I just thought it would be fun now that I’m home to do a quick review of what worked for me in my travel kit and what did not. To recap, let’s visit this post.
I had a nicely filled bag to take with me to Brazil. Two sketchbooks, a container for brushes, a small container for water, my original pencil case with various sizes of Micron’s and my watercolour kit, and a second kit with Prisma markers and pencil crayons as pictured in that last post.
First off, I would like to check out a camping store at my earliest convenience to pick up a little stool that can fold to nothing and go in my bag. I know these exist because the other Urban Sketchers talk about them. I was able to use other spots to sit but recognize that if I want to get picky about angles and perspective, it’s either going to be sitting on the ground or learning to stand and draw. Some also swear by that as the eye level perspective is better in their drawings. We’ll see.
The big bag I took was too heavy to cart around for long stretches of time. Frank bought a small nylon bag that could carry like a back pack and we took that with us everywhere. The easiest things to accompany me were the smaller sketchbook and the original case with Micron’s and paint. I should also mention my friend Leanna gave me two water brushes for Christmas! What a game changer! I only used the larger one but it really did the trick for any kind of sketch. The bigger book, while I really love the size, is truly a hindrance to work with regardless of the surface it sits on. Once open it is over three feet long and it can’t fold over itself with the type of binding it has. It is still the biggest, most beautiful Moleskine I have ever laid eyes on and I will endeavour to fill it beautifully. But for travel sketching it really was not the most logical choice.
Sadly my pencil crayons and markers did not get used to their fullest extent either. I know the way these pencil crayons can perform, and I treated them no better than my first set of Crayola’s. See the picture? I was just….colouring. Not really attempting to blend at all rather than splash colour on the page, and even having the markers with me I was too protective of my numbered amount of Moleskine pages to let loose and try out what they could do. Buying paper to use can be tricky. If it’s too nice, the pressure mounts to produce your most epic work or at least to get the maximum possible use out of it. I’m devising ideas of drawing on one half of each sheet, so the reverse can be used on the other half, and then where the marker bleeds through I can cover it in text. We’ll see.
I also brought all my usual brushes with me in a nice protective case that still managed to squish some of their brushes. The little water container held up nicely and did not leak, but I found the new waterbrush, once filled, was able to do the trick for any on site painting. I used a few of the other brushes but in the future unless my travels were specifically to sketch, I would likely just take the smaller water brush, which fits nicely in my pencil case.
So that’s it! It does simplify things nicely. I never leave the house now even for work without grabbing the pencil case – I keep a sketchbook there too that I’m trying to fill gradually over my lunch hours with sketches. I’ll eventually decorate my cubicle with them is the plan. I do want to push the envelope more with the markers and pencil crayons and I am considering a month long or even two week long stretch of only using them, so that I am forced to embrace their full potential. Sketches on that sure to come if I follow through!