Drawing tools – urban sketching

I sketch on location. So I have to carry my drawing tools around. Here is my equipment as of March 2018.

I made the tool roll from a tea-towel, having scrutinised the ready-made options online and found nothing that worked for me. The lovely Cornelissen paintbrush which I received as a present is 9 and a half inches long. It doesn’t fit in a standard pencil wrap or pencil case. All the “artists brush wrap” rolls online and in the art shops are intended for oil brushes and are 13 inches long – too big.

So I made one. It also holds my pen, pencil, and paintbox, and a couple of other brushes.

I carry the water separately, and use a screw-top plastic container as a water pot.

Paintbox clipped to the top of the sketchbook

At the moment (March 2018) I am using a small paintbox with full pans and half pans, carefully fitted in. This is my paintbox number 2. Paintbox number 1 is the same size but has only half-pans and a few more colours. I prefer the full pans as I don’t have to be so careful with them – and I was getting through the half-pans rather quickly. I use the top of the box as a pallet. When I’m painting I clip it onto the top of the book. Then I can paint standing up.

The picture shows this, with paintbox number 1.

I’ve used different types of sketchbooks. See this link for details of the sketchbooks I’m using.

I also keep changing and updating the paintbox I use. See the paintboxes page for news and more details.

Here’s my water pot invention:

It is an empty body lotion container, which happens to be exactly the right size to fit a small round palette.

I cut little indents in the top, so I could balance my brushes – I got irritated that they used to roll off and go in the dirt on the pavement.

I pour in water from my water bottle, then when I’m done I can pack all the damp stuff in the container, screw on the top and put it in my bag, without worrying that the damp cloth will wet the sketchbook. See pictures.

In some locations, such as trains, railways stations, some halls and public spaces, there’s no-where to pour away your dirty water, so I can just screw the top on the container and wait until I’m outdoors again.

I usually also manage to put a smaller water pot  inside, so I can work quickly with different colours. The little tiny water bottle is in there in case I’ve drunk all my water from my big water bottle!

2 thoughts on “Drawing tools – urban sketching”

  1. The sticker with the URL and QR code on the back of the sketchbook is a good idea — I’ll go find me some stickers straightaway.
    (Just found your site; love it and have added it to my feeds. Thank you for sharing.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very kind cybaea. Thank you. The stickers are made in the UK by a company called “MOO.com”. I put the QR code because sometimes people see me sketching in the street and ask if I have a website. Also I put the QR code on hand painted postcards I send people. The stickers are very small – it shows I have a website without being too “in-your-face” about it.


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