Working with mixed media on location is a key part of my practice and I often need to transport a variety of materials using a pencil roll, several pouches and bags. The Sendak Artist Roll by Peg and Awl provides the best of both worlds for transporting materials- with pockets, pouches and spaces for pens and pencils and even sketchbooks.
The Peg and Awl Sendak Artist Roll is an extremely useful and versatile pencil roll. It is beautifully crafted from waxed duck canvas with a vegetable tanned leather strap and is held shut with an antique steel buckle. There are several colour options to choose from- I have the coal canvas one with brown leather strap. There are 16 pencil sized pockets, four inside flap pockets and 1 small pouch pocket with a zip. Inside there is a clever flap which folds down and stops anything inside sliding out. There are also two large outside pockets which I often use to put my sketchbook into. The 16 pencil pockets are shaped at a height angle so if you have very favourite short pencils they can go at one end and not get lost. It wears really well with age – it seems to improve, gets more supple with each use and I get a lot of compliments when I take it out.
This larger Sendak Roll seems to be the perfect on location travel companion. I can get a surprising amount of different materials in each compartment. I can even squeeze in two pencils into the pencil pockets if I feel I need the extras. The 4 inside pockets are a great size for a variety of materials. Here I put brush pens, taller and wider than my coloured drawing pencils, they fit well here and are easy to reach for. Long scissors can also fit into this section as well as refillable brush pens, paintbrushes or any wider tools. I have a small travel watercolour palette that fits nicely into one of these pockets as well as a small antique tobacco tin which I keep neocolor in. The zipped pouch is useful for all the smaller bits that might otherwise get lost, sharpeners, rubbers, bull dog clips, washi tape etc. Depending on where I’m going and what I’m drawing I can vary what I need to go in these sections.
The two outer large pockets are the perfect fit for a small sketchbook. My personal choice of a Royal Talens Sketchbook 13 x 21 cm fits snuggly, but most sketchbooks A5 and under would fit in there no problem. They can also fit a Unison pastels set – I have a landscape half stick set of 16 that fits happily in there. On first use I didn’t realise about the outer pockets, and to be honest it works so well even without using them, but if you wanted to have absolutely everything in one roll then it really is quite lovely to be able to fit a sketchbook in too.
When I fill the Sendak Artist Roll completely – including adding my sketchbook it does feel quite full, and obviously is more bulky, but I do love that it is all completely contained and I can just grab it and go like this. I tend to use it to the maximum if I’m drawing on location outside and therefore not as worried about the bulkiness and the fact I can roll it out completely once settled into position. It rolls out very well, being waxed means I don’t worry if the ground is slightly damp and all the materials are within easy reach of one another. If I know I’m going to be more restricted in my workspace, for example commuting on a train drawing people I’ll put less in and find that it rolls up very neatly with my sketchbook kept separately and fits into my backpack or tote bag.
The Mini Sendak Artist Roll might be better suited to someone preferring to take less materials on location. It has eight pen/pencil sized pockets which are slightly wider to be able to fit in brush pens or refillable water brushes, two inside pockets, a zippered pouch and two outside pockets. Really a perfect mini pencil roll for travelling as it rolls up very neatly and isn’t as heavy when totally filled.
Compared to other pencil rolls or cases for travelling the Sendak Artist Roll seems more versatile. I really like all the different sized and shaped sections. For someone that likes to work with a wide range of media on location then this is perfect as it allows you to take much more than just pencils out without needing several different cases, or pouches etc. It feels like it was designed by someone that knows what it’s like to draw on location and to want to have everything to hand easily.
If however you just use paint or coloured pencils, or a small handful of pens this might not be as desirable as a more simple pencil roll, the extra pockets may be unnecessary to your needs. It is in the more expensive end of the pencil roll category, but I think that is because it reflects the workmanship in each piece – it feels like a special piece of kit to own and something to treasure or a wonderful gift for someone that loves to draw.
Please note: This range is not currently available for customers in the USA, Canada, and Australia.