2023 Sketch Kit
It's been three years and a whole pandemic since I last showed you what was in my sketch kit. I'll be doing a follow up post with studio supplies, and I'll add links to those posts when written! Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no added cost to you. Also, full disclosure: Woodward and Father is a joint venture between me and my Dad!
-Woodward and Father Mini Sketchboard (pictured above): The board I am most likely to take if I know I'm working 5x7" and smaller, and if I want to pack extra light.
-Holder for mini sketchboard (There are a lot of different ones on the market, go for ones that clip rather than stick since the adhesive doesn't work as well on the boards' pebbled backs as it does on an ipad!) Shown below.
-Woodward and Father Original Sketchboard (pictured below): The board I've used the most: the one I'm most likely to take if I'm going to be sketching all day, or know I'll be working mostly 5x7" or larger.
-Extra Water cups (They come with the sketchboards too, but I like having spares!)
-Medium Binder Clips are the ones I use to hold my palette in place, and I'll use either those, small binder clips, or these Xacto No.2 Bulldog Clips to hold the paper in place. I've even used large paper clips! The nice thing about using two different types of clips is that sometimes the clips used on palette get paint on them, and I don't want to risk getting that paint on my new paper.
- This pouch from the Strand holds my palettes, water cups, and many many extra clips.
-Two Magnet Clips (pictured below): I'll use these to "annex" my palette if there isn't enough space for it on my board. I'm not linking because I got them locally and most of the online purchasing options have packs much larger than anyone needs. I've used this kind and the more circular ones with a clip sticking off the side and find these to be a bit more stable.
The Unlimited Palette is the one I use almost all the time. It has a few more colors in it (though many go unused!) and the smaller pans are great for me since I usually work so small. Any time I'm scaling up, I bring the Standard Palette with me because the pans are better suited for slightly larger brushes. When traveling I'll bring both, mostly in case something happens to one. It's good to have a back-up!
A Note on links for paint: All the Daniel Smith (DS) colors wherever possible I linked to the 5ml tubes, but all are also available as 15ml. Click here for the full list.
A Tip For Buying New Paint: Whenever buying new colors I always recommend starting with the smallest tube possible (or color sample sheets!) because even though you may love it on the screen or in another artist's work, you may not love working with it! Try to avoid committing to huge tubes of colors unless you already know you like them. If you like a color that isn't available to you, check out the pigment and see if you can find a paint in another brand with the same one.
Woodward and Father Unlimited Palette (Above)
8. QoR Transparent Pyrrol Orange
11. DS Transparent Brown Oxide
13. DS New Gamboge
16. DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
17. DS Hematite Violet Genuine
18. Winsor & Newton Zinc White Gouache
21. DS Cascade Green
23. DS Buff Titanium
25. QoR Cobalt Teal
28. QoR Cerulean Blue Chromium
30. MaimeriBlu Cobalt Blue Light
32. DS Moonglow
33. *I'll probably be filling this with more Moonglow since I usually go through it so quickly, but I need a new tube.
34. DS Indigo
Woodward and Father Standard Palette (Above)
2. QoR Transparent Pyrrol Orange
11. QoR Cobalt Teal
12. DS Cascade Green
16. QoR Cerulean Blue Chromium
19. DS Moonglow
20. DS Indigo
Honestly, I just need to make my own. I like the Etchr one from my 2020 post, and it keeps everything very secure, but that security does make it hard to take things out and put back. It also takes up a little more space in my bag and is a bit heavier than I would like. I've gone back to my old faithful one, which is a little small (both in width and in length: I have to keep the top unzipped for some of my taller brushes, and it would be nice if it were wide enough for my palette). But it does take up less space and is easier to access. When I'm bringing my size 12 long round brush, that one sticks up out of the case just a little bit, but anything smaller fits. It's been a struggle to find something that matches the size and utility I need. Another old favorite case was this one that DOES have a pouch that can fit my water cups and palette, but I prefer having a flatter pen case for times when I may take it out and have it resting on a nearby surface. The size for pens and brushes is the same in both Cubix cases.
-Rosemary Travel Eradicator (For cleaning up edges)
- 10 Long Round Princeton Velvetouch - I sometimes add a 12 Long Round if I'm scaling up.
- 8 Long Round Princeton Velvetouch
- 6 Long Round Princeton Velvetouch
- 2 Long Round Princeton Velvetouch
- 0 Round Princeton Heritage - I often stop here and don't include the next two, but I've been doing some extra small work lately!
- 3/0 Round Princeton Heritage
- 10/0 Liner Princeton Velvetouch
-10 Flat Raphael - I don't know why I bring this with me. I practically never use it.
- 10 Flat Shader Princeton Velvetouch - Same as above.
I have these in a variety of sizes, some in black and some in brown. I find myself using less and less of these in my work as time marches on, but I still like having them around and use them to initial my work. I have the black 08, 05, 03, and 01 in my bag now, but I often will also add a brown 01 or black 005 as well (especially if I know I'm going to be working extra small!)
Mechanical Pencil - I use 3h graphite because it doesn't smear when I paint over it.
Tombow Mono Zero Mechanical Erasers: Rectangular and Round (I have and love both)
I used to use Fluid hot press paper, but have found in recent years that the hot press often has sizing issues where it doesn't take the paint very well. Its inexpensive and comes in a variety of sizes, which is great for me since I often cut my paper even smaller, but it's not worth it for me anymore now that I have studio space set up for cutting paper. I'm transitioning into only using Saunders Waterford hot press sheets (and an occasional Arches sheet...I hate the Arches hot press in blocks and found it to be not very good for watercolor, though I could see it working well for gouache, but the single sheets are much nicer quality).
I use an index card holder to keep all my paper 4x6" and under in. I have it organized by size, so it's very easy to find what I'm looking for. Larger paper I either keep in an old packet I bought 5x7" Fluid paper in, or a plastic folder (I am in need of a new plastic folder, which is why it isn't pictured!). Not linking, as they only seem to come in packs online (why would I need four of these!?). If you want to get your own, buy a single one from a local office supply store!
My favorite stool (pictured above, folded) usually gets funny looks from other sketchers! It is very very short, but it can fit into most of my usual tote bags (despite not being a "collapsible" model, which I have found often get tangled) so it wins for being the most portable, even though it isn't my favorite for longer sketches. It's the one I bring with me most often. The dimensions are about 9.5x13" when folded, and I couldn't find another one like this to link too! Most seem to also have elastic inside and continue to fold down, but I love that this one has fewer moving parts. I keep it in a drawstring bag (meant to contain shoes when traveling, but I repurposed it) to keep the inside of my bag clean.
Others I sometimes use:
Stool for sitting longer (harder to put together)
Other things in my kit:
Folding Foam Cushion (great for sitting on the ground, or stone walls)
Not pictured: sunscreen! A must because I'll usually choose my favorite view, regardless of sun exposure.
-Keeps the sun and rain off! Sunglasses are also always in my bag, but I don't like wearing them while painting (color mixing with tinted lenses is a challenge! I sometimes keep them on while doing the graphite layer though.)
Music Stand Clip light, for sketching at night and in dim museums. See it at work below.