Since I’ve been sketching in the museum, I’ve been thinking of an easy way to carry all my different pens with my sketchbook. After a trip to the fabric store, I bought some elastic tape to create a bandolier. The bandolier you see above is my first attempt at sewing elastic tape; turns out you need a special needle to sew elastic things, a ball-point needle, which I didn’t have at the moment. Given that I was making this for myself, I didn’t really care about clean construction, so I ended up hand-sewing parts of it, just to make sure the stitching wouldn’t rip.

The bandolier goes around the cardboard at the back of the sketchbook (it doesn’t really fit if the backcover is soft). I usually get wirebound sketchbooks as they’re cheaper and actually a lot more convenient than pamphlet bound sketchbooks. Also, the size I prefer for outdoor sketching is 5×7 inches. If it’s bigger, it becomes a pain to carry around, and if it’s smaller it becomes really hard to draw (no wrist support). I’m usually not a picky person, but drawing on location can become uncomfortable really quickly, so this is the setup which works for me.

I’ve since made a second bandolier, this one you can adjust the length of the bandolier to the sketchbook. Even though I made the bandolier for outdoor sketching, I think it’s a pretty convenient way to store my pens and pencils: I don’t have to dig through a pouch to look for what I need. It’s still a work in progress…mostly because the sewing is still uneven despite having bought a heavy duty ballpoint needle.

Anywoo, here are the pens I usually carry with me : 2 light gray copic markers (Toner Gray 0 & 1), two drafting pencils, a Pentel Brush pen, a Manga G fountain pen, a white gel pen and a Pentel Clic Eraser, and a lead sharpener. I might add water brushes and colored pencils if the mood strikes me, but that’s the core setup.

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