What to pack on a painting holiday in Italy?


Chances are, if you're going on an painting or other art holidays in Italy, you'll be going in the warm enough seasons (most likely from April to October).  Depending on the destination in Italy, you'll have to add swimwear if you're heading for a painting holiday in a hotel that has a pool like Azenart Holidays. Lucky you! Regardless, you'll need to bring all or some of the material needed to paint (and/or draw). 'All or some' because some painting vacation companies provide some of the material such as the easel, stool and a board which they will lend you for the duration of your painting trip. Having such material furnished makes your luggage that much lighter, and your head free to focus of the more pleasurable aspects of your art holiday

List of things to bring on a painting trip: It goes without saying that you'll want to bring quality art material.

  • A good light-weight carrying case or a wheely bag. Bear in mind you'll have to fit a board in the bag, so make sure it has the right measurements (length and width).

  • A hat or cap. Italy is quite sunny.

  • Paint brushes: Unless you are used to painting with your own brushes and know perfectly which brushes you'll be using on your trip, bring at least a dozen paint brushes, different sizes and for different uses. If you are a beginner, you'll want to ask a sales person to assist you in choosing adequate paint brushes. A good paint brush is not necessarily a very expensive paintbrush. There are very decent brushes that will suit you fine for your painting trip. The main difference with expensive brushes is that the less expensive brushes may not last as many years as expensive brushes.

  • Paint. Before you leave for your painting holiday in Italy you'll want to decide which medium to choose for your trip. Acrylic and watercolour are quite suitable as they both dry quickly and hence you can be on your way shortly after you're done painting. Oils however take days to dry! You'll need to add a wet-canvas carrying case to your list if you have decided to paint with oil paints when on your art trip. You'll also need solvants, although most painting holiday travel groups will allow water-soluble oils only. 

  • Wet-canvas carrying case: if painting with oils.

  • Canvas boards: These are flat canvases on a cardboard back. Two things about them: They can be framed later, they can get heavy and take up space if you bring many of them.

  • Pre-cut canvas from a roll. Lighter, flater, can also be framed later at home.

  • Canvas frames: you'll need plenty of extra space in your luggage if you bring canvas frames.  

  • Paper: if you are going on a watercolour painting trip. Be sure to buy quality paper. It is not that much more expensive and will save you a lot of frustration, especially if you are a beginner. 

  • Drawing paper if you're planning on drawing only.

  • A glass for dipping your brushes in water.

  • Wet-wipes or cloth for wiping your hands.

  • Pencils or charcoal for sketching

  • Watercolour pencils if you like working with them.

  • A sketch pad

  • Appropriate clothing that you can easily move your arms and legs in.

  • Comfortable shoes.

  • Personal toiletries and belongings.

  • A smartphone for taking photos you might want to paint later.

  • An English-Italian digital translator, unless you're going on a group painting holiday.

Unless otherwise provided, you will also need:

  • A board or a cardboard folder that your can use as a support for painting (unless otherwise provided).

  • An easel: because you are most likely to walk on a painting holiday, you'll want to buy a light-weight easel if at all possible!! Quality aluminum easels are easy to carrying and foldable, just right for painting trips.

  • A lightweight shelf for your easel or a foldable stool to set your things on. 

  • A foldable stool to sit on.

  • An inflatable cushion could be a good idea depending when you're painting.