Artist Trading Cards
In the Fall of 2011 I was introduced to to the Artist Trading Card format which measures 3.5 by 2.5 inches (6.4 by 8.9 mm) and is the exact same size as trading cards such as baseball cards and game cards, and is the ultimate portable size. The blank cards are easy enough to make out of watercolor paper and it's easy to keep a few cards in a pocket at all times and be ready to sketch at any time.
I discovered that my sketching activity increased when I started using these because I could complete a sketch much quicker, and was willing to try even if my chances of succeeding were not that great. On an average day I could easily finish five ink and watercolors sketches at this size during my commute to and from work, plus my lunch break. I also used these cards on my sketch walks.
This size is perfect for the piston type water brushes by Blue Heron Arts in the photo above.
Every time I enter a new phase of sketching, I have the desire to make a new sketch palette kit. Katsushika Hokusai chose to give himself a new name at such times, but a new sketch kit is much easier for me and everyone who knows me. This one fits the cards perfectly
Here are a few mannequins at the local shopping mall which I visited on a rainy day. They make great models!
Then I went even smaller and trimmed some cards to the size of standard Japanese business cards, called meishi so I could utilize all the products that are available for this stanbdard size in Japan such as albums and carrying cases. Here is a meishi case converted to a sketch kit.
I also experimented with other small formats and found that my small spiral bound sketchbook paper fits the holes of a mini ring binder. Here it is next to some meishi sketches.