A Sketcher’s Traveling Kit

I left for a short (4 day) trip to India 2 weeks ago and got back last Friday.

As usual, it wasn’t easy deciding what to take with me. The correct number of shirts, pairs of pants, socks, toothbrush and co. were obviously not the issue. The real pain points were of course: which art supplies shall I take with me?

It will probably not come as a surprise to anyone reading this that I packed too much. Yes, too much, as most of us probably do. But I think some art friends will be surprised in a moment how little I took and still see me planning to reduce it on future trips.

I’ll start out with what I took along, I’ll add a photo of it later. Then I’ll let you know what I’ll take along in future.

  • Lamy Safari fountain pen (F nib) prefilled with De Atramentis black ink
  • empty Lamy Safari (M-nib), with one unopened purple ink cartridge
  • Tombow Calligraphy pen (hard nib)
  • a Kolinsky paintbrush, size 8
  • two containers for water
  • a nib and nib holder
  • a pot of India ink
  • reduced set of 6 coloured pencils (Polychromos)
  • one unused(!) water colour sketchbook (heavy paper)
  • one Moleskine A5 diary (half full)
  • pencil, kneadable eraser, pencil sharpener, pen knife
  • Schmincke watercolour tin for 12 pans (filled with 10)
  • a small Koi waterbrush
  • a sleeve ripped off an old t-shirt
  • a book with reference photos of figures, to practice drawing at night


So, what will I take along in future, based on what I used of the above?

  • a Moleskine diary
  • the magical Tombow Calligraphy pen (hard)
  • the small Koi waterbrush
  • ripped off sleeve of a t-shirt (wraps wonderfully around thumb and wrist)
  • tin of 10-12 watercolours
  • pencil (optional), kneadable eraser (doubly optional)

Wow, that’s pretty simple. That’s basically nothing.
But those were the tools I pulled out all the time.

  • while waiting for the planes arrival at departure
  • while on the flight to India
  • while waiting in the hotel’s lobby
  • while at the breakfast table
  • while watching my colleagues play cricket
  • while practicing poses in the hotel room
  • while practicing drawing lines when the colleagues were bowling


And what did I sketch while I was on my trip?

Ok, there’s one in there with coloured pencils, perhaps I’ll slip the reduced coloured pencils set in too. The pencil case is soooo sweet ­čÖé But that’s it! … I promise … I feel myself wanting to add a real paintbrush and a container for water. But if I want to whip the tools out in seconds, and also pack them away as quickly as possible … then they can’t come on the trip with me.

The Tools of Kreativity

Well, the first week of SketchBookSkool (SBS) is well underway.

I’m very impressed with the channels of creativity it has already allowed me to explore. The videos are short, but wow!, they are incredible. I’ve had a sneek peak of Felix Scheinberger painting a little comical bird in 3 minutes with a water brush (and lighter!/Feuerzeug). I’ve been hand-lettering (thanks to Koosje’s lessons) at work during meetings.

I just sat down and did this (hey, why am I doing all that gesture drawing practice anyway?):


Tools in use:

  • pencil (B)
  • handcrafted (turned) nib holder (from the Siegburg Weihnachtsmarkt)
  • Heintze&Blanckertz “G” nib
  • “Dirk Weber, Bonn” Indian Ink wasserfest
  • Koi water brush
  • rag (old vest of mine, sorry, I was sure you wanted to know that)
  • Winsor&Newton Colman traveler’s watercolour set
  • 1917 Leuchtturm sketchpad

Since the course started on Friday, I sketched all of this:

I wonder what Ed (mostlydrawing.com) will say about my interpretation of Hokusai … ?