How to Create a Traveling Drawing Kit
so there are a lot of drawing materials out there and sometimes when you walk into an art store it's completely overwhelming in terms of what would I possibly choose to draw on location. And my major advice is be simple, make it portable, make it doable. So what I'd like to show you some options and some of the things that I really like to use when I'm drawing on location over time, you know when I used to, when I started out drawing on location, I thought I'd have highly need to bring everything with me and I would have a super heavy backpack and and I've really pared it down because really you could draw in a tiny sketchbook with just a basic two b pencil quite honestly and you could just keep it in your back pocket um or you could go a little more elaborate. So I want to show you the range of what you might want to do first. I want to talk about sketchbooks because there are a lot of different sketchbooks out there. I have some preferences based on just how it might make it easier t...
o draw without a table or to draw you know, in your lap. So first thing you might want to think about is how large you want to work. So these are some smaller sketchbooks. Um this is probably about as small as I'd want to go on location. One of these sketchbooks has a hard cover and it's ring bound, so it's hard, so it actually acts as a support for itself and when I draw in a sketchbook that's ring bound, I sort of enjoy it because I can fold it all the way back and just have a really clean flat surface to draw on. So I recommend maybe a hard cover, maybe a ring bound. These come in many different sizes with many different types of paper in them. But I just think like a medium weight paper in a book, like this is a really great thing to kind of travel around with this sketchbook on the other hand is you know, it's an okay size but it's bendy and and it's not that that's bad, it's just that, you know when you have something that's Bendy you often want something to support something underneath it. And also it doesn't mean it flattens but it does kind of wing in and out. So I tend to prefer something with a little more structure but ultimately it's up to you to decide what works better for you. So these are some options for sketchbooks and certainly in terms of scale, like here's a much bigger one which you could, you know work with horizontally or vertically. It's like a bigger version um of this one. And also if you don't like the ring binding in a larger sketchbook, you could also um purchase something like this which you know, it just doesn't fold back so it might feel a little cumbersome. So these are some options for types of sketchbooks, types of papers that you might want to consider acquiring. But sketchbooks can be expensive. So sometimes what I do is I rather than working with a fancy sketchbook, I get a piece of cardboard and I get a clip and I get some paper and I just clip it on. And this is a super cheap way of having a nice um ground like a nice firm backing. And then you can take any kind of paper and tear it down to size. You you could even use xerox paper. Um you could use the back of letters or old printouts. You know if if you if it's an issue financially you don't need to break the bank and get a fancy sketchbook. You could just work on a board like this. I often do this. So it's up to you what you feel might be the best thing for you, clips are a really important aspect, especially if you're working on location as windy out to clip the paper down or some kind of tape to hold your paper down can be useful as well. So that's all about surfaces and options for surfaces but what to do on that surface and what to use on that surface and how to house those things so that you can find them. So it used to be that I would just throw my pencils in a bag and I'd kind of get on location and I'd be like where is that? You know, red pencil or where's my charcoal pencil? And it would all sort of be just rummaging around in the bottom of my knapsack until I found a system which I really love and there's many different ways to handle this, but this situation here I think is great because you can just before you head out you can just choose whatever it is you think that you might want to draw with and stick it in here, roll it up and go. So I think for me anyway, and everybody is different. This is a really nice system. It's a really portable system if you can't find something like this. Also just putting things in a ziploc bag or a little box can be a pencil case. Can also be a perfectly fine way to travel with your supplies. So in this course we'll be using a variety of materials. I just want to show you a couple of them just to get you excited about. Um some of the things we might try, if you don't have these things, it's no big deal, but you might in the future. Look for them in the art store and and see if they might be something you'd be inspired to use. So in this course we're gonna use um definitely use a charcoal pencil, we're gonna use sort of a sanguine colored pencil as well. Um And these are kind of the two primary things that we'll be using. Um and in addition we may use sort of a brownish pencil. So all these pencils have a rather robust kind of line to them and um we'll see you know what the effects are. So I just want to show you um what these different pencils do. Uh And I highly recommend when you go purchase drawing pencils, if you decide to purchase drawing pencils. Most art stores have a little scrap paper by the pencils and you can actually try them out and see what they feel like. So I definitely recommend doing that. So this pencil is sort of a brown colored pencil, it makes a it can make a light line, it can make a much darker line, it can make a light line. Again, you can work with the side of the pencil, you can work with the tip of the pencil, it's got some variety and um I like the organic kind of brown brownish color of it quite a bit. So that might be something you'd like to try. This pencil is also sort of a colored pencil. It has this sort of old mastery color, like a like you might find a, you know um a Raffaele drawing or da Vinci drawing might have this sort of sanguine color. I love drawing with this, especially with the figure and sometimes it's nice to use a pencil that has a little less of a robust kind of line to start and then ultimately darken your line and build it up over time. So that's something that you might try and then there's the charcoal pencil which will definitely be using for some of our fast action drawing and the charcoal pencil, you'll see, check this out a much darker mark, a much darker line. And the charcoal pencil is sort of wonderful because, well it's charcoal. So it's actually um smudge herbal and you can cree create multiple lines and you can smudge them out. Um and so that creates a strong mark, but also has the option to be kind of atmospheric. So these are all things that, that we might be touching on and I highly recommend you do some experimenting and you don't need this many pencils, but I just be sure you have a range of things to work with. And then ultimately like traveling with your kit. So I like to call this sort of a drawing kit and the idea of traveling with your kit, you want to make it easy if you have something that rolls up like this, this is awfully nice. But again, you don't need something this fancy, but I like having them all contained in the situation like this. Maybe you bring your tape, Maybe you bring, you know, a couple of variety of sketchbooks, this is optional, but I really like having a simple like camping stool with me when I'm working outdoors because no matter where I am and this literally could just, you could stick in a bag or put it over your arm, no matter where I am, I always know I have a place to sit. So it's something you might consider. You can get them rather inexpensively at an outdoor store that's an option. And then also having some kind of bag to put it all in, whether it's a canvas bag like this or maybe a small backpack, But listen, having yourself organized is a really great starting point because when you get outside and you start drawing on location, you might feel a little like it might feel a little chaotic at first, it might feel a little um intimidating. So having it all in one place really can help you relax and just know that you have just a few things put together, you're just gonna give it a go, you're gonna head outside, you've got what you need, this really makes the practice so much easier. And again, you don't have to break the bank and buy a bunch of fancy things. I highly recommend just starting super simple and just having yourself set up for success. So go and experiment with a few materials in the art store, grab maybe three or four different kinds of pencils, maybe two sizes of sketchbooks or make your own sketch surface and get out there and draw