I am packing for India!!!! (painting gear for my upcoming adventure)

Hey, time really flies!! It’s almost there! 😃

Next week, I will fly to India and will able to enjoy 17 awesome days in a different colorful culture… I am so looking forward to discovering it… and to painting it, of course! 🎨
Plus, I will have the amazing chance to lead a watercolor workshop there and I am so excited about it!! 😝


Leaving for India!! 🕌

Actually, I only made really few trips during these 15 past years and I even realized I have never been out of Europe yet!!
So, I am sure it’s going to be a life-changing adventure for me! Because of India and because of to the watercolor workshop too. 😊

I am going to visit Delhi, Varanasi (Benares) and Agra (Taj Mahal) and I will create a watercolor sketchbook in a travel journal style. 😀


As a firt step of the adventure, searching for lightweight fabric shirts (with long sleeves) and sandals shoes during winter was quite adventurous!! 😅
Hey, I even managed to, at last, find a sun hat yesterday. 😉



Watercolor paper 📖

Second step : bring enough paper!! 😁


It’s, of course, difficult to be sure how much paper I will need but I wouldn’t like not to have enough, of course!!
So, what you can see, above, are 12 big sheets of watercolor paper torn into 4 pieces each. Each piece being folded in half to create sketchbook pages. 😊

I have yet to sew them! 😉

At the end, I may create several sketchbooks with my sketches, probably one for each destination (Delhi, Varanasi and Agra). 😌


The paper I use is some Fabriano Artistico (100% cotton) 300 gsm (140 lb) cold press paper. ☺️

This enormous paper stack is quite exciting but, I admit, slightly scary too!
While I was folding the pieces, I felt a bit anxious about having to paint on aaaaaaaall thoooose sheeeeeets!!!! 😱 😅
I know I never tire of painting, though, so I am sure I will be just fine. 😊

17 days are a lot and it will be a blast to paint all the time, to teach, to discover India, to take photos, to enjoy great spicy food, to meet wonderful people, to buy colorful scarves, 😛 to visit incredible mosques, to eat cashew nuts and so much more!!!! 😝


Palette and paints 🎨

And I need paint, of course!!! 😃



Here is, below, a list of the watercolor paints I am going to bring in India.
Most of the brighter paints (especially the first row) are Sennelier paints and most of the dark and granulating colors are from Daniel Smith.

Below, S means Sennelier and DS Daniel Smith. 😉 Quin is for “quinacridone”.

First row, in my palette (bright colors) :
S Yellow Light, S Green Turquoise, S Cobalt Blue, S Cinerous blue, DS Quin Rose, S Red Madder Lake, S Cadmium Yellow Orange.
Second row (mostly special colors) :
DS Green Apatite Genuine, DS Cerulean Blue, DS French Ultramarine, S Titanium White, DS Naples Yellow, DS Goethite, DS Quin Gold.
Third row (special colors and darks) :
DS Zoizite, DS Perylene Green, DS Indigo, DS Moonglow, DS Piemontite Genuine, DS Quin Fuchsia, DS Transparent Red Oxide.

As I had some rooms near the pans, I added a piece of sponge to wipe my brush. 😊


Squirrel and sable watercolor brushes 🖌

And, with it, I will have my beloved natural hair brushes, of course!


The two, to the lefthand side, are my go to brushes :
– A pure squirrel mop, for most of the painting part, to get juicy washes. It’s a size 4 (European brush reference…).
– A sable thinner pointy brush. This is the Winsor & Newton Red Sable Pointed Round size 8 (be careful, I don’t recommend the smaller sizes… The size 5 I tried was not good). This one is for thick pigments added wet in wet, and for the details adding and calligraphic marks.

I bring three additional brushes too (in addition to my spare brushes, in the case I would lost something) :
– A one inch squirrel flat brush for geometrical shapes.
– A kolinski sable round brush my sister gave me as a gift. It’s the best quality sable but not with a point so it’s great for some round subjects. It’s also the best to lift paint and for splattering!
– A synthetic fun sword brush (medium Pro Arte sword). It’s fun to use and can be a good choice for long lines like wires and to loosen up with juicy calligraphic strokes.

So, that’s it! I think I am almost ready!!! 😀


Painting training 🌆

To set the mood, to start to work on Indian complexity and colors and to keep training myself at sketching people, I made a few sketches from photos, these days… 😝


It’s just awesome to imagine I am going to try to make these kind of sketches, on location, from next week! People will be even more difficult to catch from life, for sure! 😉


Keeping in touch during the trip 🖥

When in India, I may try to offer a few simple blog posts but I am not sure how easy or difficult it will be (to find time and to actually do it). When I am on the go, and with other people, my priority is always to enjoy the place and the people the most possible and not to spend too much time looking at a screen. 😌

So, most of my sharing may be done on Instagram and Facebook (That’s my Facebook page, related to watercolor) as it’s easier to handle on the go. Please note that you don’t need a smartphone or a tablet to enjoy my Instagram sharing! You can visit the Instagram gallery on your regular computer at this html address.

If you like photography too, you may be happy to discover a few pics from India on my Facebook profile and, if I can, on my photographic blog.


Hopefully, I will write a new blog post before leaving. 😉

Take care and create! 😃

29 thoughts on “I am packing for India!!!! (painting gear for my upcoming adventure)

  1. I do wish I could join you. You can find handmade paper (Khadi) in India, either as loose sheets or bound into very attractive journals. The khadi paper may not have the sizing you are used to, so will be very absorbant, but it is a beautiful paper. Try it!

    Nancy (lived in India two years)

    • Hi Nancy,

      Thank you so much for the advices! 😀 I am sure I will love these kind of “raw” Indian paper.
      I envision to buy some if I can, maybe not for painting but to use on the sketchbook covers or as additional paper to take a note and then adding it to the sketchbook. I will be nice!

      Maybe I could find fun brushes to try too?

  2. There’s wonderful watercolor papers in India too! An Indian friend told me about them. I ordered some and lovely ve it – just can’t recall the name. Have a wonderful trip!

    • Terry,

      Yes I am sure of it but, as I don’t know them and I am used to paint of Fabriano these days, I prefer to bring some.
      Plus, this allow me to prepare my sketchbook pages by now. It would be a lot of work to do that on location. 😉

      Tell me if you recall the name! ☺️

  3. Anne-Laure, Don’t forget that during this workshop we will have days of touring with guides.
    You won’t be painting all the time. Learning history, stories of India as you travel is a big part of this workshop.
    Thank you for this post.

    • Hey, Nancy! 😉

      Yes, I know that we have visiting days full of various places to visit. 😉
      However, taking pictures and sketching is a bit my way to enjoy and to comprehend places and atmospheres…
      That’s why I may try to fit a few really quick sketches during these days, if I can.

  4. Khadi is the paper. Make sure to buy the smooth or hot pressed- it is equalto our cold press. Khadi cold pressed is like working on a cemment road

    • Thanks for the advice, Suza! I will take the smooth sort, especially if I envision to write or sketch on it.
      And for the sketchbook covers, I may choose depending on how they look and how I feel about them…

  5. Wow, look at that stack of paper! I am not taking that much, for sure! It does sound like we should look for some of the Indian papers( Khadi) to try, though. These new sketches are quite lovely.

    • Evalyn, yes, loool!! I may be a bit mad. 😉
      But I know I will like to fit a quick sketch here and there, maybe during lunch or dinner, or because I saw a strange fruit at a market or something… So I need room to make all these sketches, along with some bits and pieces of watercolor to demonstrate some things to the group, and the demo sketches and so on!!

      Hopefully, we will find these nice khadi paper, yes! I hope so.

  6. You are very brave to go to India being that it is soooooo uncomfortably hot and sooooo humid there, good luck with that and best wishes, you sound so happy and excited & I’m looking forward very much to seeing your watercolours.

    • Magdalena, and I am wondering, too, how it will goes with the watercolor, between the sun and the humidity!…
      I hope you will like my sketches!!

  7. BOn voyage!!!!!!!! Les couleurs seront magnifiques !!!!!!! JE vous souhaite beaucoup de plaisir!!!!!!

    • Merciiiiii ! Oui, ça va être quelque chose, c’est sûr !
      Mes couleurs sont prêtes !!! L’Inde n’a qu’à bien se tenir !!

  8. You will have a wonderful time. Take a light jumper/shawl for early mornings in Delhi and Agra – it’s nice during the day but can be a bit fresh very early.
    I’m not sure how much sketching stuff you’ll be able to take into the Taj Mahal complex…I would check. They are pretty strict about what you can take in.
    The light in India makes everything look like you’re on a film set. It makes everything beautiful.
    I look forward to your posts and sketches.
    Yolanda (living in India)

    • Thank you so much, Yolanda, for the kind words and advices! I bring a cardigan and a jacket for the mornings and evenings, and scarves too.
      I might buy a pashmina shawl too! ☺️

      You’re right, it may be tricky in the Taj Mahal. During the workshop days, we will sketch it from outside, from the garden the other side of the Gange, especially. I am sure it will be a gorgeous point of vue too!

      I really hope you will like my sketches of your wonderful country!

  9. I so look forward to your sketches Anne-Laure…….loved your work at the symposium in Manchester. Intrigued as to how you chose your colours……what is your Instagram name? And where is your watercolour fb page?

    • Hi Anne!

      Thank you so much! I am very happy you like my work.

      About the colors, I started with 4 colors 3 years and a half ago and, since then, my palette kept growing, while I was adding new hues to be able to mix the colors on paper more, granulating pigments to be able to create gorgeous textural effects, dark ones to get more contrast and so on.
      I reduced the palette just a bit for the trip so that the participants to the workshop don’t feel overwhelmed and confused but I had to keep all my favorites, of course. I paid attention about keeping a lot of the bright colors I like to use for people clothing or shutters or doors of the houses, or railings in the cities and so on, hoping I will have all the colors I need to paint easily these wonderful saris and Indian bazaar!…

      About Instagram and Facebook, the links are in the article above, where the text has a red color.
      But here are they again for you. ☺️
      I am @annelaurewatercolor on Instagram and the gallery is here : https://www.instagram.com/annelaurewatercolor/
      The Facebook page is called Watercolor Sketching and here it is : https://www.facebook.com/sketchingwatercolor/

      See you there!

  10. Welcome to India. When and where would be your workshop? If love to attend. Also in case you need more paper Canson, Fabriano and Artistico are easily available in Delhi. Also Sennelier and Mejilo colours. You’d have your itinerary all planned but if you have time I’d love to meet you and me get you to meet my local art community. Hope you have an enjoyable stay.

    • Aarti,

      Thank you for your message with the information about the art products we can find in Delhi.
      Could you share the address of some great art shops there? Where we could find watercolor product but above all nice Indian products like the khadi paper or other gorgeous papers, maybe some special brushes ?… Thanks in advance!

      That’s a bit tricky for the workshop and the meeting as all of it is planned but I am going to think about it and talk about it with the trip organizer. ☺️

  11. Oh, I envy your upcoming trip!! I so admire your w/c skills and dreamed of joining this group but didn’t have the courage to do it. Shame on me!

  12. What a great mini-watercolour kit!

    I especially like the clear pencil-case…..marvellous for that scramble for the right colour when on a roll!

    Have a wonderful trip!

    • Thanks Jo!

      I had the clear pencil-case while buying underwear!!!!!!
      They was sold in it and that’s true that it’s really handy to put my tubes!

  13. I’m Heading to Delhi for the first time on March 2nd. We will likely get to Agra but probably not Varanasi as we have a wedding in the south to attend.I truly enjoy your work and hope that you can post some sketches. It will give me inspiration for my own. If you find an elderly American lady stalking your group, it will probably be me. If we don’t meet by chance or get too bogged down by the heat to get out of the bar, I hope to enjoy them after the trip. Cheers

  14. Hi Judy,

    We will head to Delhi at the end of the trip to take our flight backs on March 5th but I fear we couldn’t have the time to meet during this travelling day…
    I will try to share a few sketches. Feel free to follow my Instagram gallery to get them sooner!

    I am sure India is going to be wonderful! Enjoy your trip too!

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