Lightening my Load: How did I go?

November 19, 2015 | Leave your thoughts

Anyone who has been in an art-related conversation with me in the last 18 months has probably heard me say the phrase “I’ve got a blog post idea on that!” Indeed, I have lots of blog posts ideas and my list is growing all the time, but a lot of them involve quite a lot of work to put together. So as I am coming off an intensive blogging period (posting my Norfolk Island trip sketches) I need a few easy ideas. I wasn’t sure what else to put together this week, apart from yesterday’s cuppa sketch, but a great question by Catagonia7 has prompted this post.

Q: How did your smaller palette work out for you on your trip?

Please refer to this earlier post with the photo of the full ‘minimal kit’. In this post I am just referring to the sketchbook, paint brush and palette.

The lightened kit lasted one sketch – well maybe it was two sketches –  but the decision was made after the first one. This is the sketch, my first on Norfolk Island, when I realised that I had changed too many things. I felt completely out of control using a new sketchbook, new brush and new palette. I knew that to get used to the paper in the Pentalic sketchbook (and if you happen to miss it, I did a review of the book here) I would need to go back to my standard brush and palette, what I was used to. One of the principles I try to stick to is not to change too many things at once. But that is exactly what I did!

To get back to the specific question I was asked: I think that I could have coped with the smaller selection of colours, but the smaller pan size and in particular the limited mixing area was very uncomfortable for me.

And then when I started using my alpha sketchbook (which I talked about in detail here), I ended up carrying two sketchbooks. So the end result was that my sketching kit for this trip was heavier than it normally is! Aagh!

The good thing is that it has made me more determined to :
1. master using a smaller brush and the smaller palette with limited mixing area
2. lighten my load on a daily basis.

I haven’t done anything about it yet, but writing this blog post is a good reminder that I need to! As an aside, after starting a big tidying up process and then subsequently reading Marie Kondo’s book I was blown away by her daily routine of emptying her handbag. Imagine how great it would be if I removed my sketching kit out of my everyday bag each day and then made a decision about what I needed, or was going to use the next day? Wow! This would certainly prevent the inevitable accumulation of pens and pencils that seems to be my standard practice. It’s an idea anyway!

Has anyone else recently lightened their load – how did it go? Were you able to stick with it? I would love to hear some stories and get some advice, because obviously I’m a completely hopeless case!

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