Wednesday, 10th December 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
Previous Page | This Month | Home
Page | Next Page
recently joined an artists' journals group and there's been a lot
of discussion about bags so I thought I'd do a page on my artbag
- a Gelert Bumbag or waist bag - and its contents.
I've got a spiral bound cartridge paper Daler-Rowney sketchbook
in landscape format (148 x130mm, about 6x5 inches) which just fits
into the main section of the bag. I keep my basic set of drawing
materials (see below) in the front pocket so it's all there
when I grab the bag. There are another two slim pockets front and
month, when I set off on a long walk, I was carrying a rucksack
so I wore the bumbag across my stomach, marsupial fashion. When
I stopped to do a quick sketch
I could get at everything (there was room for a small bottle of
drinking water in there too) without heaving my rucksack off. I
found it useful to rest my sketchbook on the bag as I drew. I could
simply stop and stand, wherever I was - in the middle of a field
for instance - and get on with my sketch.
By the way, I keep a keyring compass, which also
has a thermometer included in it, attached to one of the zip fastners.
It's not often that I need it but, when I do, there it is.
word of warning. Bags of this design were used in medieval times
by shepherds, pilgrims, outlaws and so on, so I was convinced that
I'd look sporty and dashing; a latter-day Robin Hood in the mould
of Errol Flynn or Kevin Costner.
No! - I look like Brueghel peasant!
However, as fashion doesn't matter too much as you trek through
the woods and fields, I'm sticking with this arrangement but when
Barbara and I visit the Café Casbah I tend to take it off
and carry it under my arm.
So then it probably looks like an handbag! It shows how much I
love my art.
Rotring art pen
I've often mentioned in this diary, my favourite drawing pen is
the Rotring Art Pen. I've
got two fitted with black ink cartridges, which are easy to change
on location. There's room for a spare cartridge in the barrel of
the pen so, if you run dry mid-drawing, you can refill the pen in
seconds. I've got a third art pen which has a fountain pen filler
in it instead of cartridges. I've filled that with sepia Manuscript
Calligraphy Writing Ink. Sepia ink cartridges are also
pens are not recommended for use with waterproof ink but using water
soluable ink means that, when the drawing is dry, you can dab it
with a brush dipped in water to produce a tonal wash.
use a brush pen when I want to free my drawing up a bit. It doesn't
give quite the freedom or unpredictability of drawing with a brush
or bamboo pen loaded with Indian ink but it's more practical on
location as you don't have the danger of spillages or the need to
clean out your brush.
You can buy ink cartridge refills for it. The brush
tip should last out several refills.
This disposable pen has a 0.8 tip and is filled pigment
ink which is resistant to light and water so, unlike the art pen,
above, you can add watercolour to a drawing without the ink running
into the wash.
When I'm in the office suppliers I occasionally buy
any pen of this sort that I like the look of and I'm also using
a Staedtler pigment liner at the moment. But I
prefer my art pen: I'm so used to it that it's become like an extension
of my hand and eye. Somehow I find pigment pens can seem a bit slippy;
I prefer the way the art pen moves across the paper. I feel freer
but more in control, if you know what I mean: as if the pen is dancing
on the paper rather than careering around like a supermarket trolley
with a wobbly wheel.
I have shaky hands and this might account for the
way I like to draw . . . and my habit of drawing and drawing since
the age of 6 or 7 might account in part for my shaky hands!
like gadgets so I couldn't resist this Daler-Rowney Artists
Watercolour box that folds up into a tube. I've varied
the colours in it a little.
There isn't much space for a brush inside so I've
cut down and sanded an old brush to fit.
first read about waterbrushes in an article by Martha McEvoy
in Trumpetvine Travels. The barrel unscrews for filling
and you control the flow of water into the brush by squeezing the
barrel. To clean it squeeze more water through and dab the brush
on a tissue. On my walk I was glad to save a little weight and space
by packing this instead of the plastic screwtop bottle of water
that I've taken with me for the last 25 years.
I should add that I also always carry a pencil - an
HB, B, even a 4B - but only occasionally use it, and then it's almost
always in a drawing that will have watercolour added to it. Pencil
smudges too easily for the rubbing a drawing gets when my sketchbook
is in the bag.
Art and Journals
discussion group for beginning and experienced artists and journal-keepers.
clothing and equipment
compasses and alitmeters
Artists Materials and Pens
Previous Page | This Month | This
day in 1999 | Home Page| Next