I’ve been thinking about re-designing my support board for a while now (something that will suit the various sketchbook sizes and formats) and I’ve also been trying to source some black coroplast/corflute. At the beginning of lockdown, I found some black coroplast online but the sheet size was smaller than I wanted and I ended up ordering the wrong thickness (3mm?). Disappointed, I put the sheets away. (Note: If you have an Australian online source please include it in the comment section of this article… and I’ll be very grateful!)
I normally have a secondary bag that contains my support board, a water bottle, a RestoPresto (you can see more about that here) and my Backjoy. This secondary bag varies – when I’m travelling it’s a bag from Cambodia (this photo is from my big Road Trip earlier this year) and my BackJoy is clipped to the outside, but when I’m at home it’s simply been a ‘canvas’ tote bag – such as one from the Palladian Museum in Vicenza.
That particular bag (which I was naturally fairly attached to) was starting to wear out so I went digging in my sketching supplies for an alternative. I found a wonderful bag from Royal Talens that I was given during the Amsterdam Urban Sketchers Symposium. Not only is it made from good quality material but it is a little larger than the standard. This size is wonderful! (It’s 31cmW x 46cmH x 10cmD – 41cmW at top) I’m able to fit my backjoy inside… and I’m able to fit in a larger support board.
So my new support board is simply the two sheets of black coroplast that I ordered taped together. It’s great not having to unfold and clip together (as I had to with my last support board) and it’s wonderful to have a larger size board that provides greater support for my softcover sketchbooks. Note: Even though I think the Stablo portable easel is a great flexible solution (especially if you use smaller hardcover sketchbooks), I personally prefer something that supports the full height of my book and is less top-heavy. More about my thoughts on the Stablo here.
I’m not sure yet if this new board is the perfect size (30cmW x40cmH) but so far so good! I do need to test it with different-sized sketchbooks and my usual metal palette.
I also think that two thin sheets (ideally the sheets would have the grain running in different directions) is a stronger option than a single sheet.
My beloved Hedgren bags (blue and red) were wearing out and covered with stains, so it was time for a change.
It’s a Travelon bag (Anti-Theft Crossbody Bucket bag) and in fact, I have already shared a sketch of it during my recent Staycation.
It’s working well!
The pencil holder that I’m using in the front pocket was from an early prototype of the Walkit sketching bag that Cecilia sent to me a few years ago. I do intend to sew my own eventually, but this is working just fine for now.
This bag works well for the Folio palette as it slips into the front open pocket – but wouldn’t work so well for my normal metal palette as it wouldn’t fit.
Note: On the particular day shown in the above photo I had left my Folio at home, so used my ’emergency’ Portable Painter Micro palette with the Daniel Smith Sketchers Kit (my selection of 6 colours).
So there you have it… an update on my bags and support board.
All up it’s a very simple solution that is working really well for me at the moment.