I have recently reorganised my nature journaling supplies; I changed a couple of things, and replaced a couple of battered items. I thought it would be fun to share with you my current set up.
I have moved everything into this handy travel bag by Winsor & Newton, as the bag I was using previously was no longer working for me.
The travel bag comes with some supplies I don’t use, such as a Cotman palette, watercolour pad, and two brushes. This is a great set for someone new to nature journaling.
Here is the bag when opened out. It also has another couple of storage sections on the reverse side. I love all the pockets! So useful.
In the left hand side mesh pocket, I keep the following items:
An old muslin cloth from when the girls were babies. Very useful for wiping my brushes on!
A colour wheel. Something I always intend to use, but never end up doing! Helpful for colour mixing, or perhaps planning colour schemes for watercolour paintings.
Ruler. Useful for measuring specimens out in the field.
Birthday candle. Perfect for keeping white highlights in your watercolour, due to its resist properties.
Clips. Fantastic for keeping journal pages open on a windy day.
Penknife For cutting wee plant specimens.
Water brushes Great for painting on the go; the barrels are filled with water, which you squeeze to gradually release a supply of water into your paint, so no need to carry an additional water supply.
Kneadable Eraser. These are smashing! You can shape them to the smallest point to erase tiny details, or add highlights to a pencil sketch. Knead after use to avoid build up of colour from the pencil.
The other side of the travel bag includes a water bottle and a genius, foldable pouch for pouring your water into (add a small, clean rock to the bottom when painting in the field, to avoid your water blowing away on windy days!)
Spray bottle I use an old, travel sized facial mist bottle, refilled with water to spray my watercolour paints to get them nice and juicy before I begin to paint.
My current pens and pencils:
2B pencil that came with the travel case.
Pentel brush pen I have to say that I never actually use this. One day!
Platinum carbon ink pen My favourite pen! Oh, how I love this one! Reliable, waterproof, deep black in. Never lets me down.
White gel pen Perfect for adding small highlights to finished watercolours.
Derwent watercolour pencil in blue grey I have added a nice new one to my kit. Smashing for sketching, then painting over with watercolour. Gives a lovely effect.
Cross mechanical pencil (not quite the same as mine, but similar) Fantastic, as it never needs sharpening!
Water colour palette. Mine is a Schmincke, to which I have added Winsor Newton & Daniel Smith paints. Look at the entry in my journal below for my current colours.
Da Vinci 1503 size 8 watercolour brush A beautiful brush, with an exquisite point. Pretty much the only brush I use in my journal.
Versatil round pointed brush I rarely use it, but it does come in handy sometimes for fine details. A smashing, well-priced, synthetic brush.
Field guide I am carrying this New Holland pond guide at the moment, as our two favourite places for nature study have ponds. Great little guide book.
Month -by-month Stargazing 2016 A concise guide to the northern-hemisphere night sky.
Nature Journal I currently have three journals on the go, so choose whichever is appropriate, and tuck it into my travel case as I head out of the door.
My newest journal, a Stallman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook which I am using to practice new techniques and such. A smashing journal, the paper is wonderful; it takes a wet wash beautifully & has a nice tooth, but still works well when writing in ink. You can see here my current palette set up.
My regular nature journal. I am currently using the Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook in medium (A5). The paper is a decent weight, and very smooth, however the paper is really too thin for watercolour, so I have found that once I have completed my painting & it is dry, I miss a page, & glue them together, so I get a double weight of paper.But I like the journal a lot, and am enjoying using it.
My Calendar of Firsts. A Moleskine diary, the paper is, as always with the Moleskines (except the specialist water colour book) not great for watercolour, but I am used to how the paper takes the wetness of the media & this book is doing exactly what I need it to do; record what is happening in nature in simple sketches. The fact that it is such a ‘casual’ book makes it easier for me to sketch in hasty sketches; I don’t feel bad about messing up!
Please share what is working for you, either in the comments below, or on the Exploring Nature With Children FaceBook page.