Watercolor artist Stuart Loughridge demonstrates how to develop your own compact sketch kit from simple materials. He starts out with a day planner with a file for paper. He got one from a thrift store, showing how affordable it can be. He has taken out the three ring binder inside using a hacksaw or pliers and has added mat board to protect the paper.
He has his Winsor and Newton Cotman palette, his preferred palette, velcroed inside as well, loaded with the colors he needs. He has 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 your day planner.
Stuart then demonstrates some other palette options and ideas. There are cheap palettes available at the art store, but the one he had 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 where he took out the makeup so that he can put the colors 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, making it a good palette after being velcroed into the day planner. Look for items that are compact and that can close so that your palette doesn’t leak all over your paper in transit. Keep 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 while you’re out and about, making your sketches.