In this week’s video, Marley tests out a new field kit from Art Toolkit, a supplies company created by Maria Coryell-Martin. Marley previously interviewed Maria on the Nature Journal Show about her expeditionary art.
Checking Out the New Tools
After looking through his knife collection and selecting a huge cleaver, Marley opens the package. Inside is the art toolkit containing: a sturdy zippable nylon kit pouch, pocket mister, Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, fine-tip Sharpie marker, medium waterbrush, binder clips, ruler, and waterbrush refill syringe. Some of the tools are a bit different from what Marley normally uses, but he is open to experimentation. Being flexible that way is a great practice for any nature journaler to have.
Testing a New Palette
Next, Marley decides to test out a free palette Art Toolkit sent him. The palette contains some watercolors Marley has not used before, as well as some old standbys. Maria uses a revolutionary system of magnetic pans, meaning you can easily switch out one paint pan with another, whether for custom field trips or different pan sizes, and ultimately control the layout of your palette. When you are testing out a new palette, remember the following tips:
- Always start a new palette by making a full color chart. By doing this, you will know your supplies and be more comfortable with what they can do – before you go into the field.
- Be honest about the colors you don’t love. They are taking up valuable palette space and can be vacated for other preferred colors.
- Test the full range of each color. When you are painting a swatch, start on one end with the color at full strength. Then, clean off your brush a bit and continue painting the same swatch, so you can see what the color looks like when it is diluted.
- List or label your colors. Better yet: keep them on the same page as your chart. Know what you have!
- Keep notes on what you observe. Does this paint lift out? Does it granulate? How does it compare to other paints in your palette, in hue, constitution etc.?
Color chart done, Marley heads to dinner. When he comes back, he might be able to see other changes in his swatches that will give him even more information. As naturalists, it’s important to continually evaluate our field kits.
Want to try this kit out yourself?
You can try this art toolkit without even buying one for yourself. (Which is good because sometimes we buy something to test it out and then realize it is not the best for us anyways.) Guess what? Members of the Nature Journal Show Patreon get access to this community kit as it gets mailed from one member to the next! You can find out more about the other benefits of supporting Marley’s work on the Nature Journal Show Patreon page.
Are you completely new to nature journaling?
If so, then this post has the basics : How to Nature Journal in 10 Steps
Do you need help choosing nature journaling supplies? In that case check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not