Sketching gear organised and art materials packed!

Sketching GearI thought I would share with you what I have packed in my sketch kit for our big trip and then when I get back from my trip I will share with you the things that did not work and what I did not use! No doubt along the way I will babble here and share what is working.

So this is a photograph of what I am taking. Let me describe it in more detail.

Sketching Gear -sketch booksI am taking 2 Daler Rowney sketchbooks of 150 gsm cartridge paper, that are bound in landscape format. This will be either a delight or a curse I am not sure yet, as being landscape they open out quite large and working with them in cramped space might be a problem but I do like the size. A page measures 27 cm (10 half inches) by 21.5 cms (8 and a half inches) I like a bit of elbow room as I was taught to draw from the shoulder a smaller book feels a bit frustrating at times. I am taking 2 as my regular journal/studio journal activity chews through a sketchbook in about 6 weeks. I will be away 9 weeks so I figure since I have just started one of the books on September first, I will go through 2 sketchbooks.

watercolour pencilsIn the pencils rolls I have a set of Derwent water-colour pencils which as you can see are not new. When out and about, I can use these, then when home or in this case when back to where we are staying, I can add water.
I also treated myself to a set of their new Inktense pencils. I have done a few swatch tests  but as yet have not really used them. When I tested them,  I loved the intensity of colour in this product line so I will let you know what I think of them. Both sets are carried in pencil rolls to protect them as too much banging about can break the leads.

Sketching Gear watercoloursI will carry a set of watercolour paints in field box which I have used for years. Next in plastic carry pack which is made to be able to show airport security what bathroom items you are carrying. In it, I have some water soluble graphite pencils, a small spritzer, 4 water brushes, ( I am a glutton for brushes)  and a small plastic water container. I also have, a few sheets of kitchen towels, tissues and hand wipes to help with clean up. These I will replace as I run out.
I may add some regular brushes as I will have some evenings to play in my journal too. I am still thinking about it.

Sketching GearNext is my drawing gear which is also held in a clear plastic carry pack. I have a set of Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens which I love. They are a set of 8 black pens with various nibs. In the clear plastic bag is bull dog clips to hold flapping pages of a sketch book in place, graphite pencils HB, 2B, 6B and woodless graphite pencils 2B, 6B, pencil extenders, pencil sharpener that catches shavings, a plastic eraser and a kneadable eraser.

In the next clear plastic airport security bag (I don’t know what I would do without these) I have scissors, tape glue sticks, double sided tape, washi tape, and small knife. This bag will get packed in my luggage that goes in the hold as taking on the plane with me will not be allowed. Basically I grouped all glueing and cutting materials together in this bag and I will probably use it of an evening when back at where I am staying rather than carting this stuff around with me all the time. I also have a small packet of paper ephemera which may get added.

Sketching Gear bagA trip to a luggage store solved what bag I will carry all this stuff in as I spotted a bag that is part of a packing system meant to keep clothes in order. I thought that it could keep art gear in order. It is double sided square bag with a handle. Many of these types of packing systems don’t have a handle but this one does which means I can carry it around easily. One side holds all my gear with plenty of room to spare and the other holds the sketch book.

Sketching Gear bag 3The lot zips up and I can carry it as is or if I am out for the day it fits easily into my small back pack. The weight is such that I can walk for miles without a problem. I think however I will be carrying it as it is in most places. It is like carrying a very small suit case or large handbag. Hey there is even extra space to stuff some shopping in!

Sketching Gear bag 2The fisherman’s chair has a strap to sling over the shoulder or that too can fit in my back pack. I also will add a water bottle, wipes for my glasses glasses, sun glasses, and some sunblock.

Sketching Gear bag 4Hopefully I have not forgotten anything. I will let you know what I used and needed and what I did not require.


An Illustrated Journey is already well thumbed – a review

illustrated journey book coverI have had a very self indulgent week browsing Danny Gregory’s latest offering An Illustrated Journey.

Since I am saving my pennies to actually go traveling in September, I put off buying this book but then gave in to my desire to own it and I dont regret that at all.

Danny Gregory’s An Illustrated Journey highlights personal travel sketchbook journals of forty-three artists, illustrators, and designers. I loved seeing the full-color reproductions of page spreads from the artists’ travel sketchbooks.

Danny Gregory points out in his introduction how keeping a travel journal enhances the experience of travel.

When we document a journey in a sketchbook, we discover the difference between vacationing and travelling: we become adventurers, discovering new worlds through a thousand tiny details. Unlike those who hide behind pudgy mystery novel in a pina colada while plopped in a poolside lounge chair the travel journal keeper clears his mind refreshes his eyeballs and builds a cache of enduring memories.

Each artist in this book, shares a little biographical history and their thoughts on why they draw and how they approach drawing when travelling. It is illuminating to discover a common thread for these artists is that drawing while traveling not only enriches their travel experience but also enriches the memory of traveling as drawing helps them to remember each place with greater clarity.

Thoughts that are shared with the reader cover topics such as their response to drawing in public, common issues such as managing time constraints associated with travel and the process of drawing on location, philosophical points of view such as finishing the drawing on location or completing the page in the hotel room at the end of the day. I particularly enjoyed reading about the kit these people travelled with. As someone who hopes to be drawing while traveling next month, I found it revealing to see the choice of sketchbooks, art materials and the equipment these artists carry in order to draw on location.

My favourite piece of advice comes from Danny Gregory as in the introduction he says

Keep a travel journal and draw the things you see everyday on your trip. The point is not to create works of Art that will hand in galleries or museums but to form a permanent record of your experience, one that you can return to when you want to recapture the nuance and the revelations you discovered on your trip. Don’t worry about the quality of the drawings. Don’t be intimidated by the many lovely images you will soon discover within the pages of this book. Make your own images and you will make your own memories. If you persevere, your persistence will result in a lifelong habit that will take on many adventures to come.

I have learnt much from seeing the world through the eyes of these artists and found Danny Gregory’s latest offering more than inspiring. I will return to An Illustrated Journey to re-read snatches and learn more, but for the moment the book does what it sets out to do which is to make me want to grab my drawing gear and go outside to sketch!