Everybody always wants to know what's in my sketching bag, so I thought I'd take a post and open up the bag to show what materials go with me lately. This bag came with my Plein Air Pro easel. It's actually way too small for that. Although it just barely holds the easel, it cannot fit any of the supplies you need to go along with an easel --- like paint and water and mosquito repellent! Meanwhile, my sketching supplies were in need of a larger bag, so it was re-purposed to accommodate them, and the easel moved into a roomy backpack. This messenger-style bag fit the bill perfectly, with numerous pockets, a nice carry strap, and it's super lightweight.
With the front flap up, you can see all those great pockets for pens, pencils and brushes. The left hand pocket holds all my fountain pens. I've been experimenting with lots of different inks lately.
Now for that BIG back compartment....Let's take all that stuff out of there.
Inside you'll find:
- sun visor
- sun block
- bug repellent
- extra pair of sunglasses
- inexpensive reading glasses
- a couple of small watercolor sets
- date stamp and ink pad that I always stamp my sketches with
- pack of Pitt brush pens
- masking tape
- small bottle of water
- pack of tissues (or cut up paper towel sheets clipped together, or both)
- palette cup that clips onto the watercolor set
- extra clips which are always needed for something
- masking tape
- white gouache
- plastic ruler
- small plastic container with kneaded eraser inside.
This is what the little black watercolor set in the photo looks like when it's opened up. The middle row is supposed to hold a travel brush, but I put extra half pans in there so I can carry more colors. This is my favorite set for sketching. When I use a waterbrush, I don't need to clip on the little palette cup. I set a piece of sponge into a full pan to clean the waterbrush as I go. I can just wring it out when it gets soaked. If I need a larger one, I use one of the clips to attache the extra sponge to the kit.
To the items shown above, I might add:
- A bottle of drinking water
- Car/house keys
- Binoculars (depending on where I'm going to sketch)
- Snack/Sandwich if I'll be out all day
- Pack stool with shoulder strap
Materials lists of course change over time. Sometimes I empty a lot of it and go with gouache, or colored pencils, or even acrylics to work with in my sketchbooks. Part of the joy of working in sketchbooks is multi-media experimentation.
I hope you enjoyed this browse through my sketching bag.