Stealth Sketch Kit

3:14 PM

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!

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