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My current sketching kit
My daily sketching kit as of December 2018. This is the stuff which I carry with me (practically) everywhere.
- A mix of Daniel Smith, Winsor and Newton and Schmincke watercolours in an Art Basics tin. More details here.
- Lamy Joy pen (white) with a gold nib (once was EF but now more like a M in thickness) filled with De Atramentis Document Ink black. More about permanent inks for Fountain Pens here. Please note the Joy is a calligraphy pen and comes with a stub nib. I replaced that with a normal nib for drawing.
- Spare Lamy Joy pen (black) with a F nib. The only use of this pen is backup ink supply in case my White Joy runs out.
- TWSBI Eco (turquoise) with a F nib filled with J Herbin Diabolo Menthe ink (water soluble). I use this pen for the guidelines for my writing.
- TWSBI Eco (white) with a F nib with De Atramentis Document Ink Black which I use for all my writing. The rationale for this is that it preserves the ink in the White Joy so I don’t have to fill up the ink in that pen as much. Plus the F nib suits my handwriting better – I prefer writing with a thinner line than I do for drawing.
- Green Sailor fountain pen with 55 degree fude nib filled with De Atramentis Document Ink Black.
- Green Sailor fountain pen with 55 degree fude nib filled with De Atramentis Document Ink Urban Grey.
- Lamy Vista with a F nib filled with Waterman Serenity Blue (water soluble). I use this mainly for a second ink colour for my notes (a different colour makes the pages more interesting.) I am using this ink as I wanted a bright blue and the De Atramentis Document blue was too dark. I also do the occasional simple line drawing with this pen.
- Pilot Kakuno with F nib filled with a mixed ‘Burnt Sienna’ colour of De Atramentis Document Ink (Yellow, Brown and a little Red). I use this as a third colour ink for text and the occasional line drawing.
- Pentel Aquash Waterbrush in large. I don’t like the results from a waterbrush (washes are flat with little granulation) so I rarely paint with it. The main use is as a clean water supply for pre-wetting skies.
- Rosemary & Co Series 772 1/2 ” sable blend dagger. I use this brush for 99% of my sketches. It has a sharpened end so that it fits into a toothbrush container.
- Rosemary & Co R13 travel sable blend brush. This is for occasional use – just if I feel the urge to use a round brush for a change.
- Rosemary & Co R4 Pure Kolinsky Sable 1/4″ One Stroke. I want to use a flat brush more often but always reach for my dagger so I don’t use this brush much.
- Refer to the Brushes Section for more details.
Other pens and pencils
- White Gel Pen. I either use a Sakuri Gelly Roll or Uniball Signo Broad (pictured). For further information there is a great review here.
- Everyday black gel pen – for filling out forms (which might not be on fountain pen friendly paper) and for signing copies of my book.
- Ecoline Brush Pen (water soluble) in Warm Grey #718. I use this for quick sketches when I want to add some tone.
- Watercolour pencils: Faber Castell Albrecht Durer. Minimal selection at the moment: Dark Indigo 157, Cadmium Yellow 107, Deep Scarlet Red 219, Walnut Brown 177 . Click here for my usual full selection.
- White Chinagraph pencil (various brands). The most readily available in Australia is the Staedtler Lumocolor Permanent White pencil. I use this under watercolour as a resist.
- A plastic card for scraping
- Sharpener by Faber Castell
- Two small water containers attached to either my palette or my support board (or anything) with Blu Tack. The Blu Tack on the bottom of the containers is a little messy (comes off in my bag and gets on everything else!) but it is the most versatile fixing means (more so than using velcro or magnets). I bought these containers at a $2 shop a number of years ago and haven’t seen them for a while now.
- Glue stick. I don’t know the best brand/type of glue to use (suggestions welcome).
- Black wrist band for wiping my brush (Note: I mainly use napkins, but the wristband is still in my kit for occasional use if I run out of napkins)
More info about my materials
- Make sure you check out the other sections below
- You might be interested in a detailed interview I did on Parkablogs about my art tools here. It’s a few years old but most of it is still relevant.
- I’m constantly changing my fountain pens! In 2015 I had a lot of fude pens with different coloured ink for drawing but these days some of my extra pens are mainly for writing!
- I’m no longer carry around a secondary pocket palette or my full selection of watercolour pencils.
- I’m currently not using a Faber Castell Graphite Aquarelle 2B or the Pentel Pocket Brush so have removed from my kit.
- The brown watercolour marker has been replaced by the grey Ecoline one.
But apart from that, my kit is more or less the same. I think the biggest change is that I am hardly ever using watercolour pencils these days. But of course that might change any time.
If you want to find out more about a specific tool please check out my Sketching Tools section and these categories.