What's in My Bag

What’s in my bag? — Betsy Delph

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What's in my bag? issue #63

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Betsy Delph is a classically trained chef who manages the kitchen for an outdoor science school, has spent six years as a wilderness fire lookout for the US Forest Service, and is a forest therapy/shinrin yoku guide. She loves carrying this super-portable watercolor setup into the mountains, woods, or backyard. You can find Betsy on Instagram @betsystarshine.

About the bag

The bag is a Rite in the Rain Side-Bound Notebook Cover. It fits a plethora of things and it’s only 5.5″ x 8.5″. It’s made of Cordura, so it’s super-tough and has just enough structure to protect my brushes, palettes, and paper from the inside of my backpack.

What’s inside the bag

The Pocket Palettes by Art Toolkit are simply phenomenal. They’re compact, with a mixing palette, and various sizes of magnetic pans so you can create your own custom selection of color. They also make pre-filled palettes to give you a jump start.

I filled my pans with Daniel Smith Watercolors. They have more than 250 colors, which is enough to bend your brain. I started with their Essentials Set and picked up one of their Dot Cards so I could test-drive some of the colors my favorite artists use before picking some more to buy…I’m up to 34 colors now.

I started off with travel brushes that have a little water well in the handle, but I didn’t like how I couldn’t control the flow very well, and pretty much used them like normal brushes. So I upgraded to still very affordable synthetic sable travel brushes. My prize one is real sable, from Rosemary & Co, but the set from Amazon is great and 3 brushes cost as much as the single nicer one.

I like to use watercolor blocks of various sizes. The pages are glued together in a “block”, which means the paper stays flat without having to tape it down. Fluid Watercolor Blocks are a good value and quality, and come in a wide array of sizes. One of the 4″ x 6″ blocks fits right in the bag, or I’ll carry a bigger one along with it.

-- Betsy Delph 08/19/20