“Wet Materials”, a travel palette

Moving on now to wet materials….

One of the joys of Urban Sketching I’ve discovered relatively recently is the sheer pleasure of wlelding a paintbrush in the open air, and often at the drop of a hat!

Not all situations lend themselves to actually getting out a full kit, and setting up an easel, however, so this year, after experimenting a lot with gouache, which can also be used with watercolour techniques, I’m concentrating on travelling with just a mini pocket travel set of watercolours, refilling separately – bought empty pans from spare tube colours when necessary!


I can just slip this little set into one of my capacious working waistcoat pockets, although I will be taking the precaution of wrapping it in a re-sealable sandwich bag together with a piece of kitchen paper or similar!

The colour range I like is similar to recommendations by David Curtis http://www.djcurtis.co.uk/, a brilliant plein air painter, whose preferred palette in watercolour is :- cobalt green; viridian; French Ultramarine; Cerulean Blue; Cobalt Blue; Cobalt Violet; Raw Sienna; Permanent Rose; Cadmium Orange; Burnt Sienna; Gamboge; Indian Red; Cadmium Red.
I LOVE drawing and painting sketchkits…my own and those of other people – and here are a couple of quick sketches of my enamelled mixing palette, in use, as you can see, and two of my fountain pens.


I’m a firm fan of chinese brushes, which travel well and are very robust, often made with more than one type of hair and which are wonderfully versatile to use.
Nevertheless, I travel with a range of simple brushes in a standard pencil case….eventually I’d LOVE to splash out on a set of Da Vinci travel sables https://www.jacksonsart.com/da-vinci-maestro-kolinsky-sable…, of course, but meanwhile these’ll have to do!


This stage of my kit review covers sketchbooks, and more to the point , as I’m compiling packing lists for the summer, what will fit into my National Express baggage allowance!
I’ll try to keep it simple, and plan to include two hardbacked spiral 12″ x 12″ Seawhite display books…hardwearing and delicious to work on…one black and one containing brown Kraft paper https://www.jacksonsart.com/seawhite-jackson-s-a3-brown-pap…
I do have bigger ones, but the size I quote fits well into my sketching backpack!

I’m particularly fond of this range of sketchbooks, as the paper is very good quality, so is lovely to work on, and an added bonus is the extra – stout covers and hard working spiral binding, which together dispense with the need for a drawing board altogether!

IMG_0528. 11th June sketching the sketchers - birmingham JPGIMG_9977 MacLeods Tables from Berneray
I then plan to make some concertina books https://www.wordsandpics.org/…/making-concertina-sketchbook…
from lightweight NOT watercolour paper, lovely to draw and paint on….probably around 12″ x 12″ in size, so that I can use them in conjunction with large bulldog clips , with my Seawhite pads as backing!
This is a bigger size than shown in the link, but as ever, I’m experimenting!
There will of course be several pocket sketchbooks, especially my favourite Hahnemuhle “Sketch and Note” A6 cartridge booklets (lovely quality paper) , and a Strathmore Toned Gray A5 hardback, which is very handy!
I also mustn’t forget a pot of Daler/Rowney ‘opaque white’ watercolourhttps://www.dickblick.com/products/daler-rowney-pro-inks/, which I find SO useful when sketching!
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