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  • Writer's pictureDanny McShane

My Urban & Field Sketch kit

.The minimum is just the sketchbook and pen, of course, but this is what I currently use for urban sketching or line and wash -it's fairly light and manageable, not too pricey.



The paints and brushes and office clips are quite ordinary - I have a choice of two W&N Cotman Pocket sets, one is the standard 12 half pan and one the 'deluxe' (originally 12 whole pans +more mixing space) Colours and pans are swapped out and refilled ad hoc, with professional paints. My usual sketching brushes are a wooden handled makeup brush (good for bigger washes, but we're talking A5 remember); a Daler Rowney Graduate No6 round -chopped and stuck into an old fountain pen body and an SAA No10 travel brush. I gave up on Water Brushes as I didn't like them. I almost always draw with a 0.5mm Unipin Fine Liner (Waterproof ink). And a Frisk 3 part water holder.

I'll use these on an A3 or A4 clipboard, like this...



The A3 clipboard works well held in landscape mode, and is easier to use in my lap as nothing overhangs except the water . The A4 is easier to carry and works well enough with a hardback sketchbook. This one has a (rather clumsy) clip at the top, but I can flip it over and just use Bulldog clips as necessary.



There are lots of ways to hold water, but I noticed the clips on the individual Frisk water holders would clip onto the slim plastic of a Cotman palette...






[On this palette it'll fit even better into the cutout on the lid]

They're surprisingly secure, though they won't fit every palette. I had to stick a piece of thinner plastic onto the end of the 12 pan palette (with Sugru) to use the same holder -not so pretty, but just as functional...



I had thought about cutting a hole in the clipboard to sink the water holder into -and might if I only had a round holder -but so far this works fine. It also works to have the water just sitting on the ground if I'm seated beside it.


For sitting -and I much prefer sitting to juggling- I have a 3 legged stool (£9 from Decathlon I think) that is easy to carry and really comfortable and secure to sit on, though in the hills I sometimes just carry a bit of foam camping mat and sit on a boulder (it's usually wet around here).





I carry most of this, with A5 and A6 sketchbooks and a small water bottle (blue cap), in a 'respirator bag'/piece bag/Indiana Jones shoulder bag ...




So that's it :o). I do have a photographic tripod with a drawing board and a clip-on shelf I can use as a 'proper easel' for 16x12" and bigger. That's described in My Plein Air Tripod Watercolour Kit



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