Following on from last week’s article on how to choose your perfect Art Holiday, here’s a list of 7 essential items to take with you. Believe me, you’ll miss them if you forget them!
Having assisted with a couple of painting holidays and courses in the past, I have seen first hand the importance of keeping organised on an art holiday. The main challenge with an art holiday is ensuring that your art work is transported safely back home, and that you don’t get wet paint or pastel all over your luggage and clothing. Most art holidays will issue a list of materials that you will need to take with you in order to get the most out of the experience. We suggest that it’s well worth asking the art holiday organisers if you can order your materials and have them delivered directly to the venue as it will significantly reduce your luggage load and give you a little more peace of mind (just make sure you remember to mark the delivery address with your details so they know which order is yours). Here are a few handy solutions that will help you avoid Art Holiday Angst.
Fixative may not be an option if you are flying abroad for your art holiday, but if you are going somewhere where you can take sprays and aerosols, take a can of fixative! You will be thankful for protecting your charcoal studies and pastel paintings. We particularly like the Spectrafix Degas Fixative with its all natural, odour-free ingredients. It also comes in a pump-spray bottle rather than an aerosol, making it a little more aeroplane friendly!
2. Art Box
Although a plastic carrier bag may seem to do the trick, if you just keep your paints and brushes in one when going on an art holiday the chances are the paints will get squashed and leak and the brushes will get damaged. An Art Box is a rigid yet lightweight container with compartments that will allow you to not only take care of your materials but keep them organised too. This will save valuable time when out painting. In our opinion the Art Bin art boxes are worth browsing, but we also like the Mapac Art storage bag for heftier loads of art kit. Click here to see some great options for protecting, storing and carrying your soft pastels.
3. Liquin or Siccative
A common problem at the end of an oil painting holiday is finding that your paintings haven’t actually dried yet. You may want to consider using Winsor and Newton’s Liquin as a medium when on holiday to combat this problem. Liquin is an Alkyd resin based medium that accelerates drying and is available in 3 forms – Oleopasto for impasto work, fine detail for fine detail and light gel for thinner consistency work. For those who are not keen on the jelly like consistency of Liquin might like to take a bottle of siccative with them – a couple of drops in your linseed oil painting medium will also accelerate drying (although not too much or your work may dry too quickly and crack). Winsor and Newton’s Griffin Alkyd Oils and Gamblin Fastmatte Alkyd Oils both benefit from faster drying times as they are bound with Alkyd resin – which is what Liquin is made from.
Don’t forget your apron! Nothing more annoying that ruining your favourite holiday clothing whilst painting. Our favourite apron is of course our own adjustable apron which was designed in response to a survey we carried out on our Facebook page. Watch this space for the smock that we also have in the pipeline, too.
You will be thankful for these, trust me! The clips look a little like bulldog clips. They will take hold of 2 paintings face to face by the edge of their stretchers ensuring that the wet surface of your painting will not be touched by anything that might damage it. The canvas carrier has a very comfortable handle and will hold 2 wet paintings of differing sizes, making it very easy to transport wet paintings.
6. Field Easel
Not all painting holidays will have sketching or field easels for you to borrow and so if you think you will be painting out of doors you will need to check if you need to bring one. Our French Style Box Easel is very handy for storing a few tubes of paint and brushes in as well as offering a sturdy easel on which to work.
Of course any palette will come in handy on a watercolour painting holiday, but we wanted to give the John Pike Watercolour palette a special mention as they are to our minds the perfect art holiday palette. This heavy duty plastic will sustain even the hardest of knocks so you know it won’t get damaged in transit.
Header image: from Cornwall Painting Holidays (http://cornwallpaintingholidays.co.uk)