What Not To Take on a Sketching Trip?

October 20, 2009

Above: A peek inside Liz's car as she pulled out her art materials and decided what to take. I kept laughing as more and more media appeared from deep within her satchel. I kept urging her to consider carrying less because it all gets heavy after awhile when you are carrying it or standing sketching and hanging it all on your shoulder! I'm thrilled to announce that Liz culled down to 4 or 5 media and used everyone of them.

I had to give you a heads up that I posted over on Urban Sketchers: Twin Cities today, because my friend Liz and I went to sketch at Como Zoo and Conservatory. (Liz's sketch of the Conservatory Dome appears at the top of the post and my version ends the post.)

    • elizabeth
    • October 20, 2009


    I have to tell you that this am I hopped on your blog and didn’t see a post for today…it kind of ruined my day!! But things are right with the world now. 🙂 hahaha

    I always like seeing what other people carry – it just gives me an excuse to buy something new. 🙂

  1. Reply

    I can so relate to this scenario. I go through this everytime I am going out to draw. To me, mixed media looks great on a page, so it is necessary to think about what you might want. I envy Liz if she was able to only take a few things. Yes, my bag gets heavy sometimes, but if I get the inkling to use watercolor crayons or a purple tombow brush pen, you can bet I have it with me. And if I have culled down my materials for a session, you can also bet I want what I didn’t bring. You really can’t win.

    • Roz
    • October 21, 2009

    Donna, I too love mixed media, but I can’t see carrying 30 lbs. of art supplies. It would weigh me down when I’m chased by spies!

  2. Reply

    I can relate. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Roz
    • October 22, 2009

    Steve, I just had to bring it up. We’ve all been there. I just want people to journal for the long term and if we are all suffering from torn rotator cuffs from hauling materials around…and I draw more, and better when I carry less. Happily Liz is a good sport about all this. (And she’s young, so she can carry all this stuff.)

    • dave
    • October 23, 2009

    Roz, I agree. I used to carry lots of stuff (not quite as much as Liz here) but found I never used it. I’d quickly get tired of the stuff and lose the immediacy of the moment.

    I really just found myself drawing with a pen and adding watercolor later (at lunch, in the hotel room, etc.). Of course, my journals are not as elaborate as yours and Liz.

    Now I carry the pen clipped to the journal tucked in my back pants waist and the water brush and watercolor travel set in my pocket. I’m hands free. (Optionally, I’ll do the fanny pack thing if a bring a bigger journal.)

    Also, I’m a bit self-conscious and feel like I’m making a scene if I pull out all my pens and stuff…and then I can’t surreptitiously sketch the people around me.


    • Roz
    • October 23, 2009

    Dave, the spontaneity issue is a big one. If we have fewer tools with us we can capture the moment, which is more important to me than getting the perfect drawing or painting. But I know everyone comes to this at their own pace and I’ll win Liz around eventually.

    Keeping the supplies down is also a great way to remain “unobtrusive” as you suggest. Nothing blows your cover as much as sitting on a bench and taking massive quantities of art supplies out of a satchel before you start to work. Someone might come over and throw money in the satchel thinking it’s a performance piece!

    I’m glad that you’ve worked out a system which works well for you! We just have to nudge those folks burdened with lots of supplies so that they don’t injure themselves and can keep working!

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