Loading Selected Work...

A No-Excuses Travel Kit

Materials with the first drawing of an oak tree outside Tablas Creek Winery

 This last weekend we were in the Central Coast with a group of University of Redlands Alumni on a wine-tasting adventure. I put this small kit together that would easily fit in my purse to have “just in case.” I have been in too many places without materials and either waste time finding something to use or been frustrated. I included a “palette” of 6 colors (2 yellows, 2 reds and 2 blues) in a pastilles box. Empty pans are available at many art stores and online. Any metal box such as altoids work well. A white lid would be preferable since it would show the color better than this metallic one…but I had this one already. I also included a Niji waterbrush and a pentel ink brush with water soluble sepia ink. The Moleskin watercolor sketch book is 5″x8″ and makes a nice wide panorama when opened. The book has an elastic band which holds it tightly closed. That’s all I used for this work.

My chance to draw came with an “oops” on the bus drivers part…he took a corner a bit too close and got hung up. We later found out that buses do this routinely. When it looked as if we’d be there awhile, I got my kit out and drew the oak tree. As time progressed I began another drawing and had time to add color.

Tablas Creek #2

We stopped for lunch at Denner’s Winery and I had just a small amount of time before we were off again. In this drawing you can see the advantage to the ink line. I only had time to add color to the central part of the drawing but I like the way the lines extend that. I later found out that my nephew’s young vineyard is in the distance. I visited with my sister before we came home and hadn’t realized the proximity when I drew this.

From the patio at Denner Winery

At the last winery, I let everyone else go taste and I just drew. Vines are in the foreground and the oaks with their dark foliage are a wonderful contrast to the warm tones of the vines and golden hills.

Last winery stop

Each of these drawings is as I left them at the time of drawing. The second image took about 30-40 minutes and the final two under 30 minutes.

Having a small, portable watercolor or drawing kit is a real advantage. I hadn’t expected to have time to do anything, but have learned the hard way to be prepared.


  1. Brenda
    October 6, 2010

    You are amazing… finding inspiration and beauty at a moments notice!

  2. Laure Ferlita
    October 10, 2010

    Love the captured moments and such an excellent use of time!

  3. Teri Gammalo
    October 13, 2010

    wonderful Judy!!
    Thanx for the tips!
    Teri G

  4. Nancy Standlee
    April 13, 2013

    Can you tell me what the two reds, two blues and two yellows you like.. were the same for the color wheel in a previous post.. thanks.

  5. Judy Schroeder
    May 25, 2013

    Nancy- the yellows were azo yellow & quinacridone gold; the blues ultramarine & cerulean; the reds permanent rose and quin. Red. I'm not completely sure about that last red. I do switch around a bit.


Leave a Reply