Top 5 Best Watercolor Travel Kit: Top Picks for Artists on the Go

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Watercolor painting is a revered art form that allows for a blend of precision and spontaneity, often used by artists who are on the move and inspired by their surroundings. Travel watercolor kits have become essential for such artists, combining convenience and quality. These kits are portable palettes that often come with a range of watercolor pans, a brush, and sometimes even a small water container, making them perfect for capturing landscapes, urban scenes, or anything that catches the artist’s eye while away from the studio.

When selecting the best watercolor travel kit, it’s important to consider the quality of the pigments, the variety of colors, the size of the palette, and the overall durability of the kit. The pigments should be vibrant and long-lasting, with a selection of colors that allows for a wide range of hues when mixed. Weight and size are also crucial; the kit should be light enough to carry without hassle and compact enough to fit into a day bag. Durability comes into play when considering outdoor elements; a sturdy kit can withstand travel rigors and the occasional drop.

We understand the importance of having a reliable travel watercolor kit that meets the needs of artists at different levels of expertise. After extensive research and practical testing of various models, we’ve identified options that stand out in terms of color quality, portability, and ease of use. Our goal is to ensure that every brushstroke captures the vision of the artist, regardless of where their journey takes them.

Top Watercolor Travel Kits

We understand the importance of capturing inspiration no matter where it strikes. That’s why we’ve curated a selection of the best watercolor travel kits for artists on the go. Our picks are compact, easy to use, and offer high-quality materials to ensure your creations are vibrant and enduring even when you’re far from the studio.

1. Winsor & Newton Compact Set

We think this compact watercolor set from Winsor & Newton offers the right balance of quality and convenience, making it a top pick for artists on the go.


  • Excellent pigment quality with bright, lasting colors
  • Highly portable design, perfect for painting outdoors or while traveling
  • Comes with thoughtful extras like a water container, bottle, and sponge


  • The included brush may be too small for some artists’ preferences
  • Limited mixing space on the palettes for those who like to blend a wide range of colors
  • The size of the half pans might be too small for projects requiring larger amounts of paint

Winsor & Newton’s watercolors consistently impress us with their brilliance and purity. Just recently, we unfurled this petite field box and were delighted by how much functionality is packed into such a small space. The colors pop on paper, offering an exquisite transparency that can elevate any watercolor work, whether sketching scenic views or crafting detailed illustrations.

Portability is where this kit truly shines. We’ve found it to be an indispensable ally during our plein air escapades. It tucks away effortlessly into a side pocket, ready at a moment’s notice. The clever design that includes compartments for a water container and a sponge adds a level of convenience that’s hard to find elsewhere in such a compact offering.

Our painting sessions with this kit were pleasurable, though the size of the brush gave us pause—it’s quite petite. Some of us with larger hands found it a bit fiddly, preferring a fuller brush to cover larger areas more efficiently. However, for finer details, it’s remarkably adept. The color selection is broad considering the kit’s size, but those accustomed to larger palettes may desire more space for mixing shades. Nonetheless, when we evaluate this set for what it’s designed to do—facilitate excellent watercolor painting on the move—it hits the mark with precision.

2. Arteza Travel Watercolor Kit

Artists who value quality and portability will find the Arteza Travel Watercolor Kit meets their needs splendidly.


  • Impressive variety of vibrant and shimmering colors
  • All-in-one kit with a convenient wooden storage box
  • Non-toxic materials, safe to use for artists of all ages


  • Limited color mixing possibilities with 12 half pans
  • Some may find the included brushes not up to professional standards
  • Metallic finishes may not be preferred by all users

Having recently taken the Arteza Travel Watercolor Kit on our plein air painting excursion, we were impressed with the variety of colors packed into this compact kit. The shades are vivid, and the addition of iridescent and metallic paints adds a touch of magic to artworks. Having everything organized within a sturdy wooden box makes it easy to set up and start creating wherever inspiration strikes.

The convenience factor is undeniable; carrying around brushes, watercolors, and paper in one neat package eases our travel worries. Included items and the storage solution embody thoughtfulness, ideal for spur-of-the-moment trips. The materials, being non-toxic, bring peace of mind when younger family members show an interest in painting alongside us.

However, we noticed limitations in mixing customized shades due to the finite number of half pans. Furthermore, while the brushes cater well for beginners and hobbyists, seasoned artists might want to supplement this kit with higher-end brushes for finer work. Some pieces we worked on didn’t require the metallic sheen; thus, there were moments when we felt the options could have been more diverse in terms of finishes.

Overall, this Arteza kit is well-suited for those seeking the joy and convenience of painting on the go without compromising on color quality. Each component of the set complements the others, creating a harmonious user experience that encourages creativity at every turn.

3. CHROMATEK Watercolor Kit

We think this watercolor kit is a fantastic choice for budding artists due to its range of colors and comprehensive accessories.


  • Generous selection of vibrant, easily mixable colors
  • High-quality water absorbent brushes
  • Includes a portable water blending brush pen ideal for travel


  • Pigments may lack the intensity of professional-grade paints
  • The included paper might not suit all watercolor techniques
  • Brushes, while high in quality, might not satisfy the most demanding artists

With the CHROMATEK Watercolor Kit, we’ve discovered that the color payoff from the 26 vibrantly pigmented watercolors is quite impressive for a set geared toward beginners and intermediate artists. The hues are brilliant and show good transparency, allowing for a wide range of artistic expression.

The eight synthetic brushes emulate the performance of real squirrel hair, displaying excellent water retention and making washes a breeze. Even after rigorous use, they bounce back, keeping their shape and precision. It’s a pleasure to watch the brushes dance across the watercolor paper included in the kit, which absorbs the pigment well, laying down the groundwork for stunning artwork.

What particularly stands out is the convenience of the blending brush pen, which we’ve found to be an asset while painting en plein air. It’s simple to fill and even simpler to clean, streamlining the watercolor process when we’re away from the studio. The palette and masking tape further add value, ensuring we’re ready to create wherever inspiration strikes.

All things considered, this CHROMATEK Watercolor Kit serves as a reliable companion for those who crave creativity on the go. It’s packed with essentials to help us hone our craft and enjoy the delightful nuances of watercolor painting.

4. CHROMATEK Travel Kit

f you’re passionate about painting on the go, this CHROMATEK kit provides a fantastic range of colors alongside essential tools, making it an attractive option.


  • Offers an extensive variety of colors
  • Conveniently includes additional art supplies
  • Lightweight and portable for artists on the move


  • The overall quality might not satisfy a professional artist
  • Some pans may contain less pigment compared to high-end brands
  • The included pad might be small for certain art projects

Upon unboxing the CHROMATEK Watercolor Travel Kit, we were immediately taken with the 128 shades laid out before us. The vibrant colors ranged from deep, luscious blues to fiery reds, and our brushes couldn’t wait to dance across the paper. In our session, the watercolors glided smoothly, and the added tools like the pencil and eraser felt like thoughtful touches that show CHROMATEK understands what artists need when they’re far from their studios.

Their thoughtfulness doesn’t end with the spectrum of colors. Tucked within the package were swatch sheets, which proved invaluable. We created a visual guide that aided in selecting the perfect shade without the guesswork. Stepping outside, the kit’s size was a boon. Our canvas was wherever we chose, be it a park bench or a café table, thanks to the sleek design and the handy velvet bag that kept everything organized.

After several uses, we observed that while the paints performed admirably, pros looking for very high-quality pigments might find the set a little lacking. Yet for beginners or hobbyists, this limitation is barely noticeable. Moreover, the paper pad provided a nice starting point, but we could see how some might find its size limiting. We recommend pairing the kit with a larger pad to give your creativity the room it needs to flourish.

In summation, CHROMATEK’s portable watercolor kit stands out as a comprehensive and accessible gateway into the world of watercolor painting while ensuring that your adventure in art is as colorful and inspiring as the places you’ll take it.

5. Funto Watercolor Travel Kit

We think this kit is a gem for any traveling artist that values convenience and quality.


  • Exceptionally compact and easily fits in a pocket
  • Versatile with foldable palettes for ample mixing space
  • Adds convenience with its durable metal clip attachment


  • Limited color selection due to size
  • Small paint pans may not suit all painting styles
  • Leather cover might require extra care over time

When we took the Funto Watercolor Travel Kit out for a spin, its portability was a standout feature. Slipping this tiny workhorse into our pocket, we set out to capture the quaint charm of a street-side café. The kit unfolded into a surprisingly comprehensive palette, complete with nine vibrant colors.

The twin foldable palettes were a delight, giving us more than enough room to experiment with hues. Amidst the hustle of city life, the sturdy metal clip kept our setup anchored to the sketchbook, a small touch that made a world of difference in our urban sketching adventure.

Though we were initially skeptical about the durability of such a compact kit, the leather case held up impressively against the elements. With these small cakes of color at our fingertips, we found ourselves more inclined to stop and paint the roses, so to speak. However, for those expansive landscapes or larger works, the kit’s size could pose a challenge.

We understand that seasoned artists might crave more variety, and the small paint wells may not cater to a broad brush’s sweep. Also, one must be mindful of the leather protective cover, which may demand maintenance to keep it pristine. But for quick sketches and on-the-go creativity, this kit ticks all the boxes for us.

Buying Guide

When we seek the best watercolor travel kit, portability is paramount. We want a kit that’s lightweight and compact, allowing us to effortlessly transport it. The size and weight should complement our travel needs without compromising the range of colors.

Quality of the pigments is also crucial. We look for kits with high-grade, vivid colors that offer good lightfastness to prevent fading. The pigmentation should deliver rich, consistent color that blends well on paper.

We should consider the selection of colors provided. A balanced mix of warm and cool tones gives us versatility. It’s beneficial if the kit includes a good range of essential colors that can be mixed to create others.

The type of pans, whether they are full or half, affects how much paint is available to us. Also, the pan layout should facilitate easy access and mixing, enhancing our painting experience.

Durability of the kit’s materials can’t be overlooked. We need a sturdy case that can handle the wear and tear of travel. A well-constructed kit protects our colors and brushes during transit.

Included accessories, such as brushes, palettes, and sponges, add value to our kit. We prefer those with high-quality tools that are sized appropriately for the kit and our painting style.

Lastly, the ease of cleaning and maintenance will keep our travel kit in optimal condition. We opt for kits that allow us to easily replenish colors and offer simple methods for cleaning the pans and palette.

Key Features to Consider:

  • Portability: Weight and size
  • Pigment Quality: Vividness and lightfastness
  • Color Selection: Range and mixability
  • Pan Type: Full vs. half pans
  • Durability: Construction of the case
  • Accessories: Quality and appropriateness
  • Maintenance: Ease of cleaning and color replenishing

By prioritizing these features, we ensure we choose a watercolor travel kit that meets our artistic needs while on the move.

Frequently Asked Questions

When selecting a watercolor travel kit, certain features enhance the painting experience on the go. Durability, quality, and affordability are considerations that vary with the expertise level of the artist and the intended use. Let’s explore some common questions to aid your choice.

What are the essential features to look for in a watercolor travel kit?

We consider portability, color range, and mixing surfaces to be fundamental. A compact, lightweight design with a sturdy case is ideal for travel. Kits should include a range of colors that can blend to create various hues and incorporate space for mixing.

Which brands offer the highest quality watercolor kits for professional artists?

Professional artists should seek kits from brands like Schmincke, Winsor & Newton, and Daniel Smith. These brands are revered for their superior pigment quality, longevity, and consistency.

What should beginners consider when choosing their first watercolor travel set?

Beginners ought to prioritize ease of use, educational resources, and cost-effectiveness. A set with a guide on basic techniques and a good selection of primary colors can provide a solid foundation.

How do mini watercolor sets compare to full-sized kits for travelling artists?

Mini sets are exceptionally portable and convenient for quick sketches and outdoor sessions. However, they typically offer a more limited color selection and a smaller mixing area compared to full-sized kits.

Can you recommend watercolor travel kits that offer the best value for money?

For the best value, kits from Sakura Koi or Prima Marketing are recommended. They are affordable without compromising on quality and include accessories such as brushes and palettes.

What are some of the most durable watercolor kits for plein air painting?

Plein air painters require kits that can withstand the elements, like those made by Sennelier or Van Gogh. Their tough casing and secure pans ensure the kit remains intact in various outdoor conditions.

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