Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sketch supplies and a botched sketch revisited...

I thought I'd share some of my sketch supplies this week

I LOVE my travel palettes!
The hardest part is deciding which one to take
when I do go on a sketch outing.
The large palette is one I don't use much at all, even at home,
because it is so big and takes up a lot of room on my art table.

I've labelled the palettes for your convenience. 

I use a mix of brands in the tube watercolours - 
Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith, and Art Spectrum. 
I simply fill the empty pans and leave them uncovered
 to dry out overnight. 

I always re-wet with a water spray bottle 
before actually painting with them.

Another watercolour medium I like to play with on occasion 
are my Mungyo Watercolour crayons.
These were my go-to medium before I got my hands on my travel palettes.

I tend to use them in a similar way to how I work with a travel palette. 
I leave the crayons in the case, as is, and 
just pick up the colour I want with a wet brush. 
There are actually two sets pictured, 
one has had a lot more use. 

And these are my trusty biros/ballpoints 
in a variety of colour ranges which make another
great tool for sketching.
You can get a fairly good range of values with ballpoint pens.

I love my fountain pens and brush pens too.

On top of the art supplies pictured above,
I also have a range of Derwent watercolour pencils, 
Derwent Inktense water-soluble pencils,
Derwent and Prismacolour colouring pencils, 
Faber-Castell PITT pens, 
Prismacolor, Copic and Letraset PRO markers,
and lots more...

Don't get me started on my sketchbook stash.

As artists, do we ever stop adding to our art supplies?

Do you have a favourite,
can't be without,
art medium or art tool?

I think, for me, it would have to be
a sketchbook, a ballpoint pen and/or a fountain pen. 


In January, I completed a month of portraits in my sketchbook. 
I confess that I had started one portrait but never finished it. 
You see, I had only outlined the initial sketch 
in ballpoint pen, and then went to add emphasis and detail 
with my Platinum Carbon pen when it decided to cough up ink. 
Disheartened, I moved on to a new sketch.

Since then, every time I flipped through my sketchbook, 
the bare skeleton of the sketch with ink splotches 
glared back at me.
Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo
of the bare bones sketch
but, on Friday, I decided to go back and finish it.

I'm glad that I did because, 
 despite the messy ink splotches, 
I kinda like how she turned out.
Still minimal but much better than the bare bones look.
Her hair could be better but
I was trying to disguise a couple of ink splotches.
This was sketched in my Hahnemuhle D & S A5 sketchbook.


Over the past week,
I have become hooked on the Netflix series, Orphan Black.
 I'm now onto Season 2 already.
I thought a sketch of Sarah was fitting.
I went a little long with her nose,
which is a common mistake I tend to make with faces.

Sketched first with a BIC fine ballpoint pen
followed with my Platinum Carbon pen
in Holcroft A6 travel journal

I'm linking up with Sunday Sketches again this week.
You can check out the other participants HERE.

Happy Sunday to all!


  1. Beautiful work as always, thanks for showing your 'stash', I like using watercolour crayons too.

  2. I think most artists, just like you and me, have an addiction to art supplies and tools - LOL! Anyway, I love the realism of both your portraits in your art journals... the splotches just add interest. Blessings!

    1. Thanks, Arnoldo. I don't mind the splotches since I decided to complete the sketch. :)

  3. I love looking at other peoples art supplies - and your pens are so colour coordinated - FAB! They all look great. I was thinking of getting one of those bigger palettes as you can mix a lot of colour on those, but as you mention, when you have a small space it makes it tricky. Love the sketches too :)

    1. Thanks, Helen. I love seeing other people's art supplies and their studios too. If you're working on a smaller work-space surface, I wouldn't advise the large palette. I find that I only use it when I sit at my dining table which isn't very often at all since I have my studio room now.

  4. THANK YOU so much for sharing your sketching supplies for us to see. I have some of yours, but the little Sennlier Mini Set really appeals to me. I just ordered the Kuretake 36 tray like Alexandra uses. Can't wait for it to arrive. I am so glad you decided to finish your sketching. I have gotten paint where I did not want it more than once...somethimes have torn it us and started over, other times just left it, and finally sometimes try to do stuff to make it look like the splotches were met to be there. Thanks for a great post this week. genie

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Genie. My Sennelier Mini set is my newest set and I haven't really given it a good workout yet. I've heard good things about the Sennelier brand though. The Kuretake tray sounds appealing. Have fun with them. :)

  5. Lovely portrait sketch of Sarah and love the array of photos of your art supplies ~

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

    1. Thanks, Carol! I hope you've had a lovely week too. :)

  6. Thank you for sharing! Art supplies are never enough! :) Love your sketchbook!

    1. Thanks, Simona. Yep, artists can never have too much in the way of supplies. hehe

  7. *swoons at all the pens*

    I've had to stop adding to my art supplies, I have to go through it all and get rid of things I probably wont use. but keep all my pencils, and print supplies. would never get rid of those

    1. Actually, I have definitely limited myself too. I'm now trying the minimalist approach of only getting something if I absolutely need it. I'm also going to be sorting through all of my acrylic art supplies and will only keep the bare minimum for painting the occasional canvas. They just take up space in the garage and my interests lie more with my sketchbooks nowadays.

  8. Yep, totally in the same pocket you're in, LOVE art supplies. I did thin the herd the other month when I realized that I just wasn't using either my prismacolor markers or all my colored ballpoints. I gifted them to friends instead of letting them die unused. I now try to stick to the paint I use but then if I could afford to purchase more palettes and paints I'd TOTALLY do that! I drool over other people's stash, like yours, lucky girl! I'd love to try every daniel smith color and then add the special ones from other brands. Ahh I can dream that I win a bunch of money and o paint crazy.... And then there's the acrylics which I just started, I see a horde starting again!! Great to reconnect, love the art Serena, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Jenn. You're starting acrylics whereas I am thinning out my acrylic art supplies. Watercolours seems to be my medium of choice nowadays. Nice that you gifted your Prismacolor markers and ballpoint pens to friends.

  9. What a feast for the eyes! I love how many different palettes you have and I'm very intrigued by the coloured biros-they would definitely be less messy to take away on our road trip than my Derwent graphik liners which I love but they can 'blob' at the most inconvenient moments! I don't know who either of the girls are but their portraits are lovely anyway! 😊

    1. Thanks, Nic. I've seen some amazing and realistic art using ballpoint pens. Some people have a lot of trouble with ballpoints blobbing too but I can't say I have. I do occasionally wipe the point with a tissue during the sketching process. :)

  10. Such a gorgeous post..all of your supplies are a visual color-feast..brilliant! Love your art sketches, so beautifully orphan black too. Wonderful post!
    Visiting from Sunday Sketches, I am #10

    1. Thanks, Victoria. I've just finished Season 3 of Orphan Black and can't wait for Season 4 to come to Netflix. It will probably be a while so I must try to be patient. :)

  11. Wow, that is quite a colloection you have got going on! And they all look so clean and organised!! :0)

  12. It's lovely to see your art supplies! Many thanks for sharing! Since I am a child I LOVE art supplies and I love your's too :)

  13. This was such fun to see all your supplies!! Yes, I am definitely addicted to art supplies...and craft supplies, too. I have watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting supplies. Pens, crayons, pastels, inks, pencils, foils, papers...a long dabbler's list. ;)

    I haven't seen that show. Looked it up on Netflix and it is mail rental only over here. I put it on my long list--LOL!

    I really love all your sketches, Serena! A few ink blobs doesn't deter from them. I wonder why your carbon pen is spitting ink lately? Have you tried giving it a good clean and dry? How frustrating.

    Enjoy your week, my friend! :) :)

    1. I hope you enjoy Orphan Black as much as I do.

      Yes, as creatives, we do love our art/craft supplies, that's for sure.

      I'm glad you liked my sketches. What happens is this...the pen leaks into the lid and when I go to take the lid off, the leaked ink splatters onto my work and it gets all over my fingers too. I'm more careful now but I've stopped taking my carbon pen on sketch outings because I can't afford to get ink everywhere on location. This is sad because I LOVE my Platinum Carbon pen. :(

  14. Always a visual and inspiring treat to drop by your blog Serena! I LOVE the sketches and, as a huge fan, especially Sarah from Orphan Black. :) Pssst. . . It only get's better in Season 3!

    And I adore the peek into all the art supplies you have. I often feel we here are art supply hoarders but, in time, we make our way thru or into them all. One can never be too well-stocked!

    Beautiful work!

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment, Nicolas.

      I have now finished Season 3 and can't wait for Season 4 to be available on Netflix. It can't come quick enough. :)

  15. Wow! You've got a lot of pens. And so organized. I'm glad you finished the sketch. The blotches look like they are meant to be there.

  16. I really enjoyed getting a peek at your artistic tools. I have a box of watercolor crayons and have yet to try them. What are they like? Fabulous sketches as always. :)

    1. Thanks, Alexandra. :) I quite like the watercolour crayons. They are more subtle with the way I work with them which I like. I can build up in layers very much like watercolours. However, I do tend to use the watercolour pans a lot more.

  17. Oh what a wonderful collection of supplies! I've been wanting that small Schmincke box for a while. Did you just take out the bit with the pan holders and put the pans in directly? Love all those colours in your biro/ballpoint collection! And I'm glad you finished that portrait, it turned out beautifully!

    1. Thanks, Kay (Katja). Yes, the inside piece is just loose in there so I removed it and then added my pans with a bit of Blutack under each to hold firmly in perfectly. :)

  18. Oh what yummy looking art supplies! I love the girls you drew, they are lovely.

  19. I am just realizing that many people sketch with ballpoint pens! So interesting! I just bought the colored 24 pack of Bic Cristal pens. They seem very nice and flow well. I see some BICS in your collection! Awesome!!!

    1. I love sketching with ballpoint pens! I like the BIC Cristal pens best because they flow so well. Just one tip - It helps to wipe the tip of the pen with a tissue occasionally while you sketch to avoid unexpected globs. I must admit I haven't found globs a huge problem at all with the BIC pens although some have said it's been a problem for them. I think paper type may play a part also. Enjoy your pens! :)


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