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When I join urban sketching events, I love getting a peek at other sketchers' kits. You may have loads of different supplies at home, but the things you bring to sketch on location really show me who you are:) What are your most essential supplies? What's in your urban sketching bag?

In this blog post, I will show you my sketching kit. Some components change over time, some other remain the same. So today I can show you what I’ve got in my bag at the moment.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you buy something using them.


Mijello 18 well folding plastic palette

If you follow me on Instagram, you must have seen this palette in my photos! This palette is intended for watercolors but I use it for gouache as well.

Key features:

  • 18 wells to fill with the colors of your choice

  • a large mixing area

  • a rubber ring on the lid to make it airtight

  • foldable

This is what it looks like when folded. The dimensions are 27x130x23mm. It comes in different colors.

The airtight lid prevents the paints from drying out (but a bit of a warning: if the paints are too wet, they might leak).

You can fill the palette with gouache of your choice. I always opt for Winsor & Newton gouache and buy colors separately, but buying a set can also be a good option.

I always say that you only need six basic colors on your palette and you can mix everything else, so why do I have so many colors on mine? The answer is simple: the palette has 18 wells, so I want to make the most of it. If it had fewer wells, I would be happy with a more limited range.

Not sure which gouache colors to buy? Read this post!


There are four brushes in my sketching kit. I use synthetic acrylic brushes. These are my favorites:

Large: Winsor & Newton Artists’ Acrylic One Stroke, 19mm.

Second: Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Colour, bright/short flat, size 10.

Third: DA Vinci Nova: SYNTHETIC HAIR BRUSH, SERIES 1870, BRIGHT, size 6

Smallest: Da Vinci penseel 5580 rond Cosmotop-Spin, size 2

This is a round brush, unlike the other three.


I keep my colored pencils in a leather case with my name on it (yeah, I know!)

I do not have a list of must-have colors. There are usually about 15 pencils in my case.

More on colored pencils in this post.


This is really straightforward:

  • Use a 2B pencil. It is nice and soft, easy to erase.

  • A kneaded eraser does not ruin paper. Jackson's Art

  • Pencil sharpener needs to be sharp! Not all sharpeners bought at office supplies stores do a good job. I use this one and I am happy with it: Amazon


Etchr Signature Series 2021 Cold Press

This is my favorite sketchbook. You can get it from Splendith.

  • The cover is made from imitation leather, feels really nice.

  • The sketchbook opens flat.

  • It is made of acid free cotton paper.

  • The pages are both bound and additionally glued

  • It fits into a small bag!

Highly recommended!

Winsor & Newton Classic Watercolor Paper

  • 300g/m2, cold pressed

  • a gummed pad

  • slightly textured

  • 12 sheets

Unfortunately, Winsor & Newton have stopped producing it. So you can use any other thick watercolor paper (starting from 200g/m2). You don’t need anything fancy because gouache is great on pretty much any paper as long as it's not too thin.


Here are some more things that you will find in my sketching bag. A collapsible cup, a roll of masking tape, a spray bottle and a napkin. There is also a bottle of water. Using a collapsible cup saves you a lot of space. It can be bought at art supplies stores and camping stores, or you can sometimes find it in supermarkets. The brand does not matter, as it does not affect your sketch in any way. The edge of some professional cups may have a special place which holds your brush in place, but I don't think it's a highly important feature. Here's my cup, I like it because it is very thin when folded, less than 1 cm.

There is one more object in my sketching bag which a lot of my sketching friends find surprising.

It's a tripod and a selfie-stick in one handy format (Amazon). I use it to take pictures of myself and my sketches for my Instagram. I have had it for a year and I use it virtually every day. It's also fun to take group photos with my fellow sketchers!

Finally, these are the bags that I carry my supplies in. The black one (Herschel, Amazon) fits a A4 sketching pad easily, the red one only fits my A5 sketchpad. I've put some objects next to it, to give you a better idea of its size. With the red bag, I have to be more careful which supplies I can take, but it can definitely hold all the items listed in my post today.

Wow, writing about my favorite supplies made me want to pack my bag again and go sketching! So I'll talk to you later. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my bag. What do YOU have in your sketching kit? Share in the comments!


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Hello, I'm Julia Henze.



Art is my passion. Urban Sketching is my love.

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