INDISPENSABLE TRAVEL COMPANIONS
In twelve tablets (godet) of handmade watercolors there are all (or almost) "the irrecoverable colors of the sky". For some years I have preferred those of Nila Colori, an Italian company that produces extremely refined single-pigment watercolors. However, I continue to use watercolors and temperas of other brands: the Germans Schmincke, the British W&N, the Americans Daniel Smith...
In contravention, not without complacency, to the somewhat fanatic conformism of certain "schools of watercolor", I always have in my bag a tube of covering white tempera (the permanent by W&N is excellent); used wisely it adds gloss and does not remove transparency.
A set of marten hair brushes (for example the W&N series 7 or the squirrel hair brushes used by the Jaipur miniaturists, difficult to obtain, but sharp as blades). Graphite (preferably mechanical pencils: goodbye pencil after September 11, no cutter to sharpen!), nib (which I dip in watercolor), bamboo (for calligraphy), porcupine quill (excellent for removing colour: I found out I launched a small trend among watercolourists), stamps, sponges, soft eraser.
Shells for water. Or glass and porcelain. Never the horrible plastic telescopic cup.
Moleskine notebooks, (stock up, always at least two in your pocket, one accordion-style and an album), but also look for papers on the spot, bind them in albums or stick them on your notebook. Japanese papers, ancient papers that have already lived, crazy papers that need to be persuaded to drink water and colour.
This is the formula of my small portable atelier, which I travel with.
In a bag I keep the set of watercolors, brushes and pencils. In the backpack a camera and three albums of different formats: one for the drawings, one for the travel diary, another, larger one, to set up the actual booklet page, where drawing and writing will converge to complement each other.