Thursday, January 22, 2015

Art on the Go

Ever since I started taking art supplies to the field in my attempts to draw birds and plants and landscapes, I've been refining my equipment.  For some time, my standard kit contained pencils for initial sketching, waterproof ink pens for final sketching, plus water-soluble colored pencils and a water brush in case I wanted to add color easily.

The colored pencils, though, while easy to use for instant color, had one problem -- there were too many of them!  So many colors were needed to get just the right result, either with straight color or a layering of two or three, that it seemed as if I spent more time sorting through them than using them.

So I've recently switched to a portable watercolor kit instead -- one simple tool to mix any color I want.  I resisted it in the past, wanting to keep dry supplies, because I'm a klutz -- but having watched people using it without making a mess, I decided to give it a try.  Here is my current field kit:

Small watercolor palette, pencils, Sakura Micron waterproof pens, a brown water-soluble pen, water brush, and 6x9" watercolor paper pad.  All fits neatly into a 10x13" over-the-shoulder bag, into which I also put paper towels and a water bottle.

I have a slight addiction to buying sketchbooks -- in all sorts of sizes.  Here is what I pulled off my art supply shelf just now:

I have three more that I keep at the office, because you never know when you might want to sketch something!  I usually don't take anything bigger than 9x12" with me in the field.

Here are a few of the sketches:

Today at work I wanted to sketch during lunch -- alas, it was raining, so I wandered around my building looking for inspiration.  The corridors and offices and people were not doing anything for me, but I finally found a collection of plants at the end of an out-of-the-way hall.  I plopped down on the floor and because my wanderings had not left me much of my lunch time, I skipped the pencil sketch and drew directly with ink.  Then I mixed up a few watercolors to fill it in.

This is a very quick method for capturing a small scene, and the new kit works well for me.  I'm looking forward to doing more.

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