photo of sketching tools laid out on a wooden surface

Tiny Watercolour Kit

As I planned a short week’s trip to visit my parent’s home, I packed my tiny watercolour kit, and realised that is worth making a tiny post about!

So here is my tiniest travel kit, for when space is as a premium and you won’t get much chance to sketch, but don’t want to regret the opportunity that you might. 🤷🏽‍♀️

This is a kit that travels in a little pouch in my handbag or backpack. I carry a small notebook along with it. Sometimes it is a regular book, sometimes a watercolour sketchbook. Often in these situations I don’t make detailed sketches and use colour only as small accents or light washes, so regular paper works fine too.

Things I need:

1. Waterproof black pen(s) or brush pens

2. Watercolour paints

3. Brushes

4. Rag cloth (or tissue)

5. Pencil(s) , eraser, sharpener

6. Surface to draw/paint upon

7. Water

8. Clips to hold the page down

9. Support for the book

All this can be encompassed in the below!

My tiny watercolour kit:

photo of a small sketchbook and pouch with stationery on wooden surfaceOk, I know it’s not that tiny. But the pouch isn’t full either. I could add a lot more things if I wanted, but I always, always have this pouch in my bag.

Coming back to my essentials – how did I manage all of them here?

Here is the whole ‘tiny watercolour kit’ expanded.

photo of sketching tools laid out on a wooden surface with labels1. The silver pen is a Fude nib ink pen with waterproof Sailor Carbon Black ink in it.

2. My trusty Blackwing (or any 4B to 6B pencil) with Kneaded eraser and sharpener (3 and 4). The little hexagonal box fits in a trimmed eraser, preventing it from picking up dirt. Sharpener is the type that collects its own dust.

I could eliminate the pencil, eraser, and sharpener if I exclusively draw with pen.

5,6,7. Brush and water are taken care of by using a Pentel Aquash (5) or Chinese make water brush (6). Water brushes are nylon-bristled brushes which have some storage in the body. That reservoir holds water (or watery ink if you prefer) and on pressing, dispense the water into the bristles. I will be the first to admit, since I started really painting with watercolour, I don’t like water brushes. Buuuut, in a tiny kit, for tiny moments or opportunities, I would rather have a water brush than look for a water container, fill with water, etc. (7) is a tiny spray bottle to rewet the dry paints in the tin. This is optional.

The water brush also reduces my need for a rag cloth and I can make do with some tissues I have in my bags. (not pictured here!)

8. A simple mid-size binder clip to pin the tin to the side of my book.

9. Some half pans glued into a blue mint tin represent my watercolours. It can hold 2 full and 2 half pans, or 6 half pans. Tiny watercolour boxes like this also allow me to try strange, limited palette combinations. Rest assured; I will make another post on this in detail!

10. I sometimes carry a small ruler, though honestly, I can’t recall the last time I used it!

11. I don’t need a support because the book itself has a sturdy cover. The single binder clip can clip the mint tin to the side of my book itself.

12. I recently have been trying this accordion sketchbook from Brustro (with hot pressed paper). It has been super nice and fun to work on. The size, which felt limiting at first, is perfect for small 5–10-minute sketches if I happen to get the time. I have also earlier tried a small A6 watercolour sketchbook from Hindustan Trading Company.

There, that’s it! Tiny watercolour kits for smol watercolour opportunities.

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into one of my travel kits.

Take this as a sign for you to make up your own tiny watercolour kit and go out for a coffee or a jog!

Here is some more inspiration of tiny watercolour kits by other artists and urban sketchers I follow!

Liz Steel’s urban sketch kit using the Micro portable palette (don’t you want it too?)

The Pocket Palette (which I really want!) from Art Toolkit. They have a bunch of cool stuff you should check out!

Below are products I recommend, with some affiliate links.

As an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. Ramya Ramakrishnan Design is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program as well as an affiliate participant with Art Lounge. These are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking shopping websites.

Clicking on these links will not charge you anything more but may help me earn some commissions from your purchases to keep this site running! 🙂 I can keep trying new things to share with you all.

Etchr’s ceramic mini palette is available from Art lounge. It is beautiful and fun looking, and a tad on the expensive side. But if you want small yet have a ton of colours, this is perfect.

They also stock this lovely box with attached water container that can be opened and filled, by Winsor & Newton. The only caveat is that this Cotman watercolor field kit is filled with W&N’s student grade colours. We could always get this kit, finish using up the Cotman colours and refill the pans with Artist grade paints!

If you have a fairy godmother or a benevolent gift-giver in your life, add this to your wish list instead – a professional grade field kit from Winsor & Newton itself!  with 12 half pans and a water container and brush. This design is similar to this Cotman field kit, also with 12 half pans.

For all purchases on Artlounge, you can also use my coupon code ‘RAMYARAMAKRISHN’ for an additional 8.5% off!

Perhaps I should make a roundup post of all the small pocket-friendly watercolour kits out there? Some of these can fit into your plein-air or urban sketching bags perfectly.





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