Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A No-Excuses Travel Kit

Materials with the first drawing of an oak tree outside Tablas Creek Winery

 This last weekend we were in the Central Coast with a group of University of Redlands Alumni on a wine-tasting adventure. I put this small kit together that would easily fit in my purse to have "just in case." I have been in too many places without materials and either waste time finding something to use or been frustrated. I included a "palette" of 6 colors (2 yellows, 2 reds and 2 blues) in a pastilles box. Empty pans are available at many art stores and online. Any metal box such as altoids work well. A white lid would be preferable since it would show the color better than this metallic one...but I had this one already. I also included a Niji waterbrush and a pentel ink brush with water soluble sepia ink. The Moleskin watercolor sketch book is 5"x8" and makes a nice wide panorama when opened. The book has an elastic band which holds it tightly closed. That's all I used for this work.

My chance to draw came with an "oops" on the bus drivers part...he took a corner a bit too close and got hung up. We later found out that buses do this routinely. When it looked as if we'd be there awhile, I got my kit out and drew the oak tree. As time progressed I began another drawing and had time to add color.

Tablas Creek #2

We stopped for lunch at Denner's Winery and I had just a small amount of time before we were off again. In this drawing you can see the advantage to the ink line. I only had time to add color to the central part of the drawing but I like the way the lines extend that. I later found out that my nephew's young vineyard is in the distance. I visited with my sister before we came home and hadn't realized the proximity when I drew this.

From the patio at Denner Winery

At the last winery, I let everyone else go taste and I just drew. Vines are in the foreground and the oaks with their dark foliage are a wonderful contrast to the warm tones of the vines and golden hills.

Last winery stop

Each of these drawings is as I left them at the time of drawing. The second image took about 30-40 minutes and the final two under 30 minutes.

Having a small, portable watercolor or drawing kit is a real advantage. I hadn't expected to have time to do anything, but have learned the hard way to be prepared.


  1. You are amazing... finding inspiration and beauty at a moments notice!

  2. Love the captured moments and such an excellent use of time!

  3. wonderful Judy!!
    Thanx for the tips!
    Teri G

  4. Can you tell me what the two reds, two blues and two yellows you like.. were the same for the color wheel in a previous post.. thanks.

    1. Nancy- the yellows were azo yellow & quinacridone gold; the blues ultramarine & cerulean; the reds permanent rose and quin. Red. I'm not completely sure about that last red. I do switch around a bit.