Budget sketch pack + January summer vacation

budget sketch pack

This is the sketch pack we’ve come up with for the Lewis and Clark College study abroad program in Morocco.  It suits the budget of a university student, especially when purchased in bulk: multimedia paper serves as inexpensive watercolor paper. The sargent watercolors are lovely and perfectly suitable for journal sketching (paintings will not be exposed to the deteriorating effects of the sunlight). Palomino Blackwing pencils are versatile (soft for a range of light and dark + long lasting attached eraser) if not cheap. I like the composition book not only for their great economy but also because the lines help us to loosen up and not be attached to the outcome. They also encouraging a bit of note taking to help us move back and fourth between visual and verbal observation.

You can see posts on Elizabeth’s materials, my little artist’s sketch pack and materials in general.

ocean watercolor

I used this paint set and a mini watercolor book to make this sketch.  Yesterday was grey and cold, my family and I drove to Charlestown, RI to research summer vacation ideas.  Someplace where we can stay with the boat in the water nearby.  Waiting for lunch, in a dimly lit restaurant, the thing that caught my eye to sketch was a photo on the wall, of the sea and rocky shore.

Bouquet with student grade paints

watercolor flowers

Sketches of a bouquet with cosmos from my friend Peyton, using a set of  student grade paints that we will be using for the Lewis & Clarke art lessons in Morocco. I was pleasantly surprised by the colors and pigment strength.  The drawback would be in their degree of lightfastness, which shouldn’t be an issue inside a sketchbook. (For more on materials see Ralph Mayer’s the Artists Handbook of Materials and Techniques.)

flowers, 1596

materials (Elizabeth)

Everything fits into the bag with room for my keys and pocketbook. The brush is one I have had for long time and the information has worn off. It is a Isabey petite gris, although I can not read the size. The pencil is a Palomino Black Wing. I sometimes paste other paper over the covers of the Moleskin notebooks since it helps me grab the one I want when I am flying out the door. I often bring a little tin too (Altoid tins work well) if I am going to be in, say, a museum or restaurant. I use them to sharpen the pencils into. I lost the lid for the  plastic water container a while back and put that little (upside down on the paint box) Chinese tea cup in the kit. While not ideal, there is usually water around and it has worked out so far. One thing I forgot to put in the photo is a sheet or two of bounty paper towel. I mention the brand only because the good stuff works better for painting, since its more absorbent. The little bits of paint around the edge of the paint box are dried up gouache. I have some inexpensive stuff from a Reeves set and a few tubes of Aquarell/Schminke. I like it because sometimes I want the opacity gouache gives. The paints are Sennelier. Margaret and I bought boxes like this to take to Morocco to teach with a few years ago and have been using this brand ever since. I love these paints and have added a few colours to the regular boxes, like Cad. Yellow Deep and a Naples yellow and an earth red, that is like an oxide.

Watercolor sketching materials (Margaret)

portable watercolor materials

In my travel sketch pouch (pictured above 6″x 9.5″, something like these or  these) I like to keep a 3″x5″ notebook (Elizabeth gave me a pack this may in Morocco) because they are tiny and can travel anywhere and a 3’x5″ water color sketchbook. The little moleskine and a pencil (especially the older ones which have grown shorter) fit in a pocket too. The water container (1 or 2 oz watertight jar) fits in there along with a couple of paper towels for blotting.

PAINTBOX: Sennelier half pan travel box of 12, to which I’ve added Holbien Cobalt turquoise, and Naples yellow Deep. When the Pthaylo blue ran out I replaced it with cinerous but i’ve been missing the Pthaylo. And the ultramarine was replaced with maybe a cobalt.  (I am more accustomed to using an ultramarine and a Pthaylo.) I’ve enjoyed all my paintboxes, each has its own charms.  I like a synthetic, round #10  or #12 BRUSH (something like this). Micron pen I use an 05(on the larger side but I like the smaller ones too). On Elizabeth’s advice I have been enjoying the blackwing PENCIL more and more, they are soft and make a dark mark but by varying the pressure you can get a wide variety of tones, and there is a terrific eraser right there on the end which is much handier than hunting around for a kneaded eraser.

watercolor sketching materials

Pictured above is a stack of my larger-scale sketch materials. That’s a multimedia SKETCHBOOK. The spiral makes it easy to use and it is an economical way to work with wet media.  In a pinch any notebook will do for dry media sketching and this month at staples these were on sale (back to school) for one penny!

*Please note that the underlined words are links to materials available online.