For my Travel Kit, I decided to choose materials that I use all the time. Instead of making my bag unnecessarily heavy, carrying materials around that I never use.

I decided on including the following materials:

– a variety of different sizes and colours of Sakura Pigma Micron pens

– a variety of colourful Posca paint marker sets

– either my A4 Seawhite or Crescent sketchbook

Although my travel kit is quite basic at this point, hopefully I will discover more items/ materials in the future that I’ll want to use in my sketchbooks while out on location.

Although I would love to carry my art materials around in a basket, it is not practical to take everywhere and to grab on the go. I decided to go for something more practical and flexible in order to fit it into my daily life. My travel kit materials fit into my large handbag that I use daily, which makes it more practical than carrying large materials/ equipment around. It is easy to grab my large handbag on my way out and jumping into a taxi.


I find drawing outside in public quite intimidating, as I don’t like the thought of people approaching me to look at what I’m drawing. I think I would prefer wearing my reflecting sunglasses while sketching out in public, as it would be harder for people to see whether I’m looking at them or someone else. Luckily a lot of people living in the Middle East wear their sunglasses outside, as well as inside some public places. So I don’t think anyone would find it weird if I was wearing them inside a shopping mall or other indoor areas.

The thought of someone who I have been sketching, approaching me and seeing my drawing of them, freaks me out completely. The following thoughts go through my mind:

– ‘What if they think I’m really bad at drawing?

– ‘What if they see their drawing and it’s an uglier representation of themselves?’

– ‘What if they know I was sketching them and it doesn’t look like them at all?’

– ‘What if they are offended that I drew them without asking permission?’

In general people are so easily offended these days. I hate drama and I don’t want to get in trouble for something so silly.

When I was in South Africa during the holiday, I sat in the car while sketching out in public. I found it a safe space and it minimised the risk of people coming over to see what I was sketching. Unfortunately, I don’t drive while living in the Middle East, therefore I don’t’ have the luxury of parking a car wherever I want to sit and sketch.

During the previous assignment, I started reading the book: “Sketch Your World, Essential techniques for drawing on location” by James Hobbs. I found the following topics from the book helpful when thinking about this exercise: “Sitting Comfortably; Heading out; When the subject comes to you; Dealing with onlookers; People; Finding subjects; People in cafes; People and scale; People and movement; Sketching people on the go”.

Under the topic “Dealing with onlookers”, they mention the following 2 ideas: ‘Meet the public’ and ‘Keeping Onlookers at bay”. “Meet the public” refers to talking to the person you’ve sketched and showing them the sketch. At this point, I still find that idea quite daunting and don’t think I would have the confidence to do that.

“Keeping onlookers at bay” suggests drawing with ‘safety in numbers’, along with a friend or joining a sketch crawl. It also suggests using an iPad/ smart phone to draw on, which won’t be as easily noticed as a sketchbook. Although I would love to join a sketch crawl, I have not noticed any sketch crawls/ similar gatherings happening in the area I live in. It might be a good idea to start a sketch crawl page on social media. It might be a fun way to meet other creative people in the area. It would definitely be less daunting if I was in a group of people sketching outside in public. I think I would feel less self-conscious and nervous about people coming over to see what I’m drawing in my sketchbook.

Although I do take my iPad out to cafe’s when I want to work on something on Procreate, I don’t have the skills yet to do observational sketches straight onto the iPad. I guess I need to start taking it out more in order to practise and improve my skills using Procreate.


When proofreading my response to this exercise, I’ve noticed that I am not very adventurous in choosing different materials to use as part of my travel kit. It might be a good idea to start trying different mediums on different occasions when drawing out in public. I guess I can continue to change the items I include in my travel kit until I find whatever works best for me.. even if it means I end up going back to my original basic choices.

I am hoping that with experience, I will gain more confidence and find new ideas to help me to be more comfortable at drawing in my sketchbook in public. I think I need to make more of an effort to draw wherever I go. Sometimes when I am out and about, I just want to relax and enjoy a setting without taking out my sketchbook.. and then I think to myself, ‘Is that really a bad thing?’

I guess I need to find a way to maintain a balance between: work; time with family and friends; enjoying outings; working on my assignments and using my sketchbook in public. After a long day at work or a long week, I don’t always feel like taking out my sketchbook while being out with my partner or friends. Sometimes, I just want to relax and enjoy the experience.


For future inspiration regarding travel kits and sketching in public, I had a look at the following links:


I added a set of 24 Watercolour Pencils to my Travel kit. In some ways I found it faster working with coloured pencils. I guess it turns into scribbling… 🙂

NAME: Juanita du Toit


COURSE: Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks

The Open College of the Arts (University for the Creative Arts)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s