Debby, thanks for starting this thread. It's great to have a place to see everybody's sketching gear, and so appropriate for this forum! I'm rating the thread five stars and hopefully it can either become a sticky, or a link placed in a very visible spot within one of the stickies or posting guidelines.
There are so many good ideas here. Jan, I love your bag --- nice size for a small kit.
What I've found is that I either have to go the bag-within-a-bag route, which drives me nuts (or even worse --- bag within a bag within a bag!), or else I need to have room in my sketching bag for my other stuff. The fact is, when we go out sketching, we usually need to carry car keys, cellphone, camera, wallet/ID/money, drinking water, reading glasses, sometimes a snack, occasionally a pair of binoculars. So, small bags always became the bag within a bag that drove me crazy. In my pocketbook, I have this in one of the pockets:
That 3.5x5 book opens to 5x7" across a two page spread, and enables me to do 5x7" sketches at any time, even if I didn't plan a sketching trip.
When I plan to sketch, I take my sketching bag. It's roomy enough to hold the bottle of water, camera, wallet, keys, etc., plus all my gear. It came with my Plein Air Pro easel, but this bag is a huge miscalculation for that easel, for although it holds the easel (just barely), if you plan on bringing along your paints, paper, water, brushes, etc., it's not big enough. So, I re-purposed it for sketches and it's perfect.
It's got all these pockets in the front:
Those pockets are quite large and roomy, and hold all this stuff:
In the middle compartment, I keep my sketchbooks, clips, and a piece of foamcore to clip open the sides of a stitchbound sketchbook:
In the back I have everything else:
- Extra pair of reading glasses
- Watercolor kits
- Sun visor
- Bug spray/wipes
- palette cup
- masking tape
- white gouache
- kneaded eraser
- my little date stamp and ink pad
I can always remove items and leave them in the car to lighten my load, but I prefer to begin with everything with me that I might need, and then nothing can be forgotten. I can't remember how many times I forgot sunscreen or reading glasses or a sun visor and desperately needed them!
This is the watercolor kit that's in the black set in the last photo. I clip a palette cup to it when using it with brushes, or a piece of sponge with a waterbrush.