Happy Weekend, everyone! I had a question from a reader about the art supplies I like to take along on the road. So here we go...
Usually my supplies consist of a ziplock bag filled with the following:
- small palette of artist's watercolors (such as Windsor Newton)
- two Nigi Waterbrushes (one round, one flat; you fill the tubes with water -- very handy and actually a pretty decent brush)
- drawing pencil, pencil sharpener, and eraser
- small jar for water and a paper towel
- two pens for sketching -- such as the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and the Pen & Ink brand sketch fountain pen (fine point -- oh, and extra India ink, though I always seem to have bad luck with leaking bottles!)
- and a glue stick
Sometimes I bring along a few of my nicer watercolor brushes (round #6 and #8) and some watercolor pencils (I use those by Faber-Castell).
I've been experimenting with bound journals/sketchbooks over the last year, trying to find one I really like. Last year I took a large spiral-bound Canson "all media" sketchbook with me on our road trip. It has medium-weight, watercolor-type paper with a decent amount of texture so it works with pastels and charcoal, too. It gets the job done, but definitely buckles with wet mediums:
A much more refined-looking journal is this one below, which is not spiral-bound and has a nice gray linen cover -- made by Hand Book Journal Co. The paper is similar to the Canson -- enough texture to accept different media, but not so much that it hinders writing with a fine-tipped fountain pen. The rounded corners are an elegant touch too....
Much to my surprise, I think my favorite journal is this one by The Bee Paper Company:
It's not perfect, but I really like that the paper is relatively smooth, but still heavy enough to accept watercolor without problems. You get a bit of buckling, but overall it's no worse than the Canson journal. The pen glides over this paper so much easier, which is essential for me because I like to mix in plenty of writing. I don't think spiral-bound books are very pretty, but they sure make things easier out in the field!
Here's a sample from the Bee "super deluxe" book above (which is also the one I took to Malheur this year). This was done using my fine-tip fountain pen mentioned above.
The Pentel Pocket Brush gives a very different effect. A bit less refined, but you can sketch very quickly with this pen as it just glides across the page. These portrait sketches below were done with the same pen:
There you have it -- my favorite art supplies in one bag. BTW -- I've taken several cues from Roz Stendahl, whose journals I absolutely love. She recently did a free video series for Strathmore and her art supply recommendations in the last class are spot on.