I am very excited to announce that my urban sketching kits are available for pre-order, and will be sent out by 8th November. There are only six available at the moment but within a couple of weeks I will have more. I have put together the items I have found to be most useful and indispensable, and have partnered with some of my favourite manufacturers to bring you tools for urban sketching you will love.
What’s in the pouch?
- Clip-on water container in stainless steel
- 2 X magnetic clips to attach metal paintbox to sketchbook
- Sailor 55-degree nib fude pen
- Converter to load ink of your choice
- Sample of De Atramentis Document Ink in Brown
- Kolinsky sable travel brush
- Set of 12 half pans by Roman Szmal in a metal travel box
- (Optional extra: half pan of Shin Han Premium watercolour in Opera)
Why have I chosen these products?
- The clip-on water container and magnetic clips allow sketching standing up or in very cramped environments.
- The brush, being sable, holds lots of liquid and is great for skies and any larger areas. It has a pretty good point for a natural-fibre brush. It is a joy to use.
- The pen is simply wonderful for your line, encouraging flowing freedom of expression, but is fine enough when used on the reverse for the most delicate of drawing.
- The ink is my favourite brand and colour: it never lets me down in terms of performance, and the dark brown makes a soft line for any subject.
- The paints are simply the nicest I have ever used: clear, true and pure. Roman Szmal is a passionate craftsman and expert in pigments and watercolour production and I feel very honoured to be selling these remarkable paints.
What’s the pouch like?
I make everything in my studio in the Galway countryside. The pouch is designed and sewn by me from linen cotton canvas. It measures 19cm X 8cm X 8cm (8″ X 3.5″ X 3.5). It has been washed at 40 degrees C but I recommend washing at no warmer than 30C or even cooler. It is fully lined and padded and the inside is the opposite colourway of the outside. There is a leather pull tab on the zip to help when your fingers are cold.
There will also be a small fabric bag inside the main pouch for the paint set, in case the colours are still wet when you finish painting…you will get ink and drips inside your beautiful pouch but I will do my best to help you keep it clean! This fabric is in the same colours – black olive and white – but has images of little tubes of paint on it. I will also be making a small number of pouches in this fabric (because, strange to say, some people don’t want hearts!)
What colours are in the Roman Szmal watercolour set?
The paints in the set have been carefully selected by me to give as broad a range as possible for urban sketching. By this I mean the colours are chosen to be bright, so that you can capture the often-garish urban environment. If you prefer to sketch nature, you can tone them down easily: but you can never make a colour brighter.
Choose the colourway you like: black outside with a white lining, or white outside with a black lining. The lining is fully printed and is in the same heavy linen cotton canvas as the outside, making the whole very durable indeed.
- 304 Aquarius Yellow
- 319 Pyrrole Scarlet
- 323 Aquarius Red
- 220 Indigo
- 221 French Ultramarine
- 225 Phthalo Blue
- 233 Sap Green
- 104 Phthalo Green (blue shade)
- 106 Yellow Ochre
- 250 Burnt Sienna Monte Amiata
- 243 Payne’s Grey
- 130 Cyprus Burnt Umber Deep
Shin Han Premium Opera, for those who want to sketch skin tones the way I like to.
How much does the set cost?
The set costs €150 plus postage anywhere in the world. Opera will add €5 to your total. It will not be available anywhere other than from me. From time to time I will add useful products to the set (I have a couple of nice things in mind). I will supply refills for the colours in the set.
Would it make a nice gift?
Yes, it would be the perfect gift for someone who wants to bring this beautiful activity into their life. I intend to have some fun preparing the packaging to make it as beautiful, and beautifully simple I hope, as possible!
Is there anything missing from the kit?
Yes! You will need something to sketch on. If this is for you, you may already have a favourite brand. If you’re not sure, or if it’s a gift for a beginner (or improver) then I recommend Hahnemuhle Watercolour books for the simple reason that they are the books I use. I’m not affiliated with them in any way – not so much as a complimentary sample! – but I wish I were because they are the best I have used. I also love the Etchr Hot Pressed sketchbooks with the white cover.
I would buy more pens, and fill them with red and / or grey ink, from the same brand, but that’s a personal choice and most useful for the true urban sketcher.
I would also buy white and / or gold gel pens, so useful for writing on menus and things.