Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower | Architectural Illustration: | Sketching Workshops: | Sketches: on Instagram at @stephanieabower & | Urban Sketchers Blog Correspondent | Signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society

Monday, September 17, 2018

Necessity is the Mother of Invention...

Sketching at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX.

Urban Sketchers are such creative people! We figure out all kinds of workarounds and tools to make location sketching easier and better!
     Those of you who have seen me work in person know that I like to use a tripod/easel and a hand-held palette (for lack of a better word) for painting on location. I've found the easel is essential when I teach, so that people can better see what I'm doing (thanks to the workshop participant years ago who suggested this!) This invention came about after seeing variations on what other sketchers had, so I came up with my own version that uses a medicine works great! It's approximately 7.5" x 6.5" and cut from corrugated plastic.

In India, however, I was not permitted to take the easel into a lot of the famous architectural sites. As luck would have it, right before I left, I happened to make a larger surface to use. I can still attach my paints, paper and water, but it sits in my lap! I found it worked pretty well, so now I carry it with me when I go out to sketch--its lighter than the easel, which is great. The size is 12" x 15"--the largest I could make that fit in my backpack.The only trick is remembering to slant it a bit when painting!

Here are the two versions I now use...the older tried and true hand-held palette, and the newer lap version...what do you think?

In Varanasi, India last November 2017,

At the AMAZING Ellora Caves in Aurangabad, India.

In Rome, June 2017, with the talented Kelly Medford.

In Italy last May 2017, during the Draw Civita workshop.
Thank you, Vanni, for this great photo!!

And sometimes, I just sit on the ground and use my tiny stool as an easel...

On the grass at an important Buddhist site in Sarnath, India, 2017.

All these methods work great, depending on the situation. Have you tried any of these palettes?

1 comment:

  1. I have a few versions of that kind of sketching rig.. I made one that is 9"x12 with the same kind of hole cut out for a water jar and holes for my brushes as well. I also added silicon rubber bands that are abouyt ½" wide to hold my book onto the rig. They also work as a "handle" on the back that I can slip my hand into..I have been making my Fearless Flet sketchbooks with Fabriano paper and they are very light! 9 oz, I look at the easel set up , but carrying a tripod and easel.. the back pack is already too heavy..I did find a very light folding chair that weighs 1 lb and fold up to about 9" x3"..It worked great in Porto.. thanks for your great pics. Do you think you will be in Amsterdam??Love to see ya!!