Way too much stuff!

January 18, 2023 | 17 Comments

If you don’t already know, I normally start a new sketchbook by documenting my palette (and/or my sketching kit). I’ve been doing this since 2009 and even have a tag “Title Page‘ if you want to explore more. Not only does this habit take away the dilemma of what to put on the first page of a new book but the title page becomes a very useful record of what I was doing at the time.

On Monday I finally got around to doing the title page for my current sketchbook – Volume 167 of my everyday books (I have 100+ travel sketchbooks as well)

Hmm… It’s becoming a bigger job to document my colours!

I know, I know, I’m carrying way too much stuff at the moment… but it’s just so hard to limit my selection of pencils and markers.

So this page documents my crazy selections at this time including:

  • 20 different watercolour paints as described in detail here
  • lots of coloured pencils – Derwent Colorsoft, Faber Castell Polychromos, Bruynzeel Design and Caran d’ache Luminance
  • lots of watercolour pencils – Faber Castell Albrecht Durer, Bruynzeel Design and Caran d’ache Museum
  • a few Tombows
  • 26 Faber Castell GoldFaber Aqua dual markers.

My goal for the coming weeks is somehow to reduce this collection!

And just for the record, I don’t carry all of this around all of the time. 🙂


  • Mary Laiuppa says:

    I hear you. I know I need to start to weed out my collection of palettes and watercolor but what did I do over the Holidays? I bought two more. Rosa and Dirty Blue.

  • Natalie says:

    I saw FC GF markers in your instagram, bought 20 and liked solubility and color selection so much that I had to find them open stock and extend my collection to all 60 colors available. (And a few Tombows)
    Now I’m thinking to sell my FC AD markers because they are too chunky in comparison.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Great to hear Natalie. Yes, I also find them more useful than the watercolour markers which are chunky and a little too pigmented for the way I want to use them.

  • Kimbi says:

    Literally been forcing myself to finish things. But i needed more watercolour paper so i bought a few coloured pencils from the luminance line up. i’ve never tried those before, looking forward to it.

  • Carole Lefebvre says:

    Hi, I’d like to know how is it with the Faber Castel Aqua Markers. When you do watercolor painting over them, do you have to work fast. How many times before the markers are dry? I know, you already work fast… ? but just to have an idea…

    Thanks a lot

    Carole Lefebvre

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Carole
      The markers remain watersoluble on Alpha paper for days. I just managed to lift some marker that I put done on Tuesday but haven’t totally tested this though.

  • Carole Lefebvre says:

    Hi again,

    I mean if you want that markers mix up with paint.


  • Celeste Uzee says:

    I’m amazed that you can juggle the markers, pencils, and paint when sketching on location. My brain can barely handle selecting from a focused palette. How do you keep the markers and pencils organized so you can find what you need quickly?

  • Suzanne says:

    Fab post, thank you. What book/paper are you using for your everyday sketchbook and do the pages lay flat when opened throughout? Kind of looks like a Stillman & Birn but I’m not too sure. I use their Beta hardcovers but recently, I’ve been bothered because the pages do not lie flat. (Lay flat?)

    I read your posts on the Strathmore and Kunst & Papier books. They were informative. Thanks again.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Suzanne – I’m using Stillman and Birn Alpha. Doesn’t lay totally flat but if I loosen the binding it’s ok.

  • Jamie C says:

    It looks like it must have taken some thought about how to get that many colors sampled on one spread! Ha! Great title page, though and so nice to see all the pencils and markers in one place!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Jamie – it wasn’t too bad actually but I didn’t bother getting all the pencils/markers in the best order! 🙂

  • Katherine says:

    I’d love to know more about brands and colors of watercolor pencils in your palette.

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