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Monday, August 22, 2011

Lighten up!

We've talked a fair amount about lightweight supplies for journal work, particularly when traveling.  This is about my lightest "practical" kit, in a white plastic Sucrets cough drop box.  That gives me a small white mixing area as well as plenty of colors.

These were left over from my rehab of my ancient Winsor & Newton travel box...I'm not wild about half pans, as I've said, but I didn't want to throw then out, either, so this little kit rides in the glove box of my Jeep.

It weighs 1.6 ounces!

More about it HERE in my Flickr album.


  1. You got a lot of good pigments into that tiny box--I like that! Why is it those teeny little boxes are just so appealing? I could have a dozen of them and keep them all over the place; I love them.

  2. I love them too! I really, REALLY like lightweight supplies as I get older, but I still need them to do everything I expect of them. Tall order!

  3. You have been such a (bad?) fun influence on me! I keep adding differing versions of travel palettes --- my Sucrets box is full of unused Cotman paints for grandchildren to use when we paint together.

    I recently made 2 even tinier sets, one WC and one gouache, to fit in a pencil case on an elastic band (fits around the sketchbook). Then found an empty tin like Liz' that I just "had" to have . . .

  4. I love to bring too much with me when I'm out sketching...I don't care about the weight! lol but the idea of keeping a set in the glove box compartment....is brilliant. There have been so many times when I would have sketched or painted something but for not having supplies with me.....I didn't!

    thanks for the inspiring idea! here's to creative moments that strike us when we aren't normally prepared!

    ciao bella

    creative carmelina

  5. You continue to inspire me in many ways. The mini paintboxes frequently top my list tho. I have always had a love for small kits of anything but as I can carry everything but the kitchen sink and then my back gets totally out of wack, I have decided to scale way back and to go for very lightweight kits and sketchbooks. I feel better therefore I paint and sketch longer both on location and at home.

  6. Brilliant - I have two such boxes and each comes with its own two part brush; tiny but I just love using it/them for colouring my pen sketches. As for a book, well I have taken to making my own from old maps, so I have a little concertina with the surface all prepared to take ink and paint. For water I use a screw top jar - a tiny one that once held jam samples, or, if I'm out walking an old 35mm lightweight film canister.

  7. Carmelita, you must be MUCH younger than I am! :-) But yep, I've loved having the glove box set more than once! Never unprepared...

    Margo, that's the problem, I got out of whack carrying too much. My friend Maria who is one of our correspondents here uses a small backpack instead of a purse, which equalizes the weight. I'm still looking for one!

    I've got a jar like that, Ann! LOVE the map idea...and I learned about the film canister from Liz Steep, who is also one of our correspondents. It works beautifully, doesn't it!

  8. I have made portable paintboxes as gifts for artist friends from altoids tins. I spray paint the inside with appliance enamel (I use tape to mask off what I don't want sprayed and then peel it off later). When dry I draw a 4X3 (you can even do 5X4 if you're careful) grid inside with two layers of silicone caulk. When the silicone dries you squeeze your favorite paints in the little squares, put it in your kit and go. It's better to put the paints in the lid and use the base for mixing, I found out. It's a fun way to recycle!

  9. What a beautiful, loose sketch of the pathway!

    I too keep a tiny watercolor set in my dash compartment ... and under the visor over my head I have three sizes of brushes tucked in a piece of cardboard where they'll be safe. A tiny jar of water lives strapped to the door handle ... I'm ready to go assuming I remembered the sketchbook.

  10. Orchidartist, I haven't tried the caulk, sounds like it WORKS.

    And Elva, thanks! I keep an extra tiny accordion fold sketchbook in the vehicles too, in case I forget!

  11. I purchased Artist Journal Workshop and I am pleased! I have read every page and am on my second round! It certainly is encouraging!

  12. Wonderful, Pat, thank you! That's my intent!

  13. Being more of a colored pencil artist myself than a water colorist, (although I do occasionally use wc pencils. I tend to carry too much. Still trying to cut down on my # of cp's to keep to a small pencil pack. Any hints from users of cp's?

  14. I like colored pencils too! I watch weight, as you can tell, so though I like the woodless ones, I tend to go for lighter wood-clad. And layering is always a solution when you want secondary and tertiary colors.

    I hope others will chime in here!

  15. Kate, the small backpack I use is actually a kid's backpack made by Jansport. I use one as a regular "purse" and one to carry my portable journaling supplies in (including the journal or sketchbook, depending on its size). It's lightweight, water-resistant, practically indestructible, and saves my shoulders because it balances the weight--plus it goes into the field easily if I'm on a nature walk. These handy little backpacks also come in assorted colors--you can see them at: http://www.ebags.com/product/jansport/half-pint/4485?productid=949606
    Just as an aside, I've gotten more compliments on my "purse" than on any conventional purse I've ever carried!

  16. Thanks for the link, Maria, I tried to remember the brand and couldn't. It works SO WELL for you, and yes, balance is good.


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