Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Welcome to my Travel Sketch Kit

I do not have to explain to you how important it is to have the right supplies for being able to do what you want to do.  And now that I'm trying to sketch and paint out in the world, I needed to find the right travel kit.  And I think I have it!  I know you want the details.

First, the bag.  I've used various containers over the last few months, often one of my African baskets, But while those worked adequately for some situations (say, hanging out at Starbuck's), it wasn't a good option for sketchcrawl sort of walks.  (Well, the one I did.)  So, I did extensive internet research, and came upon this bag by Tom Bihn, a travel bag company in Seattle.  This is the large Cafe Bag, a style of messenger bag that suited my needs perfectly.  (I agonized between the medium and the large for some time, then figured that there was only a few inches' difference and I'd rather have a bit too much space than too little.) It comes in all sorts of colors.  Mine is actually somewhat darker than the way it shows up in this picture.

Stunning green interior, isn't it?  So, you see the big zip pocket on this side, and the main compartment opens on top.

On the back side, there's another pocket -- stylishly slanted. 

 Oops, I forgot to take a picture showing the inside side pockets, but here's a picture from the Tom Bihn website that shows the handy side pockets.  There are also some tether straps that hook to rings inside -- one I use for my car keys, another for a little zipper pouch in which I put money and driver's license and a credit card.  I have a third pouch which I might use for colored pencils when I want to bring them along.

Here's what I carry inside, at present:

 Water bottle
Plastic deli container for water
Spray bottle with water
Watercolor palette (Schmincke metal with 12 half pans of color)
Tube of white gouache (as yet unused)
Pencil/Pen/Brush case 

Here's the palette open, by the way.  It's a very handy little size.

Oh, and I carry my sketchbook, which at present is one of these -- a Canson spiral-bound journal with watercolor paper.  It's about the size of my Ipad. 

Plus there's room to tuck in the personal Filofax that I use as my wallet if I want to bring the whole thing. I am totally in love with the little pencil case. 

I found it at Jetpens.com, and it's called a Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case.  I decided I wanted one container to put my pens, pencils and brushes in.  The fabric roll I made has just proven to be awkward when I'm sitting on a park bench somewhere.  So I figured that something that zipped and had a flap or two to hold items would work.  Those

Here's how it looks when you first open it, and here are the pens and pencils.

I'm finding my essentials are:
Two Preppy Platinum fountain pens (fine nib), one with black ink and one with brown (these pens are really inexpensive, about $4 each, but they're great.  I'm planning adding two more to this kit, for green and gray inks)
3 waterproof pens of varying point sizes
2 mechanical pencils, one of which is a new favorite sketching tool- a Faber Castell "clutch" pencil

On the other side of that flap, there's this, with some mesh pockets and more room for tall items:
Here's what I've got on this side:

Erasers (one regular, one kneaded)
A bit of sponge for texturing purposes
Rubber bands (to hold pages down in wind)
2 water brushes
a white opaque ink pen
a few sticks for scraping
3 travel watercolor brushes (size 8, 6, and 3) 

This set up holds everything I need, it's easy to use outdoors and holds things securely, AND there is room for more.  

Have bag, will travel.  And sketch.



Laure Ferlita said...

Great kit! Love the light colored interior so you can find what you're looking for!

Diane Perin Hock said...

Thanks, Laure! Yep, that bright green really does make a difference when looking down into the bag.

Anonymous said...

Just looking at your lovely kit makes me feel that I could sketch too. Well I do, but the sketch rarely bears more than a passing resemblance to the scene in question!