Tag Archives: drawing kit

Home again………

Well the excitement is over.  The trip to Brazil has happened and is now in the past.  The drawing kit so laboriously assembled was used only once!  However, in my defence, the time was so action packed that I rarely had time to sit down for any length of time to do any drawing.  My eyes were in constant action though, as was my camera, I filled my memory card (note to self: next time take two) and ran down the batteries twice.  What a magnificent country for plant lovers, and I only visited the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Parana & Rio Grande de Sul (please excuse spelling errors).

Highlights of the plants seen:

A Brazil Nut tree – the nuts grow on the trunk (I did not know that).

A Cashew Nut fruit – the nuts grow in the top of the fruit and the fruit smells exquisite and tastes rubbish.

Auricaria Angustifolia (Pinheiro Brasiileiro) – the trees reach the sky and look like lollipops.

Orchids – saw some in Rio Botanical Garden, they had sort of left me cold before, but there were some stonkers here.

A row of Imperial Palms (Roystonea oleracea) in the Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro

Imperial or Royal Palms

Imperial or Royal Palms

I visited the botanical gardens of Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba and have made the resolution in all future travels to always track down and visit the local botanical garden.  In fact, my travels in future might be driven by the desire to visit the botanical garden.

Also visited the magical garden of Roberto Burle Marx wonderful garden and house full of beauty.

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I can’t possibly start now, I don’t have all the right stuff!

Major distraction technique, this.  Of course I can’t start drawing because I need this, that and the other.  Of course this is not true, but despite this I frittered away several happy weeks sourcing all the (supposed necessities) of my new activity.

First of all the coloured pencils, I used a book by Ann Swan called ‘Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils‘ as my guide to colour choices and then spent many happy hours making colour swatches.  Now, this looks like a really nit picky thing to do, but I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it.  It was lovely to make little squares of paper and to colour them in, to see how different the colour was no the paper than in the pencil:  then sorting the coloured squares into groups of like colours: then making paper strips and colouring squares again: then using sticky backed plastic to protect them: and finally to lay them all out and look at all the pretty colours.  I should get out more, I hear you say…..

Coloured pencil swatches

Coloured pencil swatches

Well it may have been a labour of love, but I use the swatches for every drawing I do, so there! They help me establish the palette for the plant I am drawing.  I have even found a stash of Derwent artist’s pencils from way back in the 70’s when I was at art school, so they have been sharpened and added to my kit.  So now I had 100+ pencils and I must have a way to store them and find them – so with the advice from Janie Gildow & Barbara Benedetti Newton’s book ‘Colored Pencil Solution Book‘ I requested my DH to make some stands.

Wooden blocks for holding pencils

Blocks for holding pencils

And here they are in all their glory.  Most are made of Cedar wood so they are lightweight and fragrant too.  Each colour has its allocated place and the blocks have hinges so they open wide and stand alone.  Then using both books as guides I collected together or purchased the remaining ‘essentials’.

coloured drawing essentials

Drawing essentials

Best things in kit – 1) battery pencil sharpener, what fun and what sharp sharp points it makes & 2) battery eraser, it’s like holding an angry bee in your hand but it really works.  Also in kit – makeup brush for brushing away debris, blender, burnisher, embossing tools, kneadable eraser, eraser shield, fixative, masking fluid (not used yet), Zest It solvent (not used yet), value finders, magnifying glass, protractor, ruler, masking tape and on and on and on.  But all was finally collected together and finally a spare tool caddy was found and all the equipment found a home.

drawing kit in tool caddy

No more excuses time to get started.

Sue Hagley's drawing space

My drawing space

Here is my space all set up, the plant I am working on here is an Iris Foetidus and the picture was taken in December 2013.  Below is the finished drawing.

Iris Foetidus by Sue Hagley

Iris Foetidus by Sue Hagley

Draws Shoots and Leaves on the road, my lightweight travel drawing kit

Travel is on the horizon and I want to keep up the momentum of my drawing practice so I need to take some equipment.  But what to take and how to transport it?  My full drawing box is a carpenters tool caddy and has a hefty weight to it.  We are planning to travel on hand baggage only so weight and size are crucial.

First to decide what is the minimum that I need; firstly a pencil & a sketch book  then some means of sharpening (not a knife as it won’t be allowed in hand-baggage) and an eraser and finally some coloured pencils and a blender/burnisher.

I used Jane Strother’s book ‘The Coloured Pencil Artist’s Pocket Palette‘ to help me choose which of my 100+ coloured pencils would earn it’s place to travel to foreign parts.

coloured pencils basic palette

The chosen ones

These are the chosen ones and I made a little test card to see the colours.  At the end of the row are a blender, a burnisher, a graphite pencil (H), and an eraser pencil with a brush; all held together in a holder made by making channels in a piece of elastic – genius I thought as now they won’t roll around all over the place!

Sketch book has to be small too, so I chose an A6 hardback book with cartridge paper from Jackson’s Art Supplies.

A6 Sketch book

A6 Sketch book

Pencil sharpener in self seal bag as I don’t want to drop pencil shavings.

Pencil sharpener in self sealing bag

Pencil sharpener in self sealing bag

And finally a bag to put it all in.  I found fabric, elastic and toggle closure in my stash and made a drawstring bag to hold it all.

Drawstring bag for travel drawing kit

Drawstring bag

I am a little worried, as my pencils are sharp, will they be allowed onto the plane?  I am going to have to take a chance on that and just keep my fingers crossed that I do not look like someone who will use a pencil as a deadly weapon.  But the pencils are sharp so I raided the bathroom to find a tube to slide over the pencil roll to protect the tips.

Pencils and sketchbook in travel bag

Tube slides up to protect the pencil tips

Finally, all is ready and the whole lot weighs in at 280gms

drawing kit packed and ready to go

Packed and ready to go

Now I just have to remember to use it when I am away…………….