Thursday, June 3, 2010

sketching gear

Lapin’s secret material.

In this post, I tell you all the secrets of my favourite material I carry all the time in my pocket. 
First of all, my pencils, brushes and watercolour are all together in a vintage “Texas Instrument” case, and I will not exchange it for any other one. It’s the perfect size, and with a snap hook, I put it on my coat, or at my belt. So I have all my stuff ready to use and easy to access to.
The 2 hair clips (that I stole from Lapinette) are very useful to maintain the notebook open when it’s windy.

The inkpen is my principal tool. I start all the time my sketches with the lines, and the “Uni Pin fine line 0,1mm” fits my taste. It’s waterproof and the black ink is very dark, I love it.
I also carry 2 colours inkpen “Edding 1800 0,1mm” to copy logotypes or typography.

My watercolour box is a very compact one. It’s a special travel box, made by “Daler-Rowney, England” with 18 fine arts quarter pans. I fill the brush space with some additive colours, as some transparent red, a very cool green, and gold watercolour.
If I had to choose 3 colours, my favourite are the yellow ocre, the alizarin crimson and the russian blue. I sketch figures only with those 3.
I've only used a “Pentel” water brush for a short time, but I’m already addicted to it. I always carry 2 of them full of water, to get enough autonomy for the day, and a third one fill of yellow ochre liquid watercolour to have a bright and luminous yellow (most of the watercolour yellow pans are opaque).

Now it’s time to reveal that I also use a few secret weapons, as this 2 multicolour pens. The big one is a child gadget to raise my watercolour sometimes. The second is more “serious”, it comes from “Muji” in Tokyo, and it’s precise enough to sketch directly with it.
And while I can’t sketch with my usual technique (by night, or when the model has too much contrast), I paint with this black brush (also from Muji).
I must confess that I have brought back a full bag of pens and art supplies from Japan, and that my favourite material may change in the next months… I already adopted a family of “lapin’s stamps”!

Related to my sketchbooks, I have all the time in the pocket a small Moleskine (9x14cm, 192 pages) to sketch in the subway, at a terrace, anywhere… and for some more elaborates sketches, I use some old notebooks I find at a flea market. I especially like the lined paper and the amazing quality of it. I start yesterday my sketcbook number 119… my library is full of them ;)

What sketching tools do you carry?


  1. Wonderfully informative, thank you for sharing and looking forward to sketching with you in Portland.

  2. Some lovely secrets revealed here! I may have to borrow a few of these rabbit's tricks.

  3. Very enjoyable and interesting to read about your sketching tools.

  4. This is great!

    I can't wait to see them in Portland being used in action (especially the big multicolour pen that I've never seen before)

    Thanks for sharing

  5. Is it possible to get more excited? Yes. After reading this post I am even MORE excited to meet Lapin and all the other folks coming to the symposium!

  6. lovely to see the tools that bring us the beautiful drawings from Lapin's hands :)

  7. I love that you have distilled your supplies to such a compact case. I struggle with too many supplies..I hate to leave anything at home!!!!

  8. Thanks for letting us know Lapin’s secret materials! These drawings are so
    lovely and the info is so inspiring!

  9. wow how wonderful you chose to sketch the whole thing.

  10. Thats a secret of lapin! :)
    What about a bag?

  11. Very helpful, Lapin--and I love your illustrations as always.

  12. I love the sketches of your gear as well as your tools themselves. I now regret not getting those multi-color pens from Muji when I was in Tokyo last time!

  13. I carry in my bag books with me almost constantly, because I read a lot in transport and at lunch at work.