5/21 A pastel setup for travel sketching
One of my favorite Renoir quotes is “Make much out of little”. It’s a good aphorism for artists, and flows into a lot of our activities. In planning for upcoming trips, I wanted to pull together an absolute minimally sized, trouble free setup to carry around with me.
Taking this old Schmincke box, I spent an hour or two customizing it for my backpack. It’ll be carrying a selection that’s designed for making general color and value statements only.
The box measures 4 ” x 11 “, and is about 2″ deep. I’ve decided to put in some simple dividers to create five divisions. The original clasp on this box works well, which is something to test before starting.
I cut some thin poplar scraps into 3/4″ wide strips that fit snugly into two grooves I carved into the walls of the box. Scoring the wood with a boxcutter was all that was necessary to create the strips.
I then carved some grooves into these to acommodate the smaller vertical separators.
After carefully dry-fitting the pieces for a good fit, I glued the horizontals into place with some carpenter’s wood glue and clamp for a bit.
After dropping in the vertical pieces with a spot of glue, I cut an old piece of chamois to fit the top of the box. This will serve a couple purposes; as a bit of padding, a palette for pieces I’m using while painting, and as a cleaning and erasing rag.
Cleaning the pastel sticks in a bag of uncooked rice. I then select just enough colors to meet my needs, plus a range of grays, and include a black and a brown sharpened Cont’e crayon. The small, broken pieces from other sets are fine for this purpose.
And I’m ready to roll now.