Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Sketching Supplies for doing Plein Aire watercolor.

Next weekend we will be giving the Line to Color Workshop, so I am posting the sketching supplies that students will need for the weekend.
5x8 Sketchbook for ink line drawing  preferably with no spiral binding so you can draw across the page.

Watercolor sketchbook 5x8 landscape minimum.  Larger sizes okay

Drawing and painting tools. Binder clips to keep the page secure.  Painters tape to create a clean watercolor edge.
Water color Palettes
Above are different palettes.  There are many types of folding watercolor palettes that vary in price.
I used an old Winsor Newton mini travel palette and changed out the colors with my own Daniel Smith Tube Paints.  A mint tin with the lid sprayed with white enamel paint makes a nice small palette that you can easily fit in a pocket.  A vitamin pill container can be used as well to hold paints but you would need to bring a separate palette to mix and see paints.

Water bottles and water containers.  The bottles are to keep a reserve of clear water, the water container you use for painting.  It can be as simple as a hummus container or purchased collapsible containers.

Paper towels folded in a tin is a easy way to wipe excess water from your brush.  A sponge will work too.

Collapsible camp stool that you can purchase at REI or any camping store is good if you need a place to sit.


  1. Which fountain pens do you usually use?

    1. Hi Pilgrim,
      I use a variety of pens. If I want a controlled line I was using my tried and true Lamy pen with Noodlers ink. However you need to let the ink dry before it is truely waterproof. If I want loose varied line widths I will use my Hero Bent nib pen with Noodlers ink. Again you need to wait for the ink to dry before adding watercolor. If I know I want to paint over right away then I use my Zebra disposable pens. It gives a varied line and the ink is immediately waterproof. Also Pitt pens do that as well but are a consistent width line.

  2. Oh, thank you. I haven't tried the Noodler's ink or the Hero pen yet. That ink does come in many nice colors. I use the De Atrametis in the Lamy and a Fude Sailor. So many things to try.

    1. Pilgrim,
      If you get the Noodlers and do watercolor over it you need to use the Bulletproof ink. The others will bleed when you add watercolor over it. And the Bulletproof ink needs to dry before you use water over.

  3. Which is your favourite Lamy ?

    1. Molon, My favorite Lamy is my green metal Lamy with an extra fine nib. But I have found Lamy's can be fussy. Some the flow is not consistent others have good flow. It will depend on the nib and ink most likely. I use the Noodlers bullet proof black ink. However you need to let it dry before it will be waterproof.