Thursday, June 02, 2005

Life Drawing Travel Kit

Here is a picture of my basic "travel kit" that I pack when I go out for life drawing or gesture drawing at a local mall, eatery, book store etc. I try and keep it light and to the basics, or what I know works well for me. First I get a decent pad of drawing paper, the Biggie pads are good, but any art supply store will have plenty of selection. I also pack a backboard of some sort for support. I have this nice little masonite board that came with the DC Comics bag they gave us artists in the late 90's when there was still $$ to me made in comics.

I also take along a few clips and also some scrap paper, 8 1/2 x 11. being comfortable when drawing and having a sure surface is important. You also don't want your paper falling or shifting, blowing I pack some pencils, all softer leads, 2B -6B, a rannge of markers too. I like markers as they force you to commit right away, no snading or messing around, no tenderfoot noodeling..nope—BAM! Put down that line boy! I like to take a range of markers all in the same tonal area, all warm, all cool. I love to use markers that are drying out, I find it's like drawing with a pice of pastel or charcoal at times without the mess. I will also pack a few colored pencils, an eraser and shapener. lastly a few black markers, maybe a brush marker, Faber Castle or Pigma are good, I have a little totebag witha nice draw string that I got with a pack of Mach III razors recently that fits all the supplies in nicely. I pack it all in the nice DC bag again, but any nice shoulder bag which isn't too bulky will suffice. You could get a nice piece of masonite cut for you to size at any local Home Depo or Lowes. they usually only charge you a small fee to cut it down. Another money saving tip is to buy anything like a takle box or box that holds your art supplies at the local Home Depo etc., as it will be at least 50% or better less expensive. The same art box in the art supply shop is always a lot more expensive for the same basic item, and with the cost of art supplies always rising I say save a dollar whenever you can.

lastly I make sure to wear my magic hat. Yes, it may look like a ordinary baseball cap, with Conan O'brien's face on it, but this hat engenders smiles and good vibes from those who see me wearing it. People often feel uncomfortable if they see you sketching them, like they are being spied upon, local mall cops and narcs may be suspicious of a person lurking and sketching, but that happy little hat puts out magic vibes that sooth their worries and allow me to get what I need...a little bit of their soul on paper! hahaha!


South Park Junkie said...

How does one little hat help so much? I mean, it's just a stupid hat. You're telling me that all you have to do is wear a hat and you can get away with anything?!? All I have to do is put on a hat and I can do all kinds of crazy shit? Kickass! *puts on a baseball cap* Im'a go steal some CD's now.

SnowballPimp said...

Hey, you said you wore a lucky hat so people would't notice you drawing them. Why don't you try to shave and lose some weight instead? It would be a helluva lot better than trying to hide under some tiny-ass hat.

This is SPJ's brother by the way. You met us at the Taylor's party, remember?

And if you try to get back at me for that losing weight comment I have a whole army of snowmen with frying pans to back me up.

Byagi said...

Great info. I was just complaining that I didn't know what people considered the "essentials". This definitely helps me.

Thanks a bunch.

Jill said...

Mike really interesting info.


Lalena said...

Ah hahaha I love the hat and the use for the hat. One of my biggest issues when I'm drawing people "is getting caught". I often feel like I am not observing enough because I don't want them to know I am sketching them. I must look like a person with autism when I am sketching in public.

I would like to add that I always bring a pair of headphones with me, even if I do/do not listen to music. I find that with headphone it keeps people from disturbing what I am doing.

Mike Manley said...

There is an art to drawing in public. First you can't be shy, you have to go for the soul!:-) Stare, but don't stare like a!

Simpler the kit the better. If people become too aware walk to a new spot. I find that a food court or coffee bar at a book store or mall are best as people have a lot more on their mind than you.