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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Special Winter Gear

My name is Nina Khashchina, you might know me on Flickr or in Urban Sketching or Nature Sketching community as Apple-Pine. And I will do a proper introduction post later - when Kate has me scheduled :) but for now I wanted to share some of my winter gear secrets.

I live in one of the warmest winter climates out of all correspondents of this blog: Silicon Valley, California. Though I know what a real winter is: today thermometers showed 14F in the town where I grew up and it can get much much colder there. So Silicon Valley feels very warm to me in comparison. But sketching during winter is tricky nonetheless.

First thing I use and would recommend is fingerless gloves. Mine have a mitten attachment which warms up my fingers in between sketching :)

Second thing I find very useful is a baseball hat with light built in. Mine has white, bright white and - the most useful - green light. It gets very dark very early - these days many of my park adventures happen or end in darkness - and this hat allows me to a) be seen by my companions, bikers etc. b) Draw :) Green light is very soft on my eyes while they switch between the object and my sketchbook - though I do quite a bit of blind contours anyways. Too bad my hat is not very warm - I look pathetic with baseball hat over knitted beanie - good thing people around me see only my lights ;)

Here is a sketch of my gear:
Winter Sketching Tools

And here is a couple of sketches done with my gear:
November 2010: Sketching at Night


  1. Hat with green lights?! Oh my!!
    I think I might need to try!

    May I inquire where you found such a wonderful invention and where might I find one?

  2. Wonderful, Nina! What are your gloves made of? I had wool ones once but they cut off the circulation in my fingers, or so it felt, and my hands were even colder! I've been longing for Polar Fleece gloves for winter work...

  3. Nina, I love your sketches and I'm such a sucker for night sketching. I think we need to promote the joys of sitting in the dark and playing with paint and paper! How I giggled at the two hat combo.... Personal beauty takes a back seat in my book when it comes to being out in the elements creating :)

  4. Thank you, Laure, Kate and Pam for wonderful comments - all three made me smile and one made me giggle ;0)

    I got my hat from Amazon - I think it was this one (if link does not work - search for hat with LED light)

    I wanted it to be very bright by itself - safety orange so I went for pricier model (great way to spend gift cert!)

    My gloves are fleece - very soft, quick dry, take very little space and a good design: there is a button to keep mitten part out of the way while I sketch and there is a button to keep gloves together when they are in the bag (I have a thousand things in the bag usually - so fetching both gloves with one motion is important to me :) I got my gloves at Target - in the boys department ;)

    Being warm is very important to me - besides - even if people laugh at my hat - it's much better than if they would cry :)

  5. Nina, I loved seeing your gear. I shop at lot at REI for stuff like this so I can be out and about in Minnesota.

    I have a similar hat issue, but I solved mine by getting an insulated billed cap and then wearing an earband under the hat. If it's really windy I also put up my hood.

    And I'm a huge fan of the neckgaiter—because if my neck is warm I'm good to go in any temperature because I'm not shrugging my shoulders and stopping myself from drawing.

    Loved the night time sketches! Roz

  6. Sure thing, Laure!

    Roz, thank you for your feedback! Neckgaiter sounds great - I'll try - as well as a earband under the hat! ;)


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