It was last year, on my trip to Egypt, that I started sketching on location. Part of the reason was that I broke my camera on my second day in Egypt and so had no choice but to draw draw draw. Although it frustrated me that my drawing weren’t like the “real” thing, I realized something: because it takes more time to draw something than it is to take a picture, I places are sort of etched in my memory.¬†Anyway, after the trip I learned a couple of thing: first, keep your camera VERY far away from water, and how to improve my sketching setup. My current “sketch on location” kit includes (from left to right):

my travel setup

A watercolor pan set. The one pictured here is the maker Sakura Koi. I like this travel set because despite its small size it has 18 colors.

2 waterbrush pens. These are AWESOME japanese brushes with a water reservoir you can refill. Allows you to do watercolors anywhere. I used to have three waterbrushes, but i lost one in Egypt.

2 mechanical pencils (no need to bring a sharpener) in case you lose one ,which I did in Egypt, ended the trip drawing with the leads….very tricky

An inkbrush, which is the same as the waterbrushes except the reservoir is filled with ink. I don’t use it too often.

A calligraphic pen in case i want to ink drawings. For both the ink brush and the pen, I learned the hard way to always color first THEN ink. Otherwise your ink will bleed all over the drawing.

A small sketchbook, although this one is 300 pages long. Once I finish it, I’ll definitely buy a sketchbook with less pages.

Now carrying all these tools and switching between them can be a hassle,which is why I created this setup (the gray shape below the utensils). The gray shape below is essentially a hard book cover without the pages of the book. I built it myself using book board and book cloth. On the left side I put velcro tape, and also put velcro tape on all my tools. So now i can have my sketchbook and my tools side by side on one arm. This is a setup that’s worked really well for, and I haven’t lost anything since I’ve been using it.

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