Traveler’s Paint Kit

I am about to embark on an art residency that requires a bit of traveling so I created a little travel size art kit for myself. The kit consist of a set of three brushes, a palette, and a notepad.

Notepad, paint brushes, and palette.
Notepad, paint brushes, and palette

My preferred medium for painting is gouache. One issue I have is that the paint dries out quickly and I feel like I’m wasting paint. The combat this, I tried a cheap air tight paint palette from the art store. While it kept paint moist for a few days, it feels cheap and bulky. The clear cover doesn’t help if exposed to sunlight.

Airtight Paint Palette and Dollar Store Pill Box Palette.

Then I looked into pill boxes. First, I’ve tried a few from the dollar store. It had cool round design with a hole in the middle and I can poke my skinny thumb through and hold it like a serious palette. Sadly, it’s not airtight.

This eventually led me to the Daiso pill box. It has a rubber gasket and individual compartments with lids. I found the lids just got in the way and didn’t make it any more airtight. Fortunately, they are easy to pluck out. There’s just enough compartments for me to put in black, white, and a few primarily colors. The rubber gasket keeps paint moist for over a week. One caveat is that because this is a pill box and not a paint pallette, the wells are boxy and not rounded.

Tools used to trim down the mini brushes.

With the lid closed, there’s still a little extra space which I filled with a three mini brushes. I took a pair of metal cutters and clipped the excess ends off a few old brushes. I used a knife and file to trim down the thicker brushes so they fit snugly in the box. Some of the brushheads started to come loose which I fixed by adding some heat shrink tubing on the thinner brush and crimping the metal with a pair of pliers on the fat brush.

Daiso-Pill-Box  Mini-Brushes
Daiso Pill Box and Mini Brushes.

I also bought extra small size moleskine which matches perfectly to my pillbox. Sadly, this moleskine doesn’t include the elastic strap and pocket like it’s bigger brethren. Not a problem since I’ve been DIYing everything else, I simply ripped the pocket out of an older moleskine and glued it onto here. There are also the Pentalic Traveler notebooks that include the strap and pocket if you don’t wish to make it yourself but they are thicker. I found the moleskine to be perfect for me.

Moleskine Extra Small stacked atop Pentalic Traveler.

So there you have it, my perfect travel sized paint kit. I would love to hear what’s in your travel kit? Please comment below.

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