Downtown, along the bluffs

14 June, 2014. No idea what the name of this park is – it’s on the bluffs in downtown Kansas City overlooking the Bottoms and the Missouri River…I worked in a studio just a few blocks away for years and only discovered this place existed today. Plenty of other people know it’s there, though, because they were all out enjoying the afternoon. Pilot Varsity on Moleskin Watercolor Notebook, approximately 8 x 5 inches.

I guess artists are curious about other artists, because I’ve sure gotten a lot of questions about my tools the past few weeks! As a young man I wound up buying every gimcrack that caught my eye and it was years before I realized out of all that crap stashed on shelves in my studio, I really only use a few basics. Those basics boil down to my “travel kit” and my really basic kit.

I carry five brushes – God only knows why, because I almost never use a flat. That rigger is used for lettering if I have the hankering to do so. And the rounds are pretty much interchangeable. I use the #12 about 99% of the time. Along with a lead holder that I’ve had since high school, those roll up snugly and compactly in a bamboo roll. There are three pens in the kit – an antique fountain pen, a replaceable Pilot Varsity, and a Lamy medium nib loaded with Noodler’s black. My watercolor kit – I love the case; in fact it’s the second one I’ve had, the first having quite literally worn out. The case is made by Winsor Newton, but I prefer a bit higher grade watercolor. I carry a chunk of graphite to use for transferring sketches on loose paper to my sketchbook. As far as that item goes, I find that I enjoy the paper in Moleskin watercolor books a lot, although I have a larger Canson (I think) sketchbook that I’ve been working with off and on since last summer. When I want things to get really basic, I’ll carry the Moleskin, the Varsity, and the #6 round. The nice thing is that I can stuff this gear into a side pocket of baggy hiking shorts, with the bamboo roll in my hip pocket.

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