I’ve done a number of posts over the years covering the art supplies I use both here at home and also take to Mongolia (along with other gear) which you can see here for 2014 and here for 2015. If you check them out you’ll see that not much has changed.
The major upgrade this year is my new set of Yarka watercolors (top). The plastic box of my old well-loved one was getting brittle, cracking with pieces coming off. The new one, which holds 36 pans instead of 26 is definitely bigger but the price from Dick Blick was too good to pass up. The color try-outs at the top of the first photo are all the colors, a number of them new for me. Below the Yarka set is a Winsor & Newton travel set of 26 colors. I carry it because some of the colors, like the Payne’s Grey (which has a lovely cool blue tint), are quite different than the Yarka equivalents. The little set at the bottom is also from Winsor & Newton. I can slip it, a brush, my foldable water container (the purple cube near the upper right in the first photo), a 7×5″ Pentalic Nature Sketch multi-media sketchbook and the drawing tools in the Derwent brown cloth holder into the pockets of my Domke photographer’s vest and not have to worry about the day pack. So it’s all super light and portable.
For paper I take a 9×12″ Arches cold press block and a couple dozen loose 8×8″ pieces of Saunders Waterford cold press, which I tape to a small packing tape covered “portfolio” with drafting tape. The portfolio holds the finished watercolors and also some sheets of toned drawing paper. I also have a small Strathmore Wind Power sketchbook for doing preliminary value studies and composition sketches.
To carry my brushes, I have a lovely zip case that I got at Cass Art in London a couple of years ago.
Inside are a variety of brands of brushes that have accumulated over the years, including Cass Art rounds, a flat and a bright; a Jack Richeson 9000 Signature Series round and flat; some Robert Simmons Sapphire rounds, flat and angled flat; the newest addition is a Gray Matters round from Jack Richeson; a couple of Stephen Quiller Richeson Professional flats; and a Robert Simmons One Stroke flat.
I also carry a good selection of Derwent water soluble colored pencils (top photo, lower left), which can be wetted with the water brushes I carry in my drawing kit. The drawing media and the colored pencils fit nicely into these zip cases from Global Art Materials and I really like them.
For drawing, from left to right above: Cretacolor Monolith graphite pencils, which are pure graphite with a thin coating of lacquer. They come in HB to 9B. Next is a Prismacolor white colored pencil since I take some toned paper with me. Then I have two Derwent Drawing Pencils in Venetian Red. They draw very nicely on the Pentalic Nature Sketch paper. I take at least two since they’re pretty soft and can get used up fairly quickly. Next is a General’s Draughting Pencil and then a sandpaper pad. I also have a retractable Exacto knife and a Swiss army knife for sharpening if the Maped handheld sharpener isn’t enough. The silver pencils are Derwent Watersoluble Graphitone pencils. Yes. Watersoluble graphite. I use the 2B, 4B and 6B. They’re wrapped in paper which can be peeled off for a larger surface area. They are also somewhat brittle and should be handled with care. I have a variety of brands of water brushes, but the reservoirs of most are too long for the case. I take a set of three Sakura Koi brushes which were the first ones I bought and one of the first on the market. At the end is a paper stump for blending. Above the water brushes is a small cut open plastic bag that holds a couple of kneaded rubber erasers. It’s taped to the inside of the case. This was a temporary hack that turned out to work just fine.
Not shown is my Moleskine sketch journal. It’s where I keep a diary of my trips and also draw and sketch using Sakura Micron pens. You can see my 2015 Mongolia journal and the art here.