My creative bag : my portable painting studio :)

Sketching on the go is not always easy so, today, I am going to talk to you about my creative bag. 😊

Just when I was starting to build a sketching habit, my mother in law gave me this bag as a birthday gift. 👍😝 And it became an amazing help for my sketching practice! 😀



One of the most important feature of this bag is that it is just the right size to hold a pen vertically and to carry an A5 sketchbook. What I am trying to express is that it is not like these way too big bags with all the stuff lost in the bottom!! 😉 The sketchbook is just within easy reach and I created a little vertical pocket to keep the pens and sometimes the brushes just near at hand, too.

I am pretty sure that when I will look for another bag to replace it, when this one will be really too dirty 😁 and too old, I will search for another one just this size.

In this video, I share with you the content of my creative bag and how I organize my stuff.

And here is a pic with the content of my bag. It may change from time to time, especially the pens and pencils part. 😉


There are… Wallet, keys (there usually is my phone too but not when I am shooting with it!), 😉 little bulldog clips to hold the sketchbook pages in case there is a lot of wind, round magnet, eraser, little water sprayer (to spray the palette before painting, in order to rewet the paint) (this one is an upcycled perfume one. It’s way too small. I ordered a new one).
Then : mechanical pencil, white Posca pen, magic colored pencils, fountain pens filled with waterproof ink, water pot, brush case (be sure I will write an article about the brushes too!).
At last, paper towels, sketchbook (the Daler Rowney black ones I like to use) and watercolor palette (made with a colored pencils case and make-up flat pans).


And here am I, with a terrible outfit (but it was so cold and the ground was really muddy!! ❄️😫) and my beloved bag! 😙 Pic by Olivier Béon.


Be sure that this bag purpose is not only carrying my stuff. 😉 It’s a sort of portable studio as I almost use it like a desk, a pencil cup, a brush cup and a water pot holder. 😝

So, I sketch with the bag open, tucking brushes in it, everywhere I can, 😁 and I use the little water pot I keep in one of the front pocket, for watercolor painting. 


I made another time lapse video to show you how I use it. 😉 I usually hold the sketchbook in my left hand with the palette attached on it with a magnet. Here, I put them on the window sill to be able to hold the phone for filming. 

See?! How useful is that?! 😀

My bag is sometimes a bit wet because of the water pot but I figured out that this setting is less risky than having the pot on a board I hold, attached with a magnet, or this kind of thing.

I was barely able to see what I was doing with my brush when filming the video but here is the sketchbook page I made. I added some context sketches. The foreshortened view of the bag and brushes was not easy to draw and I didn’t let enough white in it so the sketch is really heavy… However, the page has a good creative feeling so I am happy enough with it. ☺️😉  


Soooooo… Tell me everything! 😙😉 How do you carry your creative stuff?
Believe me, even at home, it’s important to have something handy to put our gear, in order to keep it at reach and to be able to get it easily as soon as we are inspired (so, yes, I walk around with my bag at home too 😜). 

Do you like to sketch standing like me? Feel free to share your tips and tricks about it and some information about your gear!

I hope mine will be useful for you. Have a great creative week! 😊


15 thoughts on “My creative bag : my portable painting studio :)

  1. How you inspires with all these useful tips 🙂
    Don’t know if it’s my IPad but I have difficulties watching the videos. It constantly freezes. Although I’ve got the meaning alright 😉 Anybody else who got the same problem?
    Very clever using a magnet!! How about space in your bag for warm coffee? Considering the cold weather!
    Have a nice evening 3>

    • Pernille, thank you!! The video sometimes freeze on my iPad too… I guess that’s because they are a bit heavy, as I try to upload it with a good quality… I don’t know if it would be better if I had a YouTube account….
      Perhaps you could watch it on a computer? ☺️

      The magnets are the reason why I use metallic boxes as a palette. They are really handy!
      That’s true that my bag is not quite big enough for my thermos mug and it’s sometimes difficult to make the camera fit in it too….

  2. Hello! Thank you for sharing, now I know how you do those splashes. They add a lot of energy to the picture. Have a nice day 🙂

    • Thank you Aga!
      I love splashes too and I envision to make a little article about it, as there are several ways to do it, with various results.

  3. Hi,
    So glad you have a blog up about your watercolor and sketching adventures.
    Yes, I am also having some trouble viewing your videos and I am viewing from a computer. It could be because of the high res quality that it may be having some difficulty uploading and streaming. Just a thought. Hope you find a solution.

    Definitely enjoying your blog.

    • Lida, thank you so much! So glad you are here, visiting my blog! 😀

      I finally created a youtube channel so, for now on, of the videos will work perfectly. 🙂

  4. Hi Anne-Laure,
    I am so inspired by you and your beautiful painting with watercolors. Wow! It is all amazing. I do not have any trouble viewing your videos on my iPad, thank goodness.
    I am so glad you like to share yourself and your techniques and everything. Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my watercolors and my video!
      I am really happy you find the content I share useful.

  5. I forgot my question – sorry.
    What kind of palette did you transform? I can see that it is a Derwent pencil case, but what size is it?
    Again thank you so much.

    • The Derwent pencil box is about 19 x 11 cm.

      But it began to be dirty and I think I stepped on a few weeks ago… so maybe I am going to think about a new one. ☺️
      I will probably stick with the idea of a metallic flat box like that but maybe a bit smaller and, if possible, perhaps with more room for colors and less mixing area (mixing colors is evil, to let it mix on the paper is so much better! 😉 ). Always experimenting!!

      • Thank you so much. I’ve been looking for this ‘page’ for days. Sometimes, I comment and then I can’t remember what ‘page’ I commented on so that I can get back to read your reply. Isn’t that silly? Is there a way to know where I commented? Maybe I can just have many of your pages open and leave them open on my iPad – lol. That would be interesting.

        I found a similar size tin and I am fixing it like yours. I think it is better for bigger brushes. You also don’t have to dig the colors out of the half pans or even the full pans as the make-up pans you use are wider and not tall. I think it’s much better.
        Thanks for sharing that.

    • Hi Cheryl!

      Thank you so much! I am really happy you liked my video. 😀
      I am glad you find that watching me paint is relaxing!

      The big fat brush I use is a squirrel mop. They are not expensive in France. Maybe a bit more abroad but less than a sable brush that size, for sure!
      The smaller one is called a “reservoir brush”. Maybe you can search for that? I like it but, these days, I rather use the W&N Sable Pointed Round n°8 Marc Taro Holmes made me discover as a thin brush, as it has more spring for calligraphic marks.

      Hope that helps! Happy painting!!

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