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Inspired by Liz Steel’s latest post ‘Lightening My Load’ I just sketched my all time most successful mini-sketching kit. I’m always trying to keep the tools and materials I use down to a minimum. I made this little bag some time ago as a prototype and meant to make a better one more carefully from superior materials (this is blue cotton needlecord) but it’s worked so well I’ve still not got round to making another. I carry it everywhere I go. It’s just big enough to carry 4 pens, a pencil, a brushpen, a waterbrush and a tiny homemade palette – 6 watercolour pans made from bits of an empty Rennies blister pack, filled with Winsor and Newton tube paint and stuck into an empty bit of plastic packaging with a folding lid (origin unknown – I think it originally had interdental brushes in it).

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I wear this small bag slung across me on a long (detachable) strap but occasionally change this to a shorter one so the bag hangs round my neck at chest height. Perhaps the best part is that pens can be clipped onto the strap that runs across the front, so they’re ready for a ‘quick-draw’ (no pun intended) – and this also solves the problem of where to put the top of the pen when drawing, if like me you don’t like the balance of a pen with the top stuck on the other end.

Having a small and simple piece of equipment that does exactly what I need it to do in a reliable uncomplicated way makes me strangely happy.

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