Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sketching tools

Before heading out to do our traditional fall apple picking Sunday, I thought I'd share with you what painting tools I take with me on my trips. So here is my tool kit (Top left to bottom right):

Super Deluxe Aquabee Sketchbooks (2). I love these sketch books. They come in different sizes and have 60 pages of paper that can handle watercolour sketching very well. Forget the molskins and the other expensive sketchbooks. You don't want to be counting the papers in your sketch book when you are out there and just want to sketch and play. These are head and shoulders above all others. I have even used a shelf-edging as a tight grip for these. I use a 4"x6", a 6"x9" and (not shown a 9"x9")

Our local art store also sells their own brand of watercolour blocks and pads. I use these all the time when sketching especially if I know I need a heavy wet-in-wet effect. (5"x7")

My trusted glasses (I can't see anymore).

My W&N souped-up metal box with 27 1/2 pans.

Next are my brushes, pens and pencils.
The pens here are Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (S,F and M).
I carry 3 Derwent Sketching water-soluble pencils (HB,4B,8B) along with a white Faber-Castell watercolour pencil.
I also carry a mechanical pencil for quick drawings before I paint.

The brushes are all travel brushes. I carry:
3 Isabey (#4, #6 kolinsky and a #00 squirrel Mop).
A connoisseur #8 Kolinsky Pocket
and a #10 Escoda Kolinsky.
These are more brush than I will ever need for sketching or painting on the road, but I like to have my options.

Next comes a dollar store sprayer. I use that to wet my 1/2 pans before using. If you do that, you will be able to get the same consistency from your dry 1/2 pans as from your tubes. Actually you can get a thicker consistency if you need it.

A white gauche. I almost never use it, but it is still there!

A kneaded eraser. A very handy and needed tool (excuse the pun)!

And my 2 film canisters with magnets at their base. These hold my water and hold well to the W&N box.

I carry all these in a Dollar store pencil pouch and take a water bottle along of course.

Well there you have it. My trusted tools. I carry a larger block if I am painting a full outdoor painting, but I usually don't travel far with these. I really don't have time for anything larger than a 6"x9" when I am away on business trips.


  1. Now I see what you use to make these wonderful sketches and watercolors when you travel. You travel very lightly I might add and I like that. The film cannisters are good ideas and best of all recycled. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So many things to remember to bring, though. Do you ever forget anything? Like the much needed kneaded eraser? It's fun to see what you bring with you, I see it is a lot of dedication!

  3. Do you have the stuff just ready to go? Or are you rushing around like a headless chicken just before you go out, looking for your glasses?

  4. These tools are left in the pouch all the time except for the brushes. I don't like to keep the brushes closed up except when I am traveling. They need to breath.

    The brushes also serve for my back pack set which I use when I go out painting on weekends (more on that later) hehe!

  5. I always enjoy seeing what other artists use when painting pleine aire. Usually, I keep it very limited -- easy enough to carry on my bike. This has its limitations since I may find out that I needed a wider brush for a wash, or a small seat because there are too many ants on the ground! Keep up the good work.

  6. Nice kit. I enjoy seeing what others carry in their kits.

  7. Anonymous9:06 pm

    hi again i was the girl going into seventh who left a comment about the bijou box i was wondering what you think of faber castell pencils i have a few of their products and they work very well for me next time i go art supply shopping i hope to get their art pens

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