Packing for Manchester

Packing for my trip to Manchester, and for my workshop  People and Places: Life in Contrast at 7th Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester.

I’m keeping my sketch kit simple, but adding in some extra stuff for my workshop.


My standard supplies:
Pens: An assortment of fountain pens  and brush pens, ( 2 Sailor Bent Nib, Lamy Safari and Pentel Brush pen) filled with DeAtramentis Document Ink.

Watercolors: I’m using a metal palette with the original clips removed and an assortment of halfpans and fullpans that I will refill with tubes I carry. And a little Nalgene container stuck on with a magnet.  Pans stuck down in that palette with Blu-Tack.

Brushes: A couple of brushes from Rosemary & Co: a small mop and a dagger brush. I may add another wide, flat brush to the mix…

Sketchbooks: I always carry the largest sized Stillman & Birn Beta book, but I’ve added a smaller Alpha and Delta book and a Strathmore Toned Tan paper book. Yes, I totally overdo it with how many sketchbooks I carry, and they weigh a ton.

Other supplies: The biggest difference to my kit is how many pencils I’m taking along: graphite pencils, a set of colored pencils, my two-sided red-blue pencil, and a rainbow pencil.

A lot of my workshop is about building little vignettes with both people and places, using a mix of different media, and it’s a great time work with materials that are easy and fun to use. Besides, it may be rainy in Manchester and there’s only so much patience I have with non-drying watercolor on a rainy day!

If you are taking my workshop, you don’t have to have all these supplies.
Here’s what would be great to bring along:
– a cheap paper sketchbook in which you can use a lot of pages to do gestural sketches
– a bigger book with nicer paper for a larger composition
– a brush pen for gestural drawing.
– other media that you can experiment with mixing in. Keep them easy and portable. I’m bringing colored pencils, pens, and watercolors.
– Keep your kit LIGHT. If it rains, we might stand/huddle someplace and sketch!
– Bring a waterproof jacket/poncho: it’s hard to sketch when holding an umbrella

If you aren’t coming to Manchester, I’ll be posting a workshop review and a downloadable version of the handout you see in the photo here when I get back in early August.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in teaching, tools, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Packing for Manchester

  1. Annie says:

    Thank you for all the details about your travel kit, so helpful to me (and I hardly travel as you do). Have a great time and I sure will look forward to seeing the sketches you share from this trip.


  2. rhodadraws says:

    I just ordered the black ink you recommend. Looking forward to seeing your Manchester sketches, and hope you stay dry!


  3. I’ve lived and worked in the city for years – looking forward to seeing what catches your eye!


  4. miatagrrl says:

    I love seeing your kit! I keep adding more and more pencils to my kit, too — colored, rainbow, soft and smudgy, water-soluble. The bag keeps getting heavier, but what else is new! 😉

    – Tina


  5. Pete says:

    Always interesting to see what kit others choose.
    Thank you so much for making available online your handout. I’m going to Manchester but was unable to book in for your workshop, and I’m very glad that I and anyone else interested can still get “second best” and get to see your tips and advice and I do hope that other presenters are as generous.


    • You are welcome, pete. Lots of instructors post their handouts as pdfs. It gives us all a glimpse into their thinking and teaching. Enjoy Manchester… I’m excited: so many lectures and activities and workshops. Best of all, so many urban sketchers to interact with!


  6. marcoguzzini says:

    Very interesting tool kit. I will share also my travel kit . Just one question: do you know some fountain pen with water resistant ink (pen recharge).


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