I've occasionally been asked on Instagram about my sketchbooks and the materials I use to create my artwork.
My Drawing A Day kit... and sketchbooks galore!
So, here we go. Some answers.
More often than not, I use the same pen; a black UniPin fine line, which is water and fade proof. most often this is a 0.1 size, but occasionally I'll opt for the 0.05. I like this because it is waterproof and I can add paint immediately without the ink bleeding.
I also have a water brush - there are quite a few brands that make them, I think this one is from Seawhite of Brighton. This holds water in the barrel and by gently squeezing it you get more water flowing through the brush - to add to the page or to mix paint, or you can just keep squeezing it to allow the water to run through and clean the bristles ready for using another colour. If I'm working from my own space indoors I might use a water pot and a paintbrush, particularly if it is a bigger piece, but quite often the water brush wins out for it's convenience.
Finally, I have and my old portable palette for my daily drawings. I've added a picture of this below to talk through the colours.
This tiny collection is portable which increases the likelihood of me actually doing a drawing during the day, while I'm out and about. compact watercolour case, which is an old Rowney one with a few additional colours I’ve added over time
Above is my compact watercolour case, which is an old Rowney one with a few additional colours that I’ve added over time. I've taken it's lid off here which is also the palette for colour mixing. I top up the compartments using watercolour tubes. in the space where a brush used to be there is now a white - which I don't actually use as I thought I might when I added it, a turquoise and a bright pink. On the other side I've added an extra green, and, since this image has been taken I've also added a bright orange. In the top left square that you can see is actually a black at the top and a purple at the bottom which seems to work well. The watercolour from the tubes is liquid when it is squeezed into the pans and then it sets so these two colours don't actually mix or touch. I can't remember when I was given this kit - I think it was for a birthday or a Christmas, but many, many years ago, long before I started my drawing a day project.
Although I do like to use all different sized sketchbooks and like the idea of working on bigger sheets of paper, normally I use this A6 140gsm hardbacked sketchbook that fits into a pocket. These ones are by Seawhite of Brighton sketchbooks and for the last couple of years I have been buying lots in one go to last me most of the year. They do the A6 ones in both portrait and landscape orientations which I like, and I tend to alternate between them.
I love these small sketchbooks, and they usually last about 6 weeks or so. Sometimes I'll do a few drawings on one page and other times I'll do just one more detailed study and then will leave the back of that page blank if I think I might want to scan the image to use on a card or product at a later date. The pages are nice an thick but this is just a precaution so that an additional picture doesn't show through the page when I want to scan the work.
As you can see from this image however, the collection of these small sketchbooks is growing! I have recently started labelling the spines of the books with the start and end date to give me more of a chance when I am looking back through them for a drawing I'm sure I've drawn somewhere...
When I was at university I cut out a headline from the paper that said 'when to draw the line' and stuck it on a sketchbook I was using at the time. Years later it came to mind when a friend and I were trying to work out what I should call my artistic venture/ brand.