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Things to know when travelling with Art Supplies

Travelling is back and how; And with new regulations around travel, carrying Art Supplies with you on your next vacay can get a tad bit stressful. In this blog, we enlist 4 tips (elaborated) for those of you wanting to travel with art supplies. Read on to know more.

1. Hand Luggage vs. Check-in Luggage:

Hand/Cabin Luggage

When it comes to air travel, hand luggage tends to be the most restricted of all, so it is always best to put whatever fits into your checked-in bags. If you have to use your hand luggage space for your art supplies, here are the most important things to look out for:

  1. Liquid restrictions - Keep all your liquids in a (20 x 20 cm) transparent and sealable bag which you can pick up at most airports. The maximum amount of liquid you can pack is a combined 1 litre. No container size can exceed 100 ml and prepare to put your art supplies together with your toiletries!

  2. You can include the following without restriction: paper, brushes, watercolour pans and other dry supplies such as crayons, pencils, etc. Keep these together in a case, or wrapped in a towel, so if your luggage is selected for a check, you can easily show that you are carrying art supplies that are suitable for transporting in a hand luggage without having to unpack your entire suitcase.

  3. You are allowed to carry tubes of paint on board, be it watercolour or acrylic. Oil paints may pass security checks, however, we advise putting them in your checked in luggage. Take good care following liquid restrictions, limit the number of paint tubes to the essentials or, if you can, put them all in your checked-in luggage.

  4. It is a smart idea to print out an MSDS (Material Security Data Sheet) for all your chemical based items whether they are travelling in the cabin or cargo. This will serve as a proof that your materials are safe for air travel. You can download these data sheets from from the manufacturer's website.

Check-in Luggage As a rule, use this space for your restricted items that cannot travel in the cabin with you, but are still deemed safe for air travel. Here is what to look out for:

Put all your liquid-based items (paints, mediums, etc.) in your checked in luggage if possible. It is less likely to cause you a hassle and you are not restricted on volumes. Make sure that you check each item is safe for air travel.

  • Keep all your art supplies in a separate bag. They will be easier to access and kept separate from the rest of your luggage's content in case you need to show them.

  • Keep a list of your art supplies as a short-hand and keep them together with your MSDS sheets.

  • Strictly no flammable or combustible materials - no sprays, varnishes or solvents with 'dangerous' labels. You will not be able to bring these on board, not even in the cargo. MSDS sheets are your best friends here: look out for the item's flashpoint. Anything well above 61 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) is legally suitable for air travel, but consider excluding any items with a flashpoint close to this number.

    1. Items need to be in their original container with labels on. Unidentifiable products are likely to be confiscated.

    2. Paints should be kept in a waterproof bag whether in the cabin on cargo in case they leak.

2. Medium vs. Weather:

Understanding the weather of your travel destination is a very important aspect and this will certainly impact the materials you carry with you on your holiday. While dry mediums such as sketching (pen/pencil) and pastels are quick drying, complex mediums like oil painting can take longer to dry, thereby impacting the way you travel with your art. For example, lets assume that you are travelling with oil paints; Oil painting materials are products of the natural world so they are tremendously responsive to temperature and humidity. Oil colors dry faster in warm weather. Solvents and the solvent in painting mediums evaporate more quickly.

A great advantage for those who want to speed up the painting process, heat may be a disadvantage for those who are used to a longer open time. TIP: If you need more working time, and you are travelling between diverse weather conditions, you can alternate between a quick drying medium and a slower drying medium.

It is recommended that you check the weather of your destination before hand and plan your choice of medium to avoid any disappointments later on.

3. Road Tripping Tips:

For those of you planning road trips in cars - we urge that you not leave paints and supplies exposed in the oven-like trunks. The viscosity of paints such as acrylic and oil colors is much lower (paints are more fluid) when they get hot. Storing paints in hot cars and trunks will increase the stress on the paints and can cause more oil to separate from the pigment. Keep your paints wrapped up in a cool & dry place to reduce separation.

4. Containers & Cannisters: Carrying finished or unfinished art works when travelling can be an uphill task. Fret not, for we have you and your art work - covered! The best way to travel with art is using an adjustable carrying tube or a portfolio folder.

For art supplies, we recommend the following:

  • For brushes & pencils: We recommend carrying a brush roll. Brush rolls are made from washable canvas cloth and can carry brushes, pencils, pens or tools for art safely and in a compact fashion.

  • For paints and allied products: We recommend carrying an art supplies box from brands like Art Bin to carry art supplies in a compact and multi-layered format.

We hope that the above information makes travelling with art supplies a lot easier. Let us know your thoughts on travelling with Art supplies in the comments below.


Source Credits: Gamblin | Lawrence Art | Tortuga


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