I like tiny things and recently I found the coolest little pocket palette from Expeditionary Art which I filled with my very favorite watercolors. I needed to find the perfect pouch to store my water brushes, tiny paint kit, fine tipped pens, pencil and tiny journal and after a long search I found a nifty case originally intended for makeup at a thrift store and it was perfect for holding everything I needed. The idea is if I have a little art kit with me at all times I will have more opportunities to sketch and paint. Keeping my nano art kit with me at all times has allowed me to observe a busy world by slowing down just enough to take the time to draw a subject and paint it, wherever that may be.
Nano sketches are quick gesture drawings done with a pencil (no erasing) keeping the lines loose light and free. You can always erase later but I like to get the composition down on the paper very quickly. It is helpful to photograph your subject first so you have a reference to go to when the scene changes suddenly.
The paper you choose can make such a difference and I love bound journals that come in all shapes and sizes as well as paper types. I found some great unlined micro journals by Paperblanks and discovered they accept watercolor quite nicely but the little Moleskine watercolor journal is the best I have tried so far. It’s also a good idea to keep it simple because the drawing area is so small, a vast landscape may be difficult to capture if not a bit overwhelming. As a long time diary keeper, I like writing my thoughts on the paper as well. Visual journaling is so much more fun and interesting. It’s true, a picture is worth a thousand words!I prefer to use transparent watercolors by Daniel Smith and Holbein. My primary mixing colors are Quinacridone Rose, Hansa Yellow Medium and French Ultramarine Blue or Pthalo Blue and I can make just about any color I want without making mud. I might add more transparent colors, a couple of neutrals and earth tones to the palette but I always have my trusty primary colors with me.
I hope this post inspires you to start sketching every day and if not every day, as often as possible.