Plein Aire sketch kit

Replacing my 500 sq. ft. Studio while traveling!

I have a huge, gorgeous studio at home with more art supplies than some art supply stores, but when out-and-about, I want the smallest and lightest gear possible! Of course, I'm never completely satisfied and am constantly changing what goes into my field kit - but here's what I'm carrying these days.
9x6 sketchbook and a pencil case
Inside the sketchbook, I keep some blank watercolor postcards and a few sheets of 5x8 watercolor sheets.
The pencil case contains a couple of fountain pens, a micron pen, pencil, 3 water brushes (flat, round, and a round brush pre-mixed with a 50% solution of ink, a folding brush, a rotring pen (with soluable ink), glue stick, and a vial of black ink.

The pencil case holds a lot of stuff!

Also, I can just fit in a small tin of watercolor paint - I'm using a Velaquez palette of Daniel Smith Ultramarine, quin sienna, and quin gold).

3 pans of color, a bottle cap for water, a couple of sponges, and a small binder clip
Underneath the tin, I used duck tape to fashion a thumb loop and a sleeve for the binder clip.  That way I can hold the little palette on my thumb or clip it to a sketchbook.

If the kit is small, I'm better about carrying it - but, of course, I'm never satisfied and keep adding things until it gets cumbersome and I stop carrying it around.  Then, I go through the process of purging out the extra until the kit is small again.  

If I know I'm going to do a lot of painting on a trip, I'll pack up a portfolio with a bunch of 1/2 sheets of watercolor paper and a couple of lightweight support boards.  Then, I allow myself one large canvas bag for whatever paint, brushes, and other stuff I can think of.  I just put away all the stuff I took on my last trip, so I don't have a picture of that setup.


  1. The genius of your kit is an art in itself! :)

    1. One thing artists like almost as much (or more if we're procrastinating) is organizing our materials!


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