My current sketching bag

January 30, 2023 | 21 Comments

I’ve had a number of questions about my current bag lately so I thought it was time for an update…

For the last 12 months or so I’ve been using a Baggallini Everywhere Bag and loving it! I used a Hedgren Clapham cross-body bag (in red and in blue) for many years and while it served me well, I’m enjoying the extra pockets of the Baggallini. 

The Everywhere Bagg has six outside pockets – four of which I’m using for my sketching gear as described in the above image:

A. Small zip pocket for small bits and pieces – sharpener, eraser, washi tape and a glue stick.

B. Small pocket with a flap (magnetic closure) is the perfect size for my watercolour palette (see here for more) and a few travel brushes. The ArtTool Kit Folio palette also fits in this pocket (just!)

C. Side pocket (designed as a ‘quick access phone pocket’) works perfectly for my brushes in a toothbrush holder, two small water bottles and a black microfibre cloth (I don’t use a black wristband anymore).

D. Large front pocket which fits a pencil/pen holder with all my fountain pens and coloured pencils.

E. An extra slim pocket behind my paint tin that is useful for stashing a few napkins.

These pockets seemed to have been specially designed for my sketching gear!

Other features/ comments

  • There is also a large pocket on the back of the bag which would suit an A5 sketchbook. There is a zipper only the bottom of this pocket which can open unexpectedly but I secure it with a snap-lock safety pin.
  • The strap is okay but I would like it to be a little wider and sturdier.
  • This is the bag I use for everyday use – so the main section of the bag contains my wallet, sunglasses, personal items etc. 
  • If I’m going out and don’t expect to be able to sketch I often lighten my load by removing the pencil pouch and just taking my fude pen with a few pencils with me. I sometimes remove my paint tin as well if I know I won’t be sketching.
  • I also carry a secondary bag (patterned tote in the photo below) which I will document in a separate article. 🙂

Here is the bag in action…spread out on a bench while sketching the beaches of Port Macquarie last November

It works well standing up as I can access all my gear easily. An extra 5-star pencil pouch containing markers can fit inside the main section of my bag as well.  This photo is from my second trip to Newcastle last year.

Let me know if you have any questions.

21 Comments

  • Penny Ricker says:

    Are you using fiber castell Pitt artist pens? I was just debating whether to take them on my sketching safari to Africa. If so how are you sliding them in your drawings?

  • Deborah Lonergan says:

    Two comments. 1) I have this bag! I have carried Baggallinis for years. It will serve you well. 2) That is a huge amount of gear!

  • Carmel Campbell says:

    I have the same bag. Recently washed it and now it looks like new. I don’t like putting my sketchbook on the outside pocket where the bottom can open with the zipper. Otherwise a super bag!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Carmel – yes the zip on the back pocket is a bit of a pain but I secure it with a snap lock safety pin.

      • Yvonne F says:

        The zip pull on what appears to be the newer variant of this bag is effectively a miniature caribiner and there’s a little metal loop stitched into the seam that you can hook it to.

      • Liz Steel says:

        Thanks for letting me know Yvonne – that’s exactly what I’ve been wishing they did!

      • Carmel Campbell says:

        Liz, what a good idea. Thank you.

  • maria bergman says:

    Does it accommodate a sketchbook as well?

  • Rockie Weymouth says:

    Thanks for posting this, Liz, since the Hedgren Clapham bag is no longer available. I have the same question as Maria: How do you carry your sketchbooks so that they are easy to carry and ready for action when out and about? I should know this from seeing you on video in the courses, but an explanation would be great.

  • Beverley Clark White says:

    Liz, question: in the 1st photograph, the paisley bag…is it for the same use as the D pouch in your sketch???
    Bev

  • Beverley Clark White says:

    Liz, question: in the 1st photograph, the paisley bag…is it for the same use as the D pouch in your sketch??? I have wondered if you put any other things in this bag besides the sketching gear??
    Bev

  • Jamie C says:

    Is this just a kit bag or does it serve as your purse and wallet, too? If it isn’t your purse and wallet, do you end up carrying multiple bags all the time? I do, and I’m still trying to figure out a better way. That Baggallini Everywhere bag looks like an excellent, multi pocket bag!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Jamie – good question. I just added more info in the article (yes, it’s my everyday purse/bag) and I have a secondary bag – article coming lately today.

  • Marlene says:

    It’s always very interesting to see how other urbansketchers (especially women) carry their personal plus art supplies. I tried to use a mini backpack (I mainly carry a watercolor palette, pocket size sketchbook, pen and a few other things) but proved to be cumbersome taking it off and on. I found a Timbuk2 out-of-style messenger bag that has the back pocket that may work for me.

    Anyway always enjoyed your posts.

  • Katherine J Sychra says:

    Hi Liz, I just received my new Baggallini Everywhere Bag (I love Baggallini bags!). I’m wondering how you fit your fountain pens and colored pencils in the “D” pocket. On the bag I received, that pocket doesn’t seem quite deep enough for the pens and colored pencils to stand up straight. And the pocket is certainly not deep enough to have a pouch to corrall them in.
    Anyway, having fun getting used to a new system and figuring it all out!
    Thanks!
    Katherine Sychra

  • Betty says:

    Hi Liz!!! I’ve been reading your articles on Buff Titanium and wondered what color you used for your sandy beach here in this sketch? I live in South Florida and beaches are a big part of our landscape. What alternative are there to create that texture and color? Many Thanks!!!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Betty – I think that in these sketches I was in fact using Buff… but also combining it with coloured pencil and marker for some colour variation

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