I had a couple questions about what I took with me on my trip to Iceland, so I figured it'd be nice to do a quick visual guide to what I carry with me when I'm making art!
There's a lot of bluster around asking artists about their tools. On the one hand, newer artists can become needlessly hung up on shortcuts, prying into artists' toolkits to try and find the Magic Paintbrush that will grant them the power they desire. (Bad news: it doesn't exist.) On the other hand, asking about people's tools is a GREAT way to discover new materials and techniques.
When I think about tools I picked up because artists I admire used them (Windsor and Newton Series 7 No. 2 Sable Brushes, Pentel Pocketbrush, etc.) I realize that they were neat to learn from, but ultimately didn't stick around. When I found something that really worked for my tendencies and preferences (Kuretake's felt-tip brush pen, for example) it felt right. However, like choosing a college major or a life path, that rightness is generally only attainable after a LOT of experimentation! You've gotta try stuff to figure out what works and what doesn't. There's just no other way.
So: here's what (currently) lives in my bag. My logic for choosing these tools is often dictated by where I'm going and what I'm doing. I like traveling small and light, so all of this fits into my tiny daypack and gives me the flexibility to do most everything I want in the field. I need pens that won't explode and leak on airplanes, because I'm often flying places (the Pilot fountain pen is unfortunately guilty of this 9 times out of 10 and often gets left behind or segregated in a plastic bag as a result). I need ink that's waterproof because I'm generally painting over it with wash or watercolor. I need a setup that won't knock over easily if I'm perched on a rock drawing in my lap (my FAVORITE thing about waterbrushes is how contained they are—no more knocking over rinse cups!). And I need enough wash or cartridges or what-have-you to last me however long I'll be away from the art supply store.
If you're looking to build your own kit, think about the places you like going to draw and the conditions you'll be up against. Tailor the tools to the job!
If you've got any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments. Most of these items are available from JetPens, but don't limit yourself. They have a great selection (and free shipping over $25) so it pays to try a bunch of different brush pens, pencils, and erasers.
In other news: I've sent the Iceland sketchbooks off to the printer for SPX, so I should have some new treats there in September.
That's it from me! Thanks for being the absolute best. I love getting to share these little process thoughts with you all.