Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stealth Sketch Kit

Below is an image of my “stealth” sketching kit. This is what travels with me wherever I may go. I have found that when I least expect it, I either have time or exciting subject matter to paint, and you know what they say about not planning and planning to fail! Gotta be prepared!!

If you look at the lower left corner of the image, you'll see my business card. That will give you a sense of scale for everything else in the photo. It all fits into the teal green bag. The palette is a lip gloss/make-up palette about the size of a credit card. It's approximately 3/16" thick.

Once empty, I cleaned the lipstick residue out with a Q-Tip and a LOT of soap and very hot water. I also had to use a degreaser. After it dried, I taped the top edges with masking tape and sprayed the top with white enamel gloss paint. Several coats later, I had a white mixing area where the mirror used to be. (Note: I did not remove the mirror. I painted it and the surrounding frame.)

I then put the colors that I use most frequently into the palette: azo yellow, indian yellow, scarlet pyrrol, quin. red, magenta, dioxazine purple, ultramarine blue, raw sienna, burnt umber, and sap green. These pigments are all from M. Graham. There is an eleventh color in the lower left corner. That is shadow violet by Daniel Smith. The small sketchbook is a moleskine. It will be my last as the paper is NOT my favorite to work on and life is waaaaaay too short to paint on lousy paper.

If you are inclined to make a palette similar to this one, check out your own make up drawer or the local dollar store. They often have lip and eye shadow palettes that are perfect for this type of retrofit. If you can, use or purchase a powdered eye shadow palette vs. the lipstick palette. The eye shadow is much easier to remove than the lipstick/gloss, and the lip palettes are a bear to get clean! You really want to make sure you get that glass out as it has oils and/or petroleum in it.

Make sure to use gloss enamel paint and use several coats. If your palette becomes stained or scratched, just repaint it. I have found that the size of the palette and sketchbook lend themselves nicely to painting people in food courts or mass transit systems without others being aware of what you're doing. So, toss the stealth palette, a sketchbook and a waterbrush in your pocket and you go sketch!

21 comments:

  1. A wonderful travelling kit! I've got my own stealth kit, now I need to get my derriere someplace to use it...

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  2. Great idea, Laure! Thanks so much for sharing~~

    p.s. I totally agree with your feelings about the moleskine---I wish they made a tiny AquaBee--that's my fav sketchbook for everything.

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  3. That looks great, Laure. I have a small travel palette, but I love the notion of one this tiny! I've seen so many creative variations like this, and they're fabulous. What paper will you use then--will you make your own sketchbook, too, then!?

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  4. KJ, you have but to say the word……

    Now, see, it's all in the eye of the beholder, Kathy! I feel the same way about AquaBee's sketchbooks!

    Sue, I've been making my own sketchbooks for a while - only larger than the moleskine. I've seen directions for pulling out the paper and just using the outside as a cover for your paper of choice. That seems a lot of work to me, not to mention time, so I'll probably just make an Arches or Winsor Newton sketchbook at about the same size as the moleskine.

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  5. Oops, let me clarify that. I'm not too crazy about the AquaBee's either. What I meant above was that I felt about them the way I do the moleskines.

    However, it's about what you like and I've seen stunning work on all of them!

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  6. ...this is so cool, Laure! I just LOVE it! I'm glad you posted it.
    P.S. I love you new photo.....you look so young, like a college girl!!

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  7. Thanks, Kelly! Flattery will get you everywhere!! ;•)

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  8. This is much like the one that lives in my purse except I use a Sucrets tin. After my last outing I need to include a bit more like your other kit.

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  9. what a great idea...if I could leave the house right now I would and would go and try this.

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  10. Teri, this kit is surprisingly nimble at sketching on location but not large paintings.

    Mim, I hope you can't get out because of the hour and not because you're snowed in!

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  11. This is a great idea! I'm definately going to make one - thank you for sharing! -Janet

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  12. Awesome hand made paint palette! Thanks for sharing your detailed instructions!

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  13. You are so ingeniously, frugally and whimsically creative! I'm impressed!

    P.S. LOVE your business cards... they really pack a visual punch.

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  14. This is fabulous Laure! I'm going to have to go search for some make up tins. I know I used to have some, but I never used them, so I'm not sure whether I saved them. But dollar store is a good idea if I can't find them. Thanks for the idea!!

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  15. Laure: Thanks for posting this! I really enjoy seeing what others are using for on-the-go sketching. I made a watercolor kit from an inexpensive ($1.00) first-aid kit, which you can see on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/liquidchroma-/2682875794/in/set-72157605502186505/

    Got the idea for it from Cathy (Kate) Johnson, only she uses a plastic Sucrets box (I've made one out of those too). Again, thanks! -- Steve

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  16. Interesting and fun ideas! Thanks for sharing. I think I'd like to setup one of these mini-kits myself. Yours is smaller than my current minimum setup and it looks like it would be fun. ;-)

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  17. I've seen a lot of kits but the part about the spray enamel does it for me. What a clever idea!!! When i first started watercolors I purchased an enamel metal palette. I loved it but it was so heavy to carry around. It now sits in my closet.

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  18. I love this idea of a stealth package! I have been meaning to make up a small kit like this and this is just the inspiration I need! What great ideas!

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  19. Love the sized of your kit! No excuses for bulky equipment. Great ideas all around :)

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