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Thread: Recommendations: Travelling around with a sketchbook

  1. #1
    Internet Heel smygba's Avatar
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    Recommendations: Travelling around with a sketchbook

    Hi

    I was wondering if many people here at PJ genuinely travel around with a sketchbook and if so:

    1) What are you transporting around with you
    2) Why do you want those items
    3) How are you transporting those items (i.e. feel free to recommend bags, equipment etc that you have found useful)


    and other practical considerations.

    I'm currently jobless (yay 2nd redundancy in 4 years!) so out and about a lot.
    When I return to work, I want to make better use of my commuting time on the train or when I am sat waiting for one. I spent the last 3.5 yrs doing extra work on the train for no better outcome than the last job. So I want to make sure I make time again for art.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by smygba View Post
    Hi

    I was wondering if many people here at PJ genuinely travel around with a sketchbook and if so:

    1) What are you transporting around with you
    2) Why do you want those items
    3) How are you transporting those items (i.e. feel free to recommend bags, equipment etc that you have found useful)


    and other practical considerations.

    I'm currently jobless (yay 2nd redundancy in 4 years!) so out and about a lot.
    When I return to work, I want to make better use of my commuting time on the train or when I am sat waiting for one. I spent the last 3.5 yrs doing extra work on the train for no better outcome than the last job. So I want to make sure I make time again for art.
    Been there, done that. Today, I'd recommend an ipad. But back then I had a nice sketchbook like 12x 10 and a pack of copic multiliners in a handy wallet, complete with pencil and eraser. Granted I only did black and white then, but that was the perfect package. Light, but enough real estate to start a piece you could work on all week on and off on the train. Before that I had a phase where I would only use ballpens, so that made sketching in the train even easier, no switching tools necessary. Press light for the sketch and hard for finish lines. Actually it was a very effective training method.
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  3. #3
    Not Spoiling for a Fight Pencilero's Avatar
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    3 1/2" x 5 1/2" sketchbook is always on my person at some time. You never know when some dingdong is going to cost you time, so you may as well make the best use of it.

    I've taken to using a multifunction pen/pencil so that I have a variety of colors at my disposal without carrying a gaggle of drawing tools. Having said that, those cheap eight color pens are awesome too, eight colors, one tool. Fun sketching! A Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen is a good portable compliment if you want some juicy black lines.

    So little sketchbook and three pens for portability. You can sketch anywhere.
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  4. #4
    When I travel, I keep my art supplies simple. I bring a mid-sized strathmore sketchbook (they are about 5.5x8 inches I think?), an eraser, and a lead holder or two, and one of those little Uni sharpeners. I don't bring inking or other supplies, although if I am going on a longer trip I will bring a small watercolor kit and some water brushes (the kind with the water reservoir in the handle).

    Don't complicate things, just draw. I use travel time for practicing forms, sketching out roughs, and working at things I am not great at (hands! feet!).

  5. #5
    Internet Heel smygba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Tha Creep View Post
    Been there, done that. Today, I'd recommend an ipad. But back then I had a nice sketchbook like 12x 10 and a pack of copic multiliners in a handy wallet, complete with pencil and eraser. Granted I only did black and white then, but that was the perfect package. Light, but enough real estate to start a piece you could work on all week on and off on the train. Before that I had a phase where I would only use ballpens, so that made sketching in the train even easier, no switching tools necessary. Press light for the sketch and hard for finish lines. Actually it was a very effective training method.
    Hi Pete

    If you go back to when I first joined PJ, I was drawing on an Intuos 3 Tablet and photoshop well before it was cool. I know the idea of a tablet is very convenient. But I spend so much time looking at electronic screens at work, I prefer working on paper now.

    That aside, you say it was very effective training. In what manner do you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pencilero View Post
    3 1/2" x 5 1/2" sketchbook is always on my person at some time. You never know when some dingdong is going to cost you time, so you may as well make the best use of it.

    I've taken to using a multifunction pen/pencil so that I have a variety of colors at my disposal without carrying a gaggle of drawing tools. Having said that, those cheap eight color pens are awesome too, eight colors, one tool. Fun sketching! A Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen is a good portable compliment if you want some juicy black lines.

    So little sketchbook and three pens for portability. You can sketch anywhere.
    Interesting tools. Do you have any examples of what you grab at that size?
    I've always found drawing smaller than A5 / 6x8 quite onerous on my wrist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Drawing View Post
    When I travel, I keep my art supplies simple. I bring a mid-sized strathmore sketchbook (they are about 5.5x8 inches I think?), an eraser, and a lead holder or two, and one of those little Uni sharpeners. I don't bring inking or other supplies, although if I am going on a longer trip I will bring a small watercolor kit and some water brushes (the kind with the water reservoir in the handle).

    Don't complicate things, just draw. I use travel time for practicing forms, sketching out roughs, and working at things I am not great at (hands! feet!).
    Cheers bro

  6. #6
    Neophyte ayalpinkus's Avatar
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    I change my art materials up a lot. I find that if I feel "blocked", not liking my art, changing art materials shakes things up and I have fun with it again. So I will probably be drawing with different tools next week, but right now, a mid-size sketchbook, because it should not be so heavy that you feel a resistance to take it with you. For drawing, I am currently enjoying drawing with just a blue and a black color pencil - cheap, and they don't smear - and a Pentel Pocket Brush pen. I'll do a light drawing in blue, a drawing over that with the black pencil, then ink it with the brush pen, then do a tonal study with the black pencil to get shades. I have cut off larger part of the wood around the pencil core so I don't have to carry a pencil sharpener with me. I draw lightly, and I like to use these pencils in blunt mode for the first quick rough sketch before I do a more precise pass in ink.

    If I really can't take a sketchbook with me, I just have a passport-sized sketchbook and a pen in my coat pocket so I have it with me everywhere.

  7. #7
    Internet Heel smygba's Avatar
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    ayalpinkus, do you literally draw anything you see, or do you draw what you feel like as you travel around?

  8. #8
    Neophyte ayalpinkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smygba View Post
    ayalpinkus, do you literally draw anything you see, or do you draw what you feel like as you travel around?
    I tend to draw things that 1) I hope will not change for a bit and for which 2) I like the shapes generated. So I tend to draw buildings, vehicles like cars and mopeds, people if I think they have an interesting face or pose or if they are dressed interestingly and I think they will sit still. If I am drinking coffee, and there are magazines around, I will scour these magazines for reference photos I like and draw from them. These are little vignettes and I will cover a sketchbook page with lots of vignettes until it is full and then move on to the next page.

    EDIT: I also write notes, draw thumbnail designs, and draw from imagination. The drawings from imagination aren't very good and that is something I'm working on.

    What do you tend to draw when out and about?
    Last edited by ayalpinkus; 04-23-2017 at 02:14 PM.

  9. #9
    Neophyte ayalpinkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smygba View Post
    ayalpinkus, do you literally draw anything you see, or do you draw what you feel like as you travel around?
    Smygba, are you asking because you have a hard time starting? Because below is what works for me.

    I tell myself I will treat my sketchbook as a diary that I show to no one, a place where I have permission to fail. No one will see. I will sometimes, but I do that less and less nowadays, carry a second sketchbook with me in which I only do "good drawings" and no experimentation. This is the sketchbook I am willing to show to people if they ask if they can see. I have found that the private diary sketchbook has far more interesting drawings in them, and I sometimes turn these into finished illustrations. Sure, there are duds in the private diary sketchbook, there are failures, but wonderful things also sometimes happen on the page.

    For drawing materials, the best sketchbook is the one you have on you, so take one that is as big as possible but small enough that you will want to carry it along with you everywhere, and the precise pen or pencil you use isn't as important as actually drawing a lot. So experiment, find out what you enjoy working with. It is important that you enjoy the process.

    Choose things you want to draw, things that inspire you, capture the poetic beauty that gets you lyrical and got you interested in this art form. It will make you want to return to your sketchbook.

    For finished works, the tools do matter of course. But what you do in your sketchbook is practice, note down (visual) ideas. try out various designs, a place to have fun and experiment. For finished work you do want the good paper and the good brush, but for practicing... I liken it to practicing a musical instrument. You practice and you practice... the thing you gain from practice isn't the actual finished drawing, but the improved skill, and the sheer joy of drawing as an activity. And then occasionally, you take a step back, and the sketchbook page looks nice anyway!

  10. #10
    Neophyte ayalpinkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smygba View Post
    ayalpinkus, do you literally draw anything you see, or do you draw what you feel like as you travel around?
    Smygba, I should have checked your deviantArt gallery first! Nice work, nice pages! Your process seems to be pretty close to what I was describing actually. Lots of pencil sketches, and you ink the best ones. You draw well. Never mind my previous post. My post sounds patronizing now :-) You're already doing that :-)

    Why not do the same while out and about? Draw picturesque shops, cars, statues, trees, fun stuff?

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