View Full Version : Traveling scratchboard kits

03-16-2011, 01:17 PM
Lately I've been hearing some comments about people taking along scratchboard projects with them to work on. I'm curious what they are including in their travel kits. Would anyone be willing to share what they have in their kit and possibly a photo of it?

03-16-2011, 03:30 PM
I have a soft felt envelope that fits up to an 8X10 board and a small plastic case (8.5"X5"X1.5") that holds several tools (scalpel, spare blades (stuck in the lid with double sticky tape), eraser, FG brush, white pastel pencil, some ink and water in brush type holders, kleenex tissues) and a soft felt sheet for under my hand. I could have used a smaller box but that's what I had on hand...besides I hate it when I don't have something I need when I need it.:lol: This is always packed and ready to go when I go to work at our artisans store...I don't work out in the field or plein aire like Rodman.


03-16-2011, 04:06 PM
Nice little kit you've got there Lorna! You're all set to work aren't you? Thanks for sharing the pic!

03-16-2011, 05:49 PM
My kit is like Lorna's...cept....Mine doesn't say "L Hannett" and I don't have a white pouch...and my case is black nylon (about 5"x8" size)....it's not as organized...in other words...not like hers but just like it :D

I carry...
a couple scalpels. If I need to replace a scalpel....I just ask one of my co-worker friends to help me out :) (I'm lucky in that aspect)
Ampersand inks
a small piece of super fine sandpaper
a paint brush
a couple extra small boards
a few small plastic dosage cups for mixing the ink in(like what comes on top of a NyQuil bottle)((they are abundant at work as well))
a paper towel
a couple sanding needles
I take it to work in a backpack. which also contains extra possible future board pictures... in case I muck up or finish or want to do a different board.
Simple easy and a "studio ready to go" :D:thumbsup:

03-16-2011, 06:05 PM
Mine is a case like Lorna's (really it is) with a couple of 5x7s, an exacto knife with a scalpel in it, a mechanical pencil with a needle in it, a piece of sanding sponge, a pencil type ink eraser, a couple of pieces of transfer paper cut to size in a sandwich bag, a marker or two, a barrel type watercolor brush with clear water, paper towels, reference pic, and anything else that strikes my fancy that day. I don't use a fb brush (coward that I am.) It is small enough to carry in my backpack (kids size) or purse (elephant size.)

03-16-2011, 07:46 PM
I keep it very simple, two boards, one knife with a box of blades, one FG brush and one pair of reading glasses. If I get to the stage where I need ink or other tools, I work on the second board and do the extra stuff once I'm back at home.

However, I like what Lorna, Terri and Allan are doing so I may extend my kit.

03-16-2011, 11:12 PM
Oh wow, I didn't expect so many responses and I can't thank all of you enough!

Thanks for sharing the photo Lorna. I really love the felt envelope idea and I think I will have to put something together like that for myself. I find I don't usually like to take anything bigger than a 5x7 board with me.

Lorna/Terri - I have one of those watercolor brush pens as well but have never thought about using it in a travel kit for scratchboard. What a brilliant idea!

Allan - Did you find those dosage cups at a local drugstore?

Patrick - Your kit sounds a lot like what I was doing. I'm with you on possibly extending my kit as well after hearing these great ideas.

03-17-2011, 04:14 AM
I think the brilliant watercolor brush idea might have been Harold's...I thought it was great, too, so I went right out and bought some. They are very handy for water and diluted ink.

Diane Cutter
03-17-2011, 09:51 AM
Mine looks like Lorna's, too, except that I don't have the nice white cloth envelope. I must make a note to get/make one.

I also carry a fingerless glove because I like to wipe as I go. It's just a brown cotton gardening glove I cut the fingertips off. (That also means I don't have to take off my ring to avoid inadvertently scratching the board.)

I carry 3 5x7 boards and work on them as far as I can, finishing them off when I get back home.


03-17-2011, 12:00 PM
Mine is much like others but since I work a lot of bigger boards than 8"x10" my protective cover is a flannel pillow case. It fits boards up to 16"x20" well, or I just fold over the top for smaller boards. My tools I adjust depending on the board I am working on but usually include scalpel with a couple extra blades, fiberglass brush, my two speedball tips, small sandpaper or NBT cut into pieces. Oh and a printout of my reference photo too...LOL. my travel suitcase fits a 16x20 well and I have taken lots of flights with boards padded by pillowcase and softer cloths and not ever had any major damage (knock on wood).

I do my color inking at home as well as my transfering of images to the board usually.

03-18-2011, 08:18 AM
Mine is called a pocket... ha.

I've been getting a new plein aire easel set up... just a couple more things to work out... i'll post a pic of that set up when its all together... the ones for sale did not meet my needs.. because I work the boards so hard..the easels I have tried wobble way too much. I started with what I think was a med weight video camera tripod...I used it at the tattoo show and it worked really well...its quick to set up.. not a bunch of parts..and very sturdy.

Diana Lee
03-18-2011, 12:04 PM
Mine, too is very much like lorna's case. About the same size. only with sections. I carry...

A retractable X-Acto knife
Surgical blades and handle
A cotton sock (for wiping)
A black prisma color pencil
A micron pen
A paint brush

I have a folder with my reference material and I wrap my board in glasene paper.


03-18-2011, 12:15 PM
Cathy - I was wondering if anyone has ever tried packing one in a suitcase, so it's good to know that it's possible without it getting damaged.

Diane - I use cotton gloves that I buy at our local pharmacy and then cut off the pointer and middle finger from my dominant hand (right) glove. Sounds like we think alike!

Rod - I'm wincing thinking about you walking around with sharp objects sticking out of your back pocket! Please say you put them in something (like a case) first!

Rod made an interesting point of mentioning that he works on an easel, I never thought about what folks rest their boards on. Do the rest of you simply put it in your lap or do you find a nearby table?

03-18-2011, 12:17 PM
Diana - I had to look up glassine paper online to see what you were talking about. I now know what you use. :D I was using clear, heavy-weight plastic bags for my boards before reading this thread. I'm considering moving to felt/fabric now. May I ask why you prefer the paper?

03-18-2011, 02:56 PM
I use a small tackle box with the the adjustable dividers for my pack along tools.
I add or subtract items some depending on what I'm working on, but not a lot. I do keep a battery powered electric eraser in this too but took it out for some reason that I can't remember and forgot to put it back. For anyone interested, I've just started using a new tool recently. I know that we have steel wool, sandpaper, the NBT, eraser, and various other items to create texture. What I've started using is just a better way for me to control ink removal with sandpaper. The first picture, on the far, are two blue/green sticks. They originally had white foam on each end and were smudges for graphite or pastels, I think, at least that's what I got them for. They weren't the greatest for graphite so they were just lying in my art box. Anyway, I was looking for some way to use some really fine sandpaper. The NBTs and the Gugasanders are great but they don't get really fine with the grit available so began my search. I tried several things before it occurred to me to try these. I took the white foam off the ends which left a little flat plastic piece about 1/2 inch long and maybe 1/4 inch wide. I cut a small strip of double sided 3M tape the size of the plastic piece and stuck it to it. I then cut a piece of 600 grit sandpaper the same size and stuck it to the tape. I did the same thing to the other end using 1000 grit paper. IT WORKS GREAT, just like I hoped. You have 4 sides to put different grits of paper on so you can control what you are removing by flipping the stick around. The plastic piece flexes some to soften the rubbing. It is small and works in tight spots and it's easy to change the sandpaper when you want. It works for me anyway. I got the smudgers at Hobby Lobby originally.

03-18-2011, 03:22 PM
Sandra...I just work at a desk or table...at home I work at a drafting table. I rarely hold the board but have done so.

I forgot to say I usually have a ref photo with me, too. :D

03-18-2011, 04:45 PM
I don't do Plein aire but I do have the oppertunity to do quite a lot of work AT work...especially in early spring and Fall when the number of campers dwindles to a trickle. So generally have whatever it is I need at the particular stage the board is in...but for the most part all shown is generally what I take with me. If I am farther along I have paint ant Inks with me too!

03-18-2011, 08:05 PM
Oh yes, I forgot to say I have my reference with me at all times becasuse I carry my iPad with me wherever I go. I even shower with it :lol: Seriously, it's great because you can zoom in instantly. Very useful thing.

03-19-2011, 03:50 PM
Diana, what do you use the black prisma color pencil for?

Patrick... the shower?...
It is very useful to have a computer nearby. I find that I use it a lot to zoom in, too.


All this talk about taking your scratchboard with you is enticing. Now I'm wonder where all I can take mine!

Diana Lee
03-19-2011, 07:13 PM
I use the black pencil for toning down when all you need is a touch. It shows up less than an ink wash, and certainly more portable.


03-19-2011, 10:24 PM
Very fun thread.

03-27-2011, 01:11 PM
I like the felt cases you have Lorna. Don't have a sewing machine maybe I can make me one somehow. Here is something I found to carry tools in. Bought it a the local art shop for something like $10. Its a tight squeeze for some of the tools but most will fit. I recently bought a not so wide but long table from IKEA that I have been using for my work. Its in the living room next to our TV. Also have a computer set up there for reference. Its nice to have a dedicated spot but alot of times I'll sit in my recliner when we watch TV and work on things. It helps me not fall asleep. I have one of those lap desks that I use. I'm not so inclined to take works with me outside the house. Teaching doesn't lend itself to too many breaks. But I have been doing more 5x7 lately and they are alot easier to just pick up and take.

03-27-2011, 02:14 PM
Pamela, how do you work on your art at work? Once I get going, I hate distractions! They make me lose my focus. Losing my focus gets me frustrated. Getting me frustrated, especially concerning my art, tends to make me grumpy. Being grumpy likely I'll rude to customers. I know from experience, it's a baaaaaad thing for me to try to do art while working. More power to you!