Tuesday, 20 September 2016

My Holiday Art Essentials

As promised from my last post, here are my art essentials during my time back home. It's been just over a couple of weeks now and I miss the people and places there dearly.

Well, don't want to delay too much...here is a visual summary of the art materials I took, and came back with from my wonderful holiday! Enjoy...

Avid picture-taker...no shame!


I posted about this before (a couple of posts ago now) but I wanted a light, small and portable sketchbook to take with me pretty much everywhere. So I created this A5 sketchbook, made and collaged entirely from scratch. It was good for a while, but because of its soft and flimsy nature, it ended up being slightly battered and bruised towards the end. But it was an exciting experience making a mini sketchbook for myself, which I don't often get to do from time to time.

Of course this A4 sketchbook proved to be more sturdy, and I found often that I kept switching between both of my sketchbooks. I think varying the scale does make drawing seem a lot more fun and enjoyable. 


I've worked with a lot of pencils before, and I have to say that this is one of my personal favourites so far. I was drawn to the packaging (and colour) initially, and couldn't quite believe that the pencil was just under 60 pesos! (57.75 Pesos to be exact). For what it was worth, I couldn't resist because probably one of these in the UK would be around the £3-4 mark (so probably just under 400 pesos). It was definitely a sweet steal and the fact that it's pink is another added bonus! A happy illustrator :D


In recent years, I just find that I'm not attracted so much with pens in general as I used to be (with the exception of brush pens). Nonetheless, I took some with me:

1) ZIG Kuretake Art & Graphic Twin Brush Pen (Turquoise Green)
2) ZIG Kuretake Art & Graphic Twin Brush Pen (Black)- another one of my personal favourites.
3) Just a normal black biro (that you can pretty much get anywhere)- I tend not to use this as a drawing tool, but rather one for note-taking! Notes are also important.
4) Edding 1880 Drawliner 0.7 (Black)
5) Edding 1880 Drawliner 0.5 (Black) -although good for drawing sometimes, I find it's a much better use for practicing my handwriting and calligraphy.


During that rather daunting, well, maybe rather tedious task of packing, I knew that if I took a lot of materials with me, I knew that I really wouldn't use some of them. So I just took along with me on my travels my mini Winsor & Newton watercolour palette (which never fails because it's super practical, super light and super portable). This set is good for beginners and because the paint is highly pigmented, it's a good set for people venturing into the world of watercolours!

Pictured below is the whole 36 Kuretake Gansai Tambi set, and because it arrived just days before my holiday all fresh and new, I had to make the decision to leave it behind. In the end though, I ended up choosing only 3 colours to accompany my Winsor & Newton set. A wise choice, I think.

Did you know...the factory(s) in Japan which produces the Kuretake Gansai Tambi takes about 3 days to manufacture just one pan of watercolour? (or so I heard through Youtube...)

Another handy little tool was my pink Faber Castell waterpot. It's one of those portable ones, and you can pop and stretch it open when in full use! I've had this for years now, and it never fails me...


So brushes wise, I didn't take too many. I was most dependent on my trusty Pentel aqua brush pen which is super helpful whenever I didn't want to bring the waterpot. To those that are unfamiliar with this type of brush pen, you can pretty much refill it when water is low inside- it just saves a lot of stress getting water from the sink, and it's so quick and easy to use. 

The assorted brushes above I think weren't the exact ones I took with me, but just to get an idea, it just visually sums up that I didn't take a lot of them with me on my travels. It was important for me to have a small variety between them, for example: round, flat, pointed for details, etc. Different brushes give different desired effects, and not every brush is the same.


Of course, I couldn't resist purchasing a few art materials here and there, because I really do love the stationary back home in the Philippines! Filipinos tend to go all out on sweet stationary goods. There's a lot materials that I never get to see here in the UK, compared to there. Some pictured above were either given to me or came as freebies from the brush calligraphy workshop I attended in July! 

A wise investment made I think, because things back there are marginally less expensive- just by comparing both places in general. But it's not just about how much it is though sometimes, sometimes the quality and standard of the material needs to also be considered.

All the above were from my beloved National Bookstore (Vigan branch). I could literally spend a whole day in a National Bookstore if I could.

1) 20 Sheets of Yellow Lined Paper-because I love the act of writing.
2) Pack of 12 Pentel Arts Colouring Pencils- I'm really into colouring pencils at the moment so I figured just to try it out. The quality is seemingly good but I'll see what happens after I get comfortable with it (just under 200 pesos- crazy!)
3) Yellow Posca Marker. Been wanting to try this marker out in particular. I heard from a friend that when you apply on paper it looks like acrylic. Which it kinda does, but again, just wanted to try it out for myself. I'm not really into markers (again, with the exception of brush pens) but it's something different to work with.

Displayed above are some freebies I got from the brush calligraphy workshop, hmmm, well...practically I paid to attend that workshop so I guess they are. Excited to try out in particular the black sketchbook and see what I could possibly do/ give away with the black gift tags...

Left: Brushpens/ pencil provided from the brush calligraphy workshop. 
Right: Brushpens I purchased/ given to me after the workshop- from Gourdo's and Scribe Writing Essentials.

Pens from the workshop:

1) ZIG Wink of Stella Luna Brush Pen (metallic red)
2) ZIG Wink of Stella Brush Pen (metallic pink, with shimmer!)
3) Faber-Castell No. 3 Pencil- which can be used for preliminaries before applying the ink from any brush pen.
4) Not sure of the exact name of the pen, but it's just labelled with Kuretake (olive green)- probably my personal favourite out of the bunch.
5) Zig Waterbase Clean Colour Real Brush Pen (purple)

Purchased/ given pens:

6) ZIG Waterbase Clean Colour Real Brush Pen (peach pink)
7) ZIG Brushables (dual sided with grey and black)
8) ZIG Brushables (dual sided with light pink and hot pink)
9) ZIG Wink of Stella 0.8mm Pen/ Marker (black with added shimmer)
10) Pigma Brush Pen (black) 

Above: My very good friend was really lovely to give me a sketchpad and pencil case (I met her for the brush calligraphy workshop and we attended the session together). Thank you, Ate if you're reading this!

Pencil Cases:

1) Helix Pampered Pooch pencil case- my everyday pencil case with assorted materials inside such as pencils, pens, brushes, rubber, sharpener, etc.
2) Moko kitty and bunny patterned pencil case- a pencil case dedicated to all things calligraphy. So practically pretty much brush pens in there.
3) Banana pencil case (from Tiger store)- this one's a strange one, because I got it purely for 'amusing' and childlike reasons. But it's cheerful nonetheless, and it can brighten anyone's day! Another everyday pencil case.
4) Derwent Pencil Case Pouch- my brother gave me this for Christmas and it's handy to an extent. Keeps pens, pencils and other things in order, and in place.

More pictures of it in use below:

And that's a wrap for now! This blog post really did take it's toll on me. It's a different kind of blog post because it's not one that I am used to- my first ever Art Essentials! From taking the photographs, to editing, to labelling on Photoshop, and then actually having to blog and talk about the items was a huge task and requirement itself (which took way longer than I had anticipated).

So yes, I'll remember next time on a trip abroad back home, or anywhere for that matter, to keep packing light...if this is even considered light (I was on vacation for 5 weeks, so I feel this was all worth the hoard!).

 It's always trial and error with art, sometimes you just have to keep trying and trying out different materials until you find the ones that are the most comfortable to work with. And then, only until then, you can actually start to push the boundaries and express all types of meaning with the artwork itself. Communicating ideas and expressing all forms of emotion is the basis, I feel is required to make 'good art'. 
It's not always just about the aesthetic or how it looks, but it is also about the meaning and purpose behind the work, and not just "a pretty picture..." If it's meaningless, if it's random, what's the point?

What do you want to evoke? What do you want to evoke within the audience?

It's been quite a long post, but it's a been good one, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed creating. It's a different format that I have yet to grasp, and I think I like it. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading and looking. Until my next post!

Gianne x 

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