When sojourning in Italy last autumn, I wanted to limit my luggage to what I could carry easily on the plane. That meant keeping my art kit to a bare minimum. On a whim of rare austerity, I decided to sketch simply in black, white and sepia. No color.
My tools (pictured left, clockwise from the upper left) ~
— a collapsible water vessel
The coolest thing in my kit just might be the Kuratake water brush. It’s a waterbrush that carries it’s own water reserve. Fill the hollow plastic handle with water, screw the brush on, and then give the handle a gentle squeeze when you want to brush your work with a bit of water. The “brush” is a supple nib of sponge.
No, you can’t get a lot of subtlety of stroke with this brush, but if you’re on the go and want to add a general wash of color to a sketch, it’s perfectly adequate.
Other tools in my kit (pictured below) ~
— a plastic spritzer bottle for water
— a small rag
— a zippered pouch for carrying all of the above
And, of course:
— a small digital camera
Undoubtedly the most curious item in my kit is the bottle of Aveda hairspray. Why is this in my art kit and not my shower kit? Because it makes an excellent spray fixative for pencil drawings, preventing them from smearing [a nifty little trick I learned from Dory Kanter in her delightfully inspiring book, Art Escapes].
Below, some pages from my Italy sketchbook: