Thursday, September 8, 2011

Traveling Sketch Kit

Traveling sketch kits don't have to be complicated affairs with all kinds of fancy-pants expensive art supplies. In fact, the simpler the better. I've pared mine down to the micro-sized, streamlined, absolute necessities.


That little pile has a sketchbook, drawing pen, travel palette, waterbrush, and paper towels. Total measurements are a mere 4.5" x 6" x 1.5". It lives in a quart size Ziploc freezer bag (not shown). It will also fit in a cargo pants pocket.

The Sketchbook and Pen


The sketchbook is a Pentalic Recycled Travelers Sketchbook, 4" x 6", with 80 sheets of smooth ivory 60 lb (100 gsm) paper. The paper will take a light watercolor wash if I'm really sparing with the water. I love the ivory paper. Makes pen and ink drawing an absolute joy.

The pen is a Wing Sung #235 Gold Crosshatch fountain pen, fine nib, loaded with Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink. The pen may be the smoothest writing fountain pen I own and it was only $5.00. Yep, just $5.00. It is now on special at isellpens.com for only $1.98.

The Palette and Paintbrush


The palette is a 3" x 4" eyeshadow compact purchased at the dollar store for a buck. I dug out all the eyeshadow and filled it with watercolor tube paints.

The tin was also bought at the dollar store for a buck. I think it was marketed as a gift card tin. Found it among all the wedding googah. It has room for the compact palette and several folded paper towels.

The waterbrush is a Niji/Kuretake mini waterbrush, 6" long capped, with a 12 mm brush tip. This is the same size tip as the medium waterbrush but with a more compact barrel.

The ubiquitous rubber band holds it all together.

The Paint


Because someone always asks, this is the paint in the palette:

Top row, L to R:
Winsor & Newton - Scarlet Lake
MaimeriBlu - Primary Red - Magenta
MB - Burnt Umber
MB - Burnt Sienna

Middle row:
W&N - New Gamboge
MB - Raw Sienna
W&N - Cerulean Blue
W&N - French Ultramarine

Bottom row:
MB - Perm Yellow Lemon
W&N - Perm Sap Green
Shinhan - Jaune Brilliant No. 2
Shinhan - Indigo

This sketch kit set up will work in just about any situation on the road. It is very simple to carry because it doesn't have a lot of bits and parts to juggle. Plus, it was cheap. That really appeals to my tightwad frugal self.

8 comments:

Serena said...

The perfect travel kit! :)

Karen Blados said...

Thanks for sharing. I might try the watercolor in the eyeshadow compact. I have a small travel set, but it's not that small and I'd love something I can throw in my purse easily.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this information. I'll go shopping tomorrow morning before 10 if I get up early enough. Will take my Sucrets tin if I remember it. And you can put the short brush on our next Dick Blick co-order. dee

freebird said...

Sounds like a great kit! I'll have to look in my drawer at the eye shadow boxes. I never wear any so might see if they'd work better as a palette!

Speck said...

Karen - A compact like this holds a surprising amount of paint and will last quite a while. I sometimes use this palette at my desk just because it is so handy.

I loaded the paint only in the left-hand side of each compartment to allow for mixing within each well. You can see my purple mix in the ultramarine, orange in the yellow, and black in the burnt umber.

Laure Ferlita said...

Very clever kit! I like the portability of it. I've not heard of Shinhan watercolors before. Since they're in your palette, it seems you like them. Would love to hear more about what you think of them.

Congrats on 22+ days of being smoke free!

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Nice kit, I love seeing other people's sketch kits, especially frugal people who make their own palettes and/or sketch books. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Speck said...

Laure - I bought the Shinhan colors on a whim because of the price - currently $2.50 for a 15 ml tube of artist grade pigment. I got Leaf Green (lime green), the Jaune Brilliant No. 2 (peach), and Indigo.

They perform the same as W&N as far as I can tell. The big difference is the intensity of the color. The are OMG neon flourescent compared to W&N. A little dab will do ya. If you want your painting to leap off the page, Shin Han is the paint to use. I have to mix them with something else to tone them down.

I like my colors clean and bright, but Shinhan was a little too much for me. I'll replace those colors with the MaiMeriBlu versions once they are gone.

I prefer MB over W&N because the colors aren't as muddy. I love my MB paints. I bought W&N because all the Cool Kids were using them. I don't get the W&N love.

Today is Day 36 of smoke-free. Woot! I'm still hangin' on.