My secondary (sketching) bag

February 3, 2023 | 3 Comments

After all the comments and questions from Monday’s article, I thought I should document my current secondary bag which is the patterned tote in this photo.

The Baggallini bag in the other article is the everyday bag that I take everywhere with me – so it also holds my wallet, sunglasses and other personal items as well. I didn’t refer to these at the time since the focus was on my sketching tools 🙂

If I go out for a walk, or a quick supermarket visit I take my smaller bag (see here) that holds a spiral-toned paper pad, a fude pen and a few pencils (see this article for more about that). I also have a nicer leather bag that I use for church which contains a TWSBI Eco and my sermon notebook. (Sunday is my day of rest from sketching so this is a notebook not a sketchbook.) All I transfer between these bags is my wallet, phone and (sometimes) my sunglasses.

But in general local outings where I expect to sketch I also carry a secondary tote bag. This two-bag strategy is something that I’ve done for many years.

I was looking for a robust tote and ended up with an insulated one! I don’t need this feature but keeping my water bottle from heating up in the sun is a nice bonus! And it is waterproof which is handy when it’s raining.

I think all the items notated in this sketch are self-explanatory but a few extra comments:

  • If this bag gets a bit heavy I often carry my sketchbook in my hand (and yes, I know, my sketchbook at the moment – an A4 hardcover Alpha – is pretty heavy in itself!)
  • Most of my sketching this year has been done as part of my daily life (ie. no dedicated sketching outings) so I’m not carrying a stool (or Backjoy – see more here). I have a foam mat in case I want to sit on the ground, but generally, my plan at the moment is simply to sketch from wherever I can find a bench or somewhere to sit! 🙂
  • One of the Mead 5 star pencil pouches could fit within my Baggalini bag but it would then become a little heavy so I carry it in the secondary bag. I have two different pouches – one containing my GoldFaber collection and the second one containing some Tombows and some watercolour pencils. I carry one or both of them depending on my mood and the occasion.

It’s fun to document my current gear and how I carry it around. There is always a balance between having options available when sketching on location and carrying around too much stuff. At the moment my kit is at its maximum size and I’m expecting to minimise it soon.

As always let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions.



  • Jani H says:

    In your sermon notebook, do you sketch along with your notes like you do on trips?
    I take sermon notes and have occasionally sketched in it, but usually just a view of the church structure, not generally something related to the sermon.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Jani – no I don’t sketch in church since my focus is on worshipping God and listening to the preaching. So it’s just notes 🙂

  • Jamie C says:

    A two bag system sounds like an excellent solution to me! My thoughts are now working away on that! It is always so helpful to see people’s kits and bags! I always love these kinds of sketches and photos and documenting. It’s also some of my favorites when I go back and look at my old sketches. Like old friends being visited to see the kit or bag that was. Lol!

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