Travel Art Supplies

Travel is the perfect opportunity to get inspired. Beautiful views and novel experiences may make you want to break out your art supplies and start creating!

But lugging around a suitcase full of paints, pens and paper may not be quite as easy and enjoyable. Here are my packing tips for artists and the best travel art supplies and artist travel cases that will help you enjoy your trip.

Art Supply Travel Bags

Are you looking for a large artist travel case that can tote a good quantity of art supplies or a large format sketchbook or portfolio? Here are several art supply travel bags that have larger capacity and are perfect for hitting the road.

1. Waterproof, foldable carrying case for art supplies

If you need a large case for your art supplies you may like this waterproof and foldable tote. It has a large capacity which would allow you to store paints, ink, pencils, brushes, sketchbook and other supplies.

The interior is roomy and the extra zippered pockets on the outside are perfect for carrying paper or sketchbooks. It comes in three colors.

Check here to read reviews and see the latest pricing information for this carrying case for art supplies.

2. Artist travel case for large sketchbooks or portfolios

A chic bag that can be carried in one hand, worn as a backpack or carried with a shoulder strap, this artist travel case can fit a large sketchbook or portfolio as well as art supplies. It comes in three understated colors, making it one of the best backpacks for artists, I like this gray one the most.

The sketchbook carrying case by Tanchen measures 19.6 x 26 inches to carry larger format papers. You can also carry art supplies in the additional outer pockets like pens, pencils and brushes. I would use an additional pencil box or tote to keep the loose supplies contained.

Check here to read reviews and see the latest pricing information for this sketch pad carrying case.

3. Art supply bag on wheels

This amazing art supply travel bag on wheels is an excellent tote for those who want to stay super organized and need to take everything with them.

It has inline wheels and a telescopic handle, making it an excellent choice for those who don’t want to carry all their supplies on their back and shoulders. It also has many features that make organizes those fussy art supplies a breeze. You’ll find elastic loops for pens and clear pockets so that you can see everything. There are also removable interior dividers.

This art supply travel bag on wheels is great for painters and crafters who need lots of supplies.

Check here to read reviews and see the latest pricing information for this wheeled art supply case.

6. Backpack for art supplies

The ideal artist backpacks would have plenty of room for sketchbooks or canvases but still have additional pockets for brushes, pens, paints and other travel art supplies.

This large backpack for art supplies has a large zippered compartment measuring 26.5 x 20.5 inches, as well as pockets for palettes, pencils, paints, poster tube and whatever else you may need. This makes it one of the best backpacks for art students.

The straps make it function as an artist backpack but you can also carry it by the side handle in a briefcase style.

Read more about the backpack and get pricing here.

5. Wheeled artist travel case

Easily transport your art supples or crafting tools on a vacation or to a workshop in this wheeled artist travel case. It has several pockets for excellent organization and is not too big or bulky.

Check here for reviews and the latest pricing for this case.

Carrying Case for Art Supplies

Perhaps you are not looking for a large artist travel case but need a smaller carrying case for art supplies that you can fit in your suitcase or backpack with your other possessions or throw in the back seat of your car for a road trip.

1. Travel art easel with acrylic paint carrying case

This wooden set comes with a built in easel, which folds up to hold your canvas or painting pad. The drawer underneath will hold many small paint tubes, and the kit even comes with a set of you don’t already have your own.

This travel art easel is excellent for beginners to intermediate artists who don’t want to invest in a full easel, or for that weekend getaway where you want to bring your supplies in a compact and sturdy acrylic paint carrying case.

You could also use this easel case for other types of art supplies like charcoals or pencils.

Check here to read reviews and see the latest pricing information for this travel easel.

2. Paint brush travel case

You’ll find many varieties of a paint brush carrying case on the market, ranging from rollable fabric sleeves to hard plastic boxes. Here are a few favorite paint brush travel cases.

  • This canvas roll up paint brush carrying case is simple, lightweight and convenient for bringing several brushes with you. It protects the brushes better than tossing them in a pouch together.
  • A paint brush travel case that doubles as a paint brush stand? Yes, please! This zippered case securely holds 15 short handled brushes for watercolor, acrylic or oil painting.
  • This handy pop-up carrying case includes 12 high quality brushes for gouache, watercolor or acrylic paints as well as a mixing palette, sponge and knife.

3. Travel watercolor set

Watercolor is one of the easiest mediums to travel with but a good watercolor travel kit makes it even easier. Here are some of the best travel watercolor sets on the market.

  • Do you already have tube watercolors or gouache and just need a good watercolor travel kit? This airtight palette from Martin Mijello is my favorite. There are 24 wells for colors and several large areas for mixing. It is an excellent watercolor travel palette for longer trips or those who need large quantities of paint. It comes in different configurations as well.
  • Beginning watercolor painters can try this Cotman travel watercolor set that is so compact it can fit in your pocket. More advanced painters could swap out the included pans with their favorites. I use this set when painting in cafes or in the field.
  • Sennelier makes some of the finest paints on the market. Take a look at this petite travel watercolor set.
  • An aquabrush can be a fun addition to your travel watercolor kit. This set has 6 different sizes.

A few art supply packing tips for traveling artists:

  • Some traveling artists report that “paints” is an alarming word to airline security and prefer to call their supplies “artist colors” so as not to raise any red flags.
  • Include a typed sheet with oil or acrylic paints that gives ingredient and flammability information. Print out a small page and put it with your paints in case your luggage is searched.
  • Do not pack solvents of any kind when flying. If you need them, buy them at your destination.
  • Don’t bring any kind of liquid tube paints in your carry-on when flying. New rules increase the likelihood of your expensive paints being confiscated at security. Leave tubes of paint in your checked luggage or at home. Dry cake watercolors should be fine to bring on the plane. But perhaps you should check with the airline in advance just to be sure. Keep paints and markers in ziplock bags in case of spills or explosions.
  • Traveling with ink? Check out this guide to traveling with inks and calligraphy supplies by The Postsman’s Knock.
  • Try watercolor pens, pencils or crayons when traveling instead of messier paints.
  • Concerned about the ends of your fancy brushes getting mangled? Save the plastic sleeve that often comes with a new brush to use in your travel kit.

I hope this list of travel art supplies helped you find the perfect artist travel case or equipment. Do you have any hints for traveling as an artist? I’d love to hear them!


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