Saturday, March 14, 2015

Packing for Hong Kong

It's almost time for another holiday! Woohoo!

Last year, a colleague of mine came back from Hong Kong. I asked him how his holiday went. He said he enjoyed it, and immediately proceeded to ask if I would like to go there with him on a sketching trip. I was surprised, to say the least. He had just come back and he was thinking of going again! It wasn't long before we booked our flight and managed to find a nice little apartment with 2 separate rooms on AirBnB. We will fly in less than a month.

The last time I visited Hong Kong, it was still under British rule. That was probably around 1990. Over the last year or so, it has been on my mind to go back. It was nearby, relatively inexpensive to fly there, had great food, and had people I knew. Back in 2012, I visited Perth and ran into a young lady sketching the train station. She was from Hong Kong. Just last year I got to know some of the leaders of Urban Sketchers Hong Kong, and after the publication of my Sketching Georgetown 2 book, one of them asked when I would go and do one of Hong Kong. Hence when my friend asked if I was interested to go, I didn't hesitate to sign up. I'm sure a lot has changed in those 25 years.

Deciding what to bring for sketching on a trip is always a challenge. I keep telling myself "less is more", but then I start to worry about not having something I'd want when I need it. Keeping a kit small and versatile at the same time can be difficult for one who has the tendency to switch media quite often (not the best thing to do if you're trying to master a particular medium). But I think I've settled with this:


Top left:
  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen set in a Lihit Lab pouch
  • 4x Sakura Pigma pens
  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen big Cool Grey III


Top right (main kit 2):
  • Sakura Micron pens
  • Derwent Graphik Line Maker (grey) x 3
  • Clutch pencil
  • Kuretake disposable pocket brush super fine
  • Delfonics pen wrap


Middle right:
  • Watercolour travel set


Bottom left (main kit 1):
  • Kuretake 2-sided disposable pocket brush medium + fine
  • White gel pens
  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens (cool grey)
  • Erasers
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Muji pencil case


Bottom middle:
  • Mechanical and clutch pencils, 2mm leads of different grades (2B, 4B, 6B)


Bottom right:
  • Waterbrushes of various widths and brands
  • Travel brushes
  • ArtGraf water-soluble graphite
  • Water spray

As for sketchbooks......


Left: Clairefontaine Goldline A5
Top right: The Perfect Sketchbook A6
Bottom right: Muji notebook for trip notes and journaling

The Clairefontaine is a tad heavy, but it has a hard back, which will be very helpful if I do pencilwork. I used a paperback Daler Rowney Graduate book in Penang, which was good enough for the Pitt markers and suitable for pencilwork. I could bring 2 of those in my Muji hard-back sleeve (which would be lighter) if 1 weren't enough, but I thought I'd try this out since I bought it a while back and it's been sitting on my shelf.

The Perfect Sketchbook is the brainchild of one of my friends, who successfully funded a Kickstarter project to produce this little beauty.

The Muji notebook is not for artwork. The paper isn't good and ink easily bleeds through. It's just for notetaking and keeping a record of important info, like flight and accommodation info.


It's about time for another holiday. Work over the last few months has been hectic, to put it mildly. On top of that I'm involved in other projects and commitments that also take up time and energy. A little diversion is good, even if it probably means starting yet another project (Sketchpacking Hong Kong: A Sketchpacker's Diary, perhaps?). I hope I don't kill myself :P

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