Materials List for Travelling – Oil

Materials List for Travelling – Oil

My preference when painting in a warm climate is to use watercolour. But I will bring along everything on the enclosed lists. So I’m hoping that most mediums will be catered for. But please let me know if you use another.

I do love to paint in gouache. But gouache dries very rapidly out of doors. So it’s a struggle and not to be recommended.

Oil Painting list of materials for traveling By Paul O’Kane

We will be out and about plein air painting every day, weather permitting. So keeping your kit as lightweight as possible is vital. If in doubt…ask me, or leave it at home. 

Easel I would recommend a simple sketching easel available at.

As for canvases, they are too heavy and bulky for travelling. So I buy ready made canvas pads

There are various sizes available. The 10x12” suits me fine. Each pad has 10 sheets. The pads sit easily on the sketching easel. If you are painting exclusively in oil, then a few pads might be wise. I’ll explain on site how these can be framed.

I’ll be using ShinHan oil paints, from

I use 50ml tubes, but in truth 20ml tubes would be more sensible for traveling.

Colours: Two reds.. Cad Red and Alizarin Crimson Two Blues… French Ultramarine & Cerulean Blue. Two yellows…Perm. Yellow deal and Cad. Yellow light. An earth colour… Raw Umber White…

I use the Alkyd white as it dries rapidly and makes homeward transport much easier. The 37ml tube might do you for a week. Or if you use a lot of white, as I do then you may prefer the 200ml tube.

Medium. Most artists use a standard medium such as Winson & Newton’s Liquin. I prefer a quick drying medium and so use ‘Glaze medium’

though I note that Jacksons only deliver by road. The quicker drying time means that paintings are dry within a few days and easy to pack. (Sheets of kitchen wax paper between canvases makes transport easier). I carry the paints in a toilet bag. On the airplane I pack all tubes in zip-lock bags and place them in the hold. They have a flashpoint over 55° but I suggest you attach a notice such as the one below.

If you are transporting medium… Its flashpoint is more suspect. I take it as carry on hand luggage in two 100ml clear plastic bottles (purchased in Boots). Place it along side your toothpaste. Security assume it a toiletry.

Sometimes I use a melamine palette that scrapes clean easily or sometimes a tear-off paper palette.

You will need a small medium dipper

I use synthetic brushes. Long flats. Two or three brushes is plenty.

White spirit bottle. I use a Nalgene bottle. Say a 250ml HDPE to take on site. There is a DIY shop a few blocks away where white spirit can be bought.

Palette knife.

Charcoal stick…optional. I tend to sketch with a brush and paint. Dirty white spirit container. Again the Nalgene bottles are good. Rags are best, but kitchen roll will do. Available in the local shop. Serious plein air painters use a parasol when painting in the sun. When travelling I tend to pick a shady spot and not bother with a parasol. Peeked cap.

Apron optional. Though some are available at the studio.

Seat optional. I usually stand when oil painting. The studio has a selection of portable stools that you can borrow rather than squeezing one into your suitcase.  Bulldog clips.. various sizes.

My demos will be A3 - A4 size. Bigger paper is tricky to pack for plane journeys. I enjoy doing two or three small half hour ‘oil’ sketches in the same time as others might do one large singe piece.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

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