I have had this set up since I was a student and have used it continuously with little change.
- A light-weight metal tripod easel or any other easel you are prepared to carry. Optional, the venue may have easels. Or just lean the drawing board against the back of another chair. (Not the best option because it means sitting to draw which enourages tight little drawings…)
- Carry bag – mine is the A2 size – they do make them bigger for people who are young and fit enough to lug them around. I wouldn’t recommend going smaller for life drawing.
- Cut a board to fit in the bag – it helps to cut the corners off if the bag has rounded corners.
- A folio with an assortment of paper – I usually have plenty of A2 cartridge and a few sheets of brown paper (the proper Kraft paper that has a slightly rough side is nice with charcoal, pastel or conte.) Cut the corners off the folio too – it should be oversized so the A2 paper should still fit fine.
- Clips to hold the paper
- A plastic box with an assortment of graphite, charcoal, kneadable eraser and sandpaper for sharpening. A few conte crayons or pastels will mix things up a bit but really not necessary because this is about the drawing not the media.
Good to go. Don’t forget to take your sense of humour. Life drawing is hard work and the drawings are not expected to be great. If yours are turning out nice all the time you should move to a worse spot in the room so you can be challenged by a more foreshortened view. We are there to hone skills, not make amazing art.