Thursday, January 12, 2012

2 small Moleskine Drawings from Antwerp ~ and my new Portable Travel Sketch Kit

What a lousy/lazy title for a blog post, but you get the idea! Last week, it was still quite festive in Antwerp, Belgium - with lovely Christmas decorations still up all over the city and people still in a joyful, holiday, mood.

Outside Antwerp's Central Train Station was a giant Christmas tree ...
painting copyright 2012 Judith Nijholt-Strong.
all rights reserved.
Giant Christmas Tree - Central Train Station Antwerp
watercolors with pen & ink in small Moleskine sketchbook
January 2012 ~ Antwerp, Belgium

Because my husband and I were having too much fun enjoying Antwerp, I only managed two drawings/paintings in my "Travel to Other Places" moleskine! ;o))

This is a view from the Grotemarkt, which is in the center of the city ...
painting copyright 2012 Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
View on the Grotemarkt in Early January
watercolors with pen & ink in small Moleskine sketchbook
January 2012 ~ Antwerp, Belgium

That's supposed to be a tree with Christmas lights on it, though I'm not sure I accomplished the "look" of the lights. Anyway, it was a pretty view with the buildings that line the Grotemarkt, so I drew it. We also had lunch that day on the Grotemarkt, in one of the many café/bistros on the street level floors of those grand old buildings.

I'm also including a pic of my *new*, easy to carry, traveling watercolor and pen & ink kit, for those who are curious about what I carry with me. This is so much more more compact, lighter and easier to deal with ...
photo copyright 2012 Judith Nijholt-Strong
Easy to carry!
Small Moleskine Sketchbook ~ Watercolor pans in small candy tin
2 Pigma Micron pens ~ 1 Niji Waterbrush (med. size)
1 "shortened", small round, sable paint brush
Pocket tissue package to dab drawing/wipe paint from brushes.

For a while now, I've been wanting to reduce the size/amount of travel sketching tools I carry around with me, especially on short trips like the one we took to Antwerp. I've realized I don't always need every single tube or watercolor pan that I own when I'm out working in my travel moleskines. Plus, I really enjoy mixing colors to get other colors, so I was being really, really silly thinking I needed to take everything along!!

In the past, I had seen other folks using small mint tins (i.e., Altoids, etc.) and always thought that was a great way to cut down on the weight of what you have to carry along with you. So I went on a "search mission" in my studio and discovered I had an old Everest Mint Chewing Gum tin! Yay! I filled it with 14 of my favorite watercolor pan colors, stuck them down with poster putty on the bottom sides of the pans so I can change them out if I want to, and I was good to go! How simple and how silly that I'd never tried this before - made things so much lighter and so easy. All of it fits neatly in a smallish zip-lock bag which goes in my shoulder bag. So much lighter! Live and learn. :o)

Oh! That cut-off paint brush, in the "tools" pic, is one I've had for about 30 years. Long ago, I had cut it down to use when I did detail underglazing work on my clay sculptures (way long ago). It's an old sable brush but, if kept in good condition, they last a long time...even when you cut them down. :o))) The brush is now enjoying a new life as my, oh so portable , travelling painting brush.

tot ziens,


pencilsandpaint said...

Happy New Year Judith. I love your tiny travelling painting kit and I expect you had fun making it too. I use a similar out and about kit, albeit with different brands.
The Antwerp sketch is beautiful. I love the charity and strength of your line as well as the colour

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Happy New Year to you too Judith. :o)and thanks.
I can't believe I waited so long to make that little paint tin... just a born procrasinator I am! lol

Hope to catch up with your blog soon...been busy cleaning up after the holidays.



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