Holy moly, tomorrow night I will be headed out of the country for the first time on a family vacation to Costa Rica! Since I’ve never been on a trip of this scale, I decided to take a travel journal with me for the sole purpose of drawing and documenting my trip. I always take photos (and I’ll certainly be doing so!) but I really like the idea of journaling each day and each adventure, and capturing those memories while it’s fresh in my mind.
Figuring out what supplies to pack for my travel journal has been on my mind for months. As you all probably know, I primarily work in Copic markers. However, packing Copic markers with me wasn’t going to be very practical. I didn’t want to have to select colors for a limited palette, and I also didn’t want to have to haul markers around with me everywhere. I debated just doing inks, but I knew with the lush landscape and tropical setting that I’d want color to capture that. So I decided to go with watercolors. I’ve been really into the watercolor and ink look lately and figured this was a good time to give it a go myself! Here’s my final list of art supplies I’m packing:
1. Pentel Aquash Waterbrush in Small, Medium, and Large
2. Koi Sakura Watercolor Field Sketch Set (24 Colors)
3. Travelogue Watercolor Book 5.25″ x 8.25″
4. Regular black pen + sketch pencils
5. Washi tape
6. Copic Multiliners
7. Sakura Gelly Roll Pen (white)
8. Pentel Brush Pen
9. Eraser + mini pencil sharpener
It’s been years since I’ve ever used any watercolors, and even back then I didn’t have a large amount of experience with them. Knowing I didn’t want the first time I used them to be ON the trip, I decided to do some prep pages in my travel journal just to get a feel for them.
This is the cover page. It’s kind of random in terms of composition, but that’s what happens when you’re just playing around! I did little illustrations of Costa Rica’s national tree (arbol de guanacaste), national flower (la guaria morada), and national bird (el yiguirro). Also, ‘pura vida’ (meaning ‘pure life’) is their ‘official’ unofficial slogan (aka, super commonly used but not made nationally official by the government I believe?).
The next two pages were used for a packing spread! Frannerd did an awesome What’s In My Suitcase illustration video and I thought that would be a great way to practice laying in flat color, as well as doing tinier work. As you can see, I definitely need a lot more practice with the watercolors! Also, sorry my clothes spread is pretty darn boring…what can I say, I own mostly black guys. #gothkidforlife
Overall, I’m thrilled with the idea of keeping a travel journal. I’m giving myself no rules for it; draw what I want, with or without color, neat or messy – anything goes! If you want to keep up with the art I create on my trip, be sure to follow along with my art Instagram (@myopensketchbook). I’ll be posting updates there when I can – we have internet at the house we’ve rented, but I’m not sure how great it is so fingers crossed. To see photos and such from the trip, be sure to follow my personal Instagram (@lifeofkaynyman) where I’ll be sharing snaps from out and about!
No blog posts for me next week, but I’ll be back to my regular Tuesday/Thursday post schedule in May. Prepare to be bombarded with posts about the trip! The traveling part of this adventure makes me nervous since I haven’t traveled much, but I’m also incredibly excited. Nine days of ocean, beach, exploring, and hopefully hiking a volcano. Fun fact: the volcano we planned to hike (at Poas National Park) is currently closed due to ‘unpredictable volcanic activity’. WHAT. Plus, it’s my birthday on Sunday, which is our first full day there! It’s looking like 29 may be a hard birthday to top…
Do you travel a lot? Have you ever kept a travel journal? What supplies do you bring with you? I’d love to know!