Online classes

Current Sketching Tools

My daily sketching kit (21 June 2014)

Listing (more detailed discussion below)

Interview on Parkablogs
You might be interested in a detailed interview I did on Parkablogs about my art tools here

 Pens etc:
- Lamy Joy pen with a gold nib (once was EF but now more like a F-M in thickness) with De Atramentis Archive Ink or Document Ink - please refer to note below for more details
- Sailor 55 degree turned up nib  De Atramentis Archive Ink or Document Ink
- Lamy Vista with EF Nib De Atramentis Archive Ink Blue
- Faber Castell Pitt Brush Pen Warm Grey V
- (missing in action at the moment Pentel Pocket Brush Pen - great blog post by Roz Stendahl on brush pens is found here)

- White Gel Pen - I do not have the best brand yet…but there is a great review here
- White Chinagraph pencil (various brands)
- Pentel Aquash Waterbrush in large


- Mechanical pencil with 0.5mm red lead (a long story behind this and dont use much these days)
- Faber Castell Graphitite Aquarelle 2B
- Watercolour pencils -Faber Castel Albrecht Durer
Cadmium Yellow 107 Deep Scarlet Red 219 Middle Purple Pink 125 Dark Indigo 157 Ultramarine 120 Permanent Green Olive 167 Brown Ochre 182 Burnt Sienna 283 Walnut Brown 177 Warm Grey IV 273 (or warm grey V)

- Da Vinci #10 travel sable brush
- Rosemary Brush #8 travel sable brush
- Art Basics #2 travel sable brush
- Rosemary Brushes 1/2 " sable blend dagger with sharpened end(a stick to draw with and means it fits inside the toothbrush container (with blu tack at the base)

More about my dagger brush here

- A plastic card for scraping
- Sandpaper
- Sharpener
- Two small water containers
- Small spray bottle
- Black wrist band for wiping my brush

My tools in the ready to go configuration.
The paint stuff  on the left side go into one front pocket in my current sketching bag and the pen holder (this is not the ultimate version.. but a trial run) goes in the other front pocket.
I nearly always use a cross body bag with two front pockets.(The perfect sketching bag is another topic totally and probably needs another page. Including my walk stool portable stool etc etc)

Using signboard for support while urban sketching

Recently I have starting using a board to support the spine of my landscape sketchbooks and hold my paint tin (inspired my Marc Taro Holmes). Full explanation is here.

Extra details:

My pen:
Lamy Joy pen (this is a calligraphy model as opposed to the standard Lamy Safari pen) with a convertor (so I can fill with my own ink) and an EF nib. The black nibs are reportedly better than the silver (I have not had a problem with any of my silver ones but when I have had a choice have asked for black as I do think they are slightly nicer to work with)
Why the Joy?
- There is NO difference between any of the lamy pens in terms of performance… the reason I use the Joy pens are because I love,  absolutely LOVE the balance of the longer tail. The lid does fit on the end of the pen but I never put it on when using since it changes the balance and weight of the pen in my hand. Surprisingly I have never lost the lid!
- I love the name 'joy' … just expresses my feeling when I have the pen in my hand!
- The Joy pen is Lamy's calligraphy model so normally comes with a calligraphy nib…so you have to either buy your pen at a pen shop where they can replace the calligraphy with an EF or buy an extra EF nib.
- I prefer the black or white Joy to the AL version as they are a fraction lighter.
- I am currently using a gold nib (3 x the price of the pen!) I bought it years ago when I was more extravagant. It is more flexible that the standard nib but it is not really worth the expense.
- Most people like an EF nib (extra fine), and my gold nib was originally EF but after all the use I have given it, it is more like a F or even a M nib with a bit of pressure. I moving away from EF nibs these days... but more later on about this!

Flying with a fountain pen?

More details here

Problems with your Lamy pen?
The first thing I always do is to clean the pen - check out this great video from Goulet... and get totally distracted watching Brain Goulet's other Ink Nouveau videos!
I have found that De Atramentis works best in my pens. I have had a number of pens that were not flowing smoothly with noodlers ink but as soon as I switched to DeA they started to work like a dream.

The Ink:
This is a huge topic for discussion. There are a number of water based permanent inks that are suitable (more or less) for use in fountain pens and that become permanent once dried so that you can paint over the top.
- I use De Atramentis Archive Ink or Document Ink (I can not really tell the difference between the twobut haven't done extensive testing to see if there is a difference). I LOVE this ink so much. It flows beautifully. Please note that it is not as 'solid' a black as the noodlers - depending on the pen you are using (ie. the width of your line) you might find some translucency in the ink.
- I also love Super5 ink. Read my first review here
- For many years I have used Noodlers Bulletproof black ink and rarely had any issues. I used my pen daily so the ink was always flowing and don't ink over graphite pencil lines.  I would never leave this ink sitting in a pen that isn't used regularly and have known of numerous people that had pens that have clogged as a result of Noodlers.
- Another ink that people use is Platinum Carbon Ink. I haven't tried it but it sounds like another ink that you need to keep moving and regularly clean your pens.

- De Atramentis has brought out a range of coloured Document Inks(permanent) and I am using multiple coloured ink lines a lot in my sketches since November 2014. Here is a link to some of my work on the blog or if easier a set on Flickr.
If you are interested in mixing these coloured inks make sure you check out Jane Blundell's DeA ink mixing charts.

Paint Tin:
 I use a small Schmincke metal tin that has a fold out mixing area and a three sectioned lid. For those in Australia you can get a similar tin made by Art Basics from the Art Scene (see photo below).
I have removed the metal clips (correction: my dad removes the metal clips for me) and then secured the pans of paint with blu-tac.
Dad's description of the process: To remove the steel clips from paint trays, place tray in vice (or clamp down) and drill out the four punched fixings from the clip side. Use an electric/battery operated drill with a twist drill bit slightly larger than the punched fixing area, then use a file to remove any burrs around the hole on the reverse side of the tray.
Detailed description of setting up my paint tin is here.

The Paints:
I use mainly Daniel Smith paints (with some WN) in empty full or half pans. I am not going to list my colours are they often change - I am continuing tweaking and trying new alternatives although the basic principles are the same.
The list in this photo are
Hansa Yellow Medium - Transparent Pyrrol Orange - Quinacridone Rose - Potters Pink (WN) - Ultramarine Blue - Cerulean Chromium - Pthalo Blue (red shade) - Indanthrone Blue - Steels Grey (a pre mix of WN Cobalt Deep Blue and Quin Burnt Orange) - Van Dyke Brown (or Raw Umber) - Transparent Red Oxide - Monte Amiata Natural Sienna - WN Cobalt Turquoise Light - Green Apatite - Buff Titanium - Quinacridone Gold

I do not recommend anyone to rush out and buy all these colours… but that is what I use - or was using at the time of the photo.

Below is my standard palette of 12 colours that I do recommend for my sketching classes and workshops. …and even in that list there are some personal quirks.

Refer to this updated blog post for more description

I have also developed a minimum palette of 4-6 colours (Daniel Smith preferred but with W&N and Schmincke alternatives. More details here

Watercolour Pencils:

More details about my watercolour pencil selection here

As for my sketchbooks....
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