Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Barcelona Symposium Prep, Part 2: Everything Else

Come hell or high water, this is it.
(See Barcelona Symposium Prep, Part 1: Watercolors for the paints I’m bringing.)

I could have procrastinated a few more days, but being the strong J on the Myers-Briggs that I am, I knew I wouldn’t be able to move on to the rest of my travel prep if I didn’t nail the lid on this one, so I did: I’ve made my final choices of art supplies to bring to Barcelona and Germany. (Anything else I need will be purchased, borrowed or stolen once I get there. Or I’ll do without – what a concept! – by substituting something else!)

Most of the supplies are either items I carry in my bag all the time anyway or rotate in occasionally, and everything fits comfortably in my travel bag, which is a Nomadic Wise-Walker messenger bag. (As much as I’d like to bring my beloved Rickshaw Bagworks bag that I use every day, it’s just not big enough for all the additional things I need in a travel carry-on.)

Numbers refer to the photo above. An asterisk * designates an item I am bringing specifically because a workshop instructor recommended it.

1. Glue stick for adhering mementoes and other ephemera to my journal and sketchbook.
2. A travel-size perfume atomizer that I fill with water to spritz my watercolors. I discovered this only recently while I was shopping at the Savvy Traveler in Edmonds for my small, RFID-blocking, slash-proof Pacsafe sling purse. (I couldn’t find it on Savvy Traveler’s site, so the link goes to Amazon.)
3. Four waterbrushes in various sizes. The short one fits in my TSA-required zip-lock plastic bag, so I carry it onboard filled with water for use on the flight. The others I leave empty until I arrive.
4. Two Escoda travel brushes (sizes 2 and 8). I was supposed to have three more sizes for one of my workshops, but I decided I could do without.
5. My “Stefano” sketchbook system (Not shown: Way more hand-stitched, eight-page, single-signature booklets of 100-pound watercolor paper than I can ever use on this trip. I’m going to take as many as will fit after I put other essentials in).

6. My usual mint tin watercolor kit, shown with palette attached and my current favorite paints.
*7. A second Trader Joe’s mint tin filled with colors I’m not very familiar with.
*8. Eraser.
9. Water brush filled with Diamine Grey ink for shading.
*10. Four Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. I used to carry several of these in my bag regularly, but during my recent attempts to reduce my bag’s contents and weight, I took most of them out. But Lynne Chapman suggested we bring a variety of colored media capable of making big, bold marks, so I chose four high-contrast colors that would be useful in the urban environment.
11. Uniball Signo opaque white gel pen.
12. Two Albrecht Durer water-soluble colored pencils – one brown, one blue.
13. A trusty Lamy Safari fountain pen filled with PlatinumCarbon Black waterproof ink.
14. A very inexpensive and perhaps less trusty Platinum Preppy fountain pen containing a Platinum Carbon Black ink cartridge (see No. 21 below). The only reason I’m bringing this is that I know one pen-ful of Platinum Carbon (No. 13 above) won't last two weeks, but I don't want to pack a bottle of ink (it wouldn’t fit in my TSA zip-lock, nor would I want to risk permanent black ink spillage). This pen, which can be used with Platinum’s proprietary cartridges, writes amazingly well for a little more than 3 bucks. (I just hope it doesn’t leak on the flight.)
15. A Lamy Nexx fountain pen filled with my favorite water-soluble Diamine Chocolate Brown ink.
16. Sailor DE Brush Stroke Style Fountain Pen filled with water-soluble Diamine Eclipse ink. I know that Lynne Chapman uses one of these funky pens with the variable-width, ski-jump nib, so I hope to ask her for a demo during her workshop. I don’t have any cartridges that fit this pen, so when it goes dry, it goes dry.
*17. Kuretake Fountain Brush Pen filled with a Platinum Carbon Black ink cartridge (see No. 21 below). This pen works double-duty: It was recommended by Mark Taro Holmes, and it makes a bold mark (for Chapman’s workshop).
*18. A mechanical pencil.
*19. A charcoal pencil (this was a compromise – I hate using real charcoal sticks, which were recommended by Chapman).
20. Cretacolor Nero Extrasoft pencil.
21. Platinum Carbon Black ink cartridges (to refill No. 14 and 17 above).
22. Lamy water-soluble black ink cartridges (to refill No. 15 above).

That’s it. Have I omitted something crucial? Or can I stand to leave something out?

Edited 7/4/13: I made a dry-run sketch with my bag fully packed with all of the above as well as other travel essentials, and it worked out great! The only thing I had to take out was No. 9, the waterbrush filled with Diamine Grey ink, because it won't fit in my TSA-approved zip-lock bag.


  1. Good choices.

    Suggestion: since the Preppy is your back up pen with which you're using cartridges, just don't put one in for the flight.

    Also, have you thought about using the small sample bottles from Goulet for Carbon Black ink supply. One of those lasts about a month for me in a pen with which I write pages per day. I think it would be secure on the flight and it would probably fit in the liquids bag.


    1. Thanks for your suggestions, Kate! I'll see how much space I have left in my TSA ziplock!

      - Tina

  2. Your selection of materials looks great. I loved following your links for things to read about them. When do you leave? How long will you be in Barcelona...and then Germany? Four of the NYC Urban Sketchers are going...Richard (who is teaching a class), Mark, Jason, and Debbie. There may be more going but I know they are definitely going.


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