OK, so the update is not radical in terms of time – it’s not as if I suddenly changed out everything in one day. I’ve been making gradual, incremental changes all along. But two major changes are significant (though perhaps only temporary), and I’ve made them both since I returned from my trip to the UK: For the first time in a few years, I’m using only two fountain pens. And for the first time ever, I’m using no watercolors at all!
I’ve been gradually using colored pencils more and more often, especially during travel, yet I felt like I always “needed” watercolors, just in case. I finally decided to cut the cord and take the watercolors out. (I even removed the few Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers I usually carry.) So pencils are now my only source of color (except for one waterbrush filled with sky-blue ink). As usual, it’s an experiment, and I might eventually put watercolors back in. We’ll see if I miss them.
As for the fountain pens. . . you know how much I love them. But I found that when I carried five or six or eight in my bag, I used them according to the 80/20 rule: My two Sailor fude pens got used 80 (or maybe 90) percent of the time, while all the rest got used only occasionally, meaning they were not earning their keep as daily carries.
|Top view of my everyday-carry Rickshaw Bagworks Zero |
Messenger Bag and contents.
Here’s what’s in my bag now:
- A hand-stitched signature of 140-pound Canson XL paper
- KUM pencil sharpener (the only one that seems to accommodate my favorite Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle colored pencils (see No. 7 below)
- Waterbrushes filled with warm and cool gray inks for shadows; and sky-blue Iroshizuku Tsuyu-kusa ink (still my favorite way to make a quick streak of sky)
- Water spritzer (still useful even without watercolors)
- Two Sailor fude fountain pens (one with waterproof ink; one with water-soluble ink)
- One small and two large waterbrushes and one traditional brush (which I use only to spread sprayed water with)
- An expanded but still carefully selected palette of colored pencils (mostly water-soluble and a few traditional)
- A red Field Notes notebook
- A white colored pencil I like using with the red Field Notes (No. 8 above)
- A Kuretake hairy brush pen (though I’ve used many kinds, this is a long-time favorite)
- A white Gelly Roll gel pen (again, for use with the Field Notes)
- A non-hairy brush pen with waterproof ink (currently a Marvy LePen, but it’s not necessarily my favorite)
- A non-hairy brush pen with water-soluble ink (currently a Zebra double-ended brush pen, which is my favorite)
I also updated my Current Favorite Art Materials page to reflect the changes. (I even updated my Archive of Art Materials and Sketch Kits page so you can see the entire evolution.)
While I was working on that page, I decided to update the photo for my ultra minimalist sketch kit, too (the kit I would take to Gilligan’s Island). I use this tiny Travelon bag to hold my phone, wallet and keys while taking fitness walks around Green Lake. I rarely sketch on those walks, but every now and then I spot a heron or ducklings that I can’t resist. It still contains a Pilot Petit1 fountain pen. I swapped out a handmade sketchbooklet for a red Field Notes, which is an easy favorite for small, quick sketches, plus a brush pen and a white Gelly Roll.