uk/seawhite_euro_portrait_sketchbook_with_black_microline_cover_160gsm_50_sheets

You can add another sketch book, but I bet you don’t use it. You can take expensive watercolour paper, but that can be too frightening to touch. Stick with one.

2. The Roll of Masking tape

See above. Don’t get a huge roll – no point and it gets in the way.

3. The Pencils

As with everything else, it is tempting to take too many, ‘just in case…’

My favourite drawing pencil would be a combination of very fine retractable HB and thick, dark, soft 3B and 7B. I always choose an odd number ‘B’. Faber Castell do a set of jumbo pencils, so choose what you like from these.

http://www.cassart.co.uk/drawing/pencils/product_type_graphite_pencils/faber-castell_9000_jumbo_pencils_pack_of_5_black.htm

I would like to be clever about disposable retractable pencils but I always buy mine from WH Smiths. They are very cheap and effective, come in a large pack and have good rubbers on the end. I like the neatness of the rubbers – you are not tempted to rub out large errors, but you can fiddle with small ones.

4. The Pens

I was going to suggest a pack of Staedtler Pigment Liner Set of 6 Black but when I went on the Cass Art website to get a link there were so many sets of interesting pens I feel you should decide for yourself. Do look at the pigment liners – they are excellent, different thicknesses and do the job. Don’t take more than two.

I should experiment more too.

http://www.cassart.co.uk/drawing

5. The Colour

I used to recommend Caran d’Ache Neoart water soluble wax pastel. These are water soluble highly pigmented wax pastels wKoh-i-noor Anilinky Brilliant Dye Watercolour Stacking Set of 24 colourshich can be used either wet or dry. I still use them regularly, but I find they get a bit sticky if you take them somewhere hot. Fine in a cold country.

Instead, I would recommend Koh-i-noor Anilinky Brilliant Dye Watercolour Stacking Set of 24 colours. Emma Faull, painter of beautiful birds, introduced me to them (www.emmafaull.co.uk/). They are bright, colourful dyes that you treat as water colours, and are extraordinarily cheap at under £7.00 for the set. They are not easy to find in shops but I have found them on the internet at:

http://www.rainbowsilks.co.uk/SubCategory.cfm?SubCatId=528


The above are all you need, but I suspect you will want to add a few more things…I would want to, but not many.

I always use a camera, even if it is only my smart phone. I have a sun hat in my bag, a penknife to sharpen the pencils and a large cotton sarong type scarf/rug/sunshade/cushion/shawl. Then I’m done.