Watercolor artist Stuart Loughridge demonstrates how to develop your own compact sketch kit from simple materials. He starts out with a day planner that includes a file for paper. He got one from a thrift store, showing how affordable it can be. The three-ring binder inside has been taken out using a hacksaw or pliers, and Stuart has added mat board to protect the paper.
He has his Winsor and Newton Cotman palette, his preferred palette, velcroed inside and loaded with the colors he needs. He has also included different-sized plastic water containers found at the department store, velcroed on the back to keep them in. He also has water bottles that are compact so that they fit into the day planner.
Stuart then demonstrates some other palette options and ideas. There are cheap palettes available at the art store, but the one he has for the demo has a thumb ring on the back to hold onto with deep wells inside. Stuart shows a makeup compact kit that he purchased at the department store and removed the makeup from so that colors can be put in the leftover wells. He suggests taking out the glass on the makeup compact so that you don’t have light reflecting back up to you.
Another option would be a little cigarette container. He took out the elastic that was in it, turning it into a good palette after being velcroed into the day planner. He suggests looking for items that are compact and that can close so that your palette doesn’t leak all over your paper in transit. Stuart also suggests keeping your eye out at the thrift store for items and materials to make your compact sketch kit that can be thrown into a backpack or shoulder bag for when you’re out and about.