My Recommended Materials for Travel Sketchbooks

My Recommended Materials for Travel Sketchbooks

So a couple of days ago I was really excited to be invited to take part in the Art2Life Kitchen Table Art Project online discussion! The theme of the 90 minute episode was all about Slowing Down and was about our relationship with gardening and how we notice and live with nature in our daily lives. More specifically we spoke about ways in which we could use these things as inspiration for our new art works. There is a little blog post all about the discussions I had here.

In the video chat I was displaying some of my garden sketchbooks, travel sketchbooks and even some my homemade books and concertina sketchbooks (who knew there could be so many sketchbooks!). People kept asking technical questions about the materials I used so I thought it might be useful to provide a list of some of the things I use the most. The list is certainly not exhaustive but there are definitely some painting and drawing implements and books that are my recommended materials for travel sketchbooks.

Remember though, there’s no need to rush out and buy everything on here! I am a huge fan of experimenting and finding what works well for you so please don’t be afraid to experiment. I like to share short reviews of some of the equipment I use the most so it is worth signing up for my monthly newsletter using the link below.

As usual, please do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions and remember to comment below if you have any extra special things you like to use when you are making sketchbooks or filling them with your beautiful artworks!


Seawhite of Brighton -concertina and hard bound books
Moleskine classic and watercolour sketchbook
Leuchtturm1917 A5 Sketchbook
Also hand made books using folded strips of watercolour paper work well.


Winsor & Newton Ink
Golden Airbrush Colors
Watered down ink spray
Daler Rowney FW acrylic ink
Liquitex Matte medium (for collage and sealing)
Random tiny glue bottle bought in Argentina
Cheap glue spreader, or credit card, or fingers
Old dip pens with post office nib
Sharpened sticks and bamboo


Pentel signpen (really cheap)
AW Clean color real brush pen
Faber Castell PITT artist pens
Kuretake double ended pen
Pentel brush pen (takes refil cartridges)
Daler Rowney Acrylic Paint markers
Derwent pencil extender with 2B pencil
MUJI Black Gel Ink pen (they come in 0.38, 0.5, 0.7 sizes)
Papermate Ink Joy Liquid with ballpoint nib
Artline 200 with felt nib.
Faber Castell charcoal pencils but I also love Generals pencils.

Paint and solid colours

Inktense – pencils, sticks and half pan palette – all good.
Neocolor II watersoluable crayons
PRANG watercolor sets (cheap and cheerful – bought in Walmart)
Derwent aqua pen (Pentel do great ones too)
Winsor & Newton artist watercolour half pan set
The Master – mini brush cleaner pot
Art Master brushes (come in watercolour and acrylic types – cheap –
Rosemary’s brushes (hand made – gorgeous)
Rowney Graduate nylon brushes (cheap and last ages)

Unusual but Useful Things

Winsor & Newton Designer’s gouache in white
Koh-i-noor putty rubber (comes in a handy box)
MUJI self contained sharpener plus the red one is a cheapie I found.
Bulldog clips and elastic bands for securing pages while working in the
PVA/ glue pen/ magic tape/ double sided tape
hand refresher wipe from a cafe and tissues for disasters
credit cards for spreading and making marks
Paper tornillon for smudging pencil and charcoal
toothbrush for splatter and cleaning palettes
MUJI paper rolled eraser stick
Derwent pencil extenders (appeal to the canny scot in me for using every
last drop)
Craft knife (remember not to put in your hand luggage)
Lid off a milk bottle for pouring ink into.
I also take sealable plastic bags to avoid nasty spills and leakage from
the ink/ paint.

Where to buy

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