We asked prominent Urban Sketcher Teoh Yi Chie to take our new Etchr Slate for a spin in Singapore. Check out what he had to say below.
Recently, an Australian company Etchr Lab reached out to me and asked if I was interested to test out their new bag, the Etchr Slate It’s a bag designed for sketching outdoors whenever you feel the sudden spark of inspiration.
Etchr Slate is a slim messenger bag with several nifty features. It is made with tough waterproof exterior, has a detachable shoulder strap and comes with the ability to deploy it for use in standing mode so that you can stand and sketch comfortably.
There are two pockets, one in the front with a zipper, and the other under the flap secured by velcro. Since the bag is rather slim, I had to use a flat water bottle instead of my usual cylindrical one.
There are two sizes available: Slate and Slate Mini. These are the dimensions:
Etchr Slate: 38 by 31 cm (14.9 by 12.2 inch)
Etchr Slate Mini: 35 by 26 cm (13.5 by 10.2 inch)
The slim profile and size is great for those who want to pack light. With the regular-sized Etchr Slate, I was able to pack an A5 sketchbook (5.8 x 8.3 inch), two pens, a pocket watercolour brush, a waterbrush, a box of six pencils and a small sharpener in the main compartment. All the items can be held down by rearrangeable elastic tabs to prevent items from knocking one another.
The main highlight is the standing mode usage which provides a comfortable support for drawing while standing. This is great for drawing at places with no benches, crowded or tight spaces — basically anywhere. This is the main selling point for me.
A few days ago, I was sketching at Haji Lane, the narrowest street in Singapore, and there was this shop that caught my attention with all the plants at the shopfront. I had to get close enough to be able to see and draw the details. This is where the Etchr Slate was really helpful because I was able to stand close and have support to draw on for the one hour that I took to complete the sketch. It would have been incredibly tiring to hold my hardbound sketchbook and do the same.
You can paint on it but it’s not easy because of all the painting equipment. I had to use a waterbrush instead of my normal brush. It’s difficult to use a water tray without accidentally knocking it over. The best sketchbooks to use are spiral-bound ones so that they take up less space on the support.
In addition to the standing mode, you can also set it up as an easel using the tripod mount behind the bag. I don’t use that feature because it would mean bringing a tripod out. With this bag, l like to keep it light.
Overall, it’s a nifty and functional product. It’s also backed by a two-year warranty.
You can check out the Etchr Slate and the rest of the Etchr range here.
About the Author
Teoh Yi Chie is an Infographics Journalist based in Singapore. He's probably better known as Parka from www.parkablogs.com, a website that reviews art books and art products.