My sketching setup

Travelsketching often means sketching while sitting or standing in odd places and positions, thus making it a challenge to juggle a sketchpad, pallet, water, etc.

When sketching at a cafe or a pub your setup it is pretty easy – you have a table in front of you. So the only real decisions are which sketchbook, and do you use a waterbrush or get a container for water and a natural brush. Most often I just ask for a small glass of water with no ice. I do carry a collapsible metal container that reduces down to about 2” in diameter and ¾” thick.

When in the field it helps to have a system, trying to balance a pallet on my knee has resulted in many dropped pallets and a lot of frustration. Here are my two basic travelsketching setups.

Here is the setup I use most often

This is the reason I prefer hard sketchbooks, though the same set up does work fine on soft covers.

Most often I end up sketching on my lap, even when there is a table in front of me, must be a habit from all the times I have sketched sitting on rocks or logs. With the pallet clipped to the pad it does not slide and fall. So this is pretty easy and quick. The other clips hold down the pages

If I am using loose sheets this is the setup

I used the cardboard backing from a pad of watercolor paper, they are about ¼” thick and quite rigid. White duct-tape covers the edges, and creates a hing so it folds in half. The two clips on either side hold the paper in place, and they are on the fold, holding the board in place; it is quite sturdy.

The water cup is collapsible and held in place by another clip, as is the pallet. Of course if I am using a water brush no cup is needed.

This folding board also works with a sketchbook if you are painting on double pages, or it is a wire bound sketchpad.

Though I use both, the first is the most easy to carry, all it takes is a couple of clips. Most all of my sketchbooks have a clip clipped to the cover so I always have one ready to go.

Hope this gives you some ideas. I would love to see how you set things up as I am always open to new tricks.

Hope you are well, traveling (real or virtualle), and most of all hope you are sketching. Always love it when you share your work.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I love your radish sketch

      Liked by 1 person

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