Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Supplies for summer sketching kits

Found these colorful Beautone Soft Sided Clipboards on clearance at a local super store and decided to put together a couple custom sketch kits for my nieces in time for the 4th of July. The foldover cover has an inside pocket that can be useful for storing extra paper, photo references, and lesson handouts while protecting the drawing paper attached to the clipboard.
This arrangement would work well for a right-handed student that could draw on the vellum paper pad secured to the clipboard while still having a clear view of the reference material held on the foldover pocket. The cover can also be folded all the way back behind the clipboard for extra support and to hold it comfortably on one hand while sketching on the go. Using this type of clipboard over a regular sketchbook in the field offers a few advantages: (1) you can significantly lighten the weight of your sketch kit by taking just the amount of paper you actually need for a sketching trip, (2) the clipfolder can hold a customized selection of 8.5" X 11" paper sheets to cover different needs (tracing paper, printer paper for preliminary sketches, card stock, watercolor paper, etc), (3) compared to a hardbound sketchbook, it is easier to adjust the angle of your drawing support on a clipboard to keep your working area and reference subject within your field of view.
Some tools and paper format suitable for customizing your portable sketching kits: the Strathmore 300 Series 6"X6" Bristol Board Pad with a vellum finish is an economical and compact choice that accepts a wide range of media and that can fit in a small sketching bag. Graphite (Uni 2 mm H graphite lead), color gel inks (Pentel Slicci), waterproof gel ink (Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151 0.38 mm gel ink pen), and water-based marker inks (Tombow dual brush pens) work well and display quite nicely on these 2-ply bristol sheets. Manila drawing paper is another inexpensive support available at most office supplies and retail stores. A 9" X 12" drawing pad of cream-toned sheets is an ideal choice for sketching and practicing doodles with dry media like crayons and graphite pencils.The 2 mm amd 5.6 mm graphite leadholders work well on the Manila drawing paper. The 0.5 mm mechanical pencil loaded with B lead can be tricky to use on this paper, for the chisel edge that tends to develop at the tip of the thin lead can easily snag the paper fiber and rip the soft paper surface. The Caran D'Ache Neocolor II crayons work nicely on the Manila drawing paper, for its cream tone provides a good foundation for coloring flesh tones and its texture readily accepts the richly pigmented waxy marks.

No comments: