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Old 07-06-2006, 11:52 PM
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brianc brianc is offline
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Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

What do you use for watercolor sketching?

Show us your set up.
How do you make it more mobile?
Paper, pen, and watercolor selection.
Ideas and tips.

After we're done, we'll put this in the "Hall of Fame", as a resource for anyone else interested in a light, mobile kit.
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Last edited by brianc : 07-07-2006 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:59 PM
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brianc brianc is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

I'll start off. Watercolor sketching provides lots of opportunity. It appeases my "painters itch" when the timing won't let me take the oils and the whole easel, or I only have an hour. It would be overbearing to take all the gear to a picnic with the family, but I can get away with this.



Here is my watercolor sketch kit. It's designed to be light and small enough to throw in a backpack along with everything else, or to stuff under to carseat

1. Cotman field watercolor set. Has 14 pans and comes with one tiny brush.
2. Snub nosed half inch flat brush. Self modified to fit in the Cotman set, I sawed it off with a hack saw. I do most of my painting with this brush
3. Paper towels. I used to worry I'd run out. But I find they dry out by the next time, so I've used the same wad for months.
4. Ziplock baggie for the above

5. Mechanical pencil -- I tend to use pencil when I'm drawing people or shapes that must be exact, and use a pen when doing landscapes where mistakes aren't as noticable.
6. Waterproof .001 sharp tip pen
7. Kneaded eraser
8. Ziplock baggie for the above

9. Little water bottle. Usually water is not a problem, since I usually have drinking water. This is just in case.

10. Water color paper cut in 6x9 sheets. These are packed between to pieces of 6x9 foam core to keep them from bending. A black clip holds the paper to a foam core if it's windy. Usually I just balance them on my lap. All this goes in another baggie.

11. (Not shown) I also have a regular 6x9 spiral bound sketch book. Very ordinary paper. Sometimes I'll sketch pencil first and then wash if I like it.

Cheap. Only about $26 for the whole set up. ($20 Cotman on sale, $4 brush, $2 bottle, $2 pencils etc.) Light. Easy to stuff in a backpack with whatever else is getting hauled about.
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:56 PM
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manfrommerriam manfrommerriam is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Brian: Gee, I don't really have a tiny sketch set up... although in my stash are maybe enough bits to build one. One thing I have is a little W&N travel brush kit, (the brushes with covers you swap around as the handle). I mention this because one is a flat about 3/8" wide. I'd always wondered why they were not made but it turns out they are, (or were); Difficult to close-up without catching hairs unless very carefully handled. I suspect a cut-down 1/2" flat would work better with less cost.
have fun, Dave
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Old 07-09-2006, 11:38 AM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

I'll have to post mine one at a time as I use them and take photos, but this is the one I'm using most these days. To give you an idea of scale, the little bag in the first pic that holds all the supplies is only 6x5". It is kept in my purse and goes everywhere with me!

This kit contains:
Winsor Newton Field Kit, Cotman half pans removed (I couldn't stand those) and replaced with Van Gogh half pans (still student grade, but far superior, IMO) When those half pans are used up, I'll refill the empty pans with artist grade tube paints. I'd recommend that if you purchase this kit, you get it with the artist grade paints to start with.

Small Moleskine sketchbook (3.5x5")

Niji mini waterbrush

Mechanical drafting pencil with soft lead

G2 mini pen (though I prefer the Uniball Vision)

Also in the little bag, but not shown are a small piece of a kneaded eraser, a plastic viewfinder, and a small cotton rag.



With the field box open, you can see that it has a few mixing surfaces, one of which doubles as a small water bottle. I've discovered that by depressing the barrel of the waterbrush, placing it tightly into the cap of this tiny bottle, inverting the bottle, and then releasing the pressure on the brush barrel, I can refill my waterbrush on the run with barely a wasted drop. If you prefer to use a traditional brush, the end cap of the kit clips onto the top to serve as a water holder, and the kit does come with a tiny travel brush (not shown here).

The small Moleskine book provides a 5x7 painting area when open, which more than suits my needs when I'm sketching on the run with this small setup. I set the palette/field kit on my lap and hold the sketchbook. There is a thumb ring on the field kit to hold it standing, but mine broke off early on.



I've also found that carrying a small, cotton rag serves me much better than a wad of paper towels. A rag absorbs much more pigment and water, and will last me a day of small sketching.

If I'm walking around and don't anticipate having chairs available, I pop the kit into one of the pockets of this pack stool, which is extremely lightweight and has a shoulder strap. It can hold drinking water, my lunch, cellphone, etc.


Usually I take a larger kit when I bring the stool, and the small kit stays in my purse. I'll show the larger-but-still-small kits soon.

Brian, I've been admiring the little kit you have in the stores. I'm going to have to add that one to my collection someday. LOL

Jamie
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Last edited by JamieWG : 07-09-2006 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 07-09-2006, 06:47 PM
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Yorky Yorky is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Check out the Watercolor Handbook:

Field Kits Part 1

Field Kits Part 2

Doug

Last edited by Yorky : 07-09-2006 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:04 PM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Doug, thanks so much for the links. Our focus is on small, lightweight "sketching kits" rather than big setups, but it's nice to see how the other half lives! (I do see a couple with my WN field kit in there.)

Jamie
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:16 PM
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Here's another idea using Caran d'Ache watersoluble crayons.

Doug

Last edited by Yorky : 07-09-2006 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:28 PM
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

I've a wide variety of w/c sketching kits. The very most minimal (goes everywhere) is a blue plastic translucent cylindrical pencil case with 19 assorted w/c pencils, Prismatic sharpener, Pentel ColorBrush, Escoda #10 travel brush, clear film cannister full of water, paper towel, and one of the blue auto shop (paper) towels, accompanying 4"x6" Aquabee Super Deluxe (93lb.) sketchbook.

This minimal kit is supplemented (anytime I might actually hope to be out sketching, instead of just going to grocery store) with
a couple flat 1/2" waterbrushes (Niji, AquaFlo),
Arches block or 11"x14" Aquabee sketchbook,
small natural sponge,
plastic viewfinder (slide film removed) with 'half' marked on each side,
my old Cotman Field Kit in which 13 half pans hold my own made-up tube paints, plus a couple tiny mint tins holding my less frequently used pigments,
another tiny water container that fits in a flat box that fits in the top of that Field Kit (so I have 2 water cups for it -- this is the one for clean water and the sponge),
timer,
and at least one tiny porcelain palette. I have these in 3 sizes.

Quite often I take Masquepen & rubber cement pickup along, and a sort of 6" ruler thingie that also measures angles. Rarely, I take another set of 24 Fantasia w/c pencils, with a couple more Escoda travel brushes (#6 & #12).

Whenever my walker is going along, my new Artbin brushbox sits in the bottom of its basket. (What can I say, it's a perfect fit. ) The brushbox holds a toothbrush (for spattering), and a fairly wide assortment of brushes, all the way up to a #30 round da Vinci Cosmotop Mix -- including a few very good sable rounds and a couple quills (the Isabey sable quill and #6 Cosmospin).

If the walker is coming along and painting is actually likely, I also bring a bag with equipment including a large water bucket (with over a pint of water inside in a bottle), plus my Integra easel. One huge advantage of needing a walker, obviously, is that weight is no longer a factor in a plein air kit.

When I get a camera, I'll show off my various kits from smallest (very tiny & light) to the whole caboodle.

Last edited by FriendCarol : 07-09-2006 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:36 PM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorky
Here's another idea using Caran d'Ache watersoluble crayons.

Doug

Great idea! This certainly qualifies as a light setup. I have some of the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II crayons, and never thought to just use them like a pan set of watercolors. I guess that would give the flexibility of either drawing with them like crayons, or using them like a watercolor set, or any combination of the two.

Jamie
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Old 07-09-2006, 07:54 PM
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Cristy A Cristy A is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Brand names on the waterproof pens? Seems like everything I've tried smears.
c
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:00 PM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Cristy, the Uniball Vision pens don't smear. They also come in different point widths. There are lots of different types of Uniballs; just check the back of the package to be sure it's water resistant. I get them at Staples, but I'm sure other office supply stores also stock them.

The G2 pens (by Pilot???) are supposed to be water resistant, but the colored ones aren't at all, and the black ones do smear if you don't wait a loooong time before using watercolor over them.

Jamie
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:00 PM
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

There are various - I use Edding 1800 amongst others. Fadeproof, waterproof, pigmented ink.

Doug
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:26 AM
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

I'll try those - I just got a superfine sharpie I've been going to try... I'll see how it works out. I didn't mean to hijack the thread - here's my pack, fwiw...
I like the Kokuyo kaddy bag... zips and folds down and stands up - cute little velco pocket that will hold an eraser and sharpener.





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Old 07-10-2006, 07:58 AM
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas

Cristy, don't you just LOVE those aqua totes? I alway bring one along if I'm not using a waterbrush. The fact that they can double as a brush holder with their six little side pockets is such a plus.

The sharpies are great and they don't run. However, they do bleed through my paper, sometimes even the heavy Moleskine cardstock, so be careful that there's nothing important on the other side!

Where did you get that beautiful Fabriano journal? Are the pages heavy watercolor paper?

Jamie
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Old 07-10-2006, 09:31 AM
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Re: Watercolor sketching kits - survey and ideas


What isn't pictured are the two yogurt cups for water.
The pill boxes give me the convenience of adding water to soften paint if I don't get out there everyday. All this fits in a square restaurant bucket that can double as a seat or a table.

Carrie

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