It’s taken me a while to realise that there is a difference between sketching and drawing – my old sketch books are full of drawings! I’ve tried a number of different materials in the past – pastels, water soluble pencils, Indian ink, water colour, soluble graphite pencil and even oils. All have been purchased as the answer to my plein air sketching needs, assigned a suitable bag and taken out into the field. But none have helped me make a habit of it – perhaps the setting up and putting away overshadows my need to be spontaneous! But at last I think I’ve found a kit that works for me. Black and grey Pitt Artists Pens give me the effect of an Indian ink drawing without the inky fingers or threat of spillage! I now have two sketchbooks – an A4 reserved for indoors ( sketches of Henry and the puss cats ) and a neat little A6 moleskin for outside – the creamy coloured smooth paper is perfect and it fits in both pocket with no need for a dedicated bag. I’m getting more confident about using it and perhaps a personal style of visual shorthand is starting to emerge. But can I read it back and turn my field sketches into paintings? Mm, we’ll have to test that one, but in the meantime I’m enjoying being able to capture an idea without any mess or pre-planning!