An Essential Tool For Sketching in Barcelona

My trip to Barcelona was only two weeks away, and I had a nice travel palette, but no portable stool. You just can't sketch on location without some sort of seat, and when travelling, a light, portable stool is an essential tool.

Last year, I had bought a decent small one at an army surplus store, but I had left it in Montreal because I already have a very good portable seat back home, which I keep in the car in case the urge to draw something or have a picnic strikes me. It's portable but too big to take on trips abroad.

So I checked several Canadian art supply places.

Curry's, my regular online supplier, had something called "mini sketch stool"; it looked a little flimsy but at $9.53, the price was right, but the shipping was $12!

DeSerres carries the classic wood and leather tripod model -- at $60. The Art Shack has a similar one, for $37, and they ship by Canada Post for just $7. With tax, that climbed to just under $50 -- a bit steep for my budget.

Several US art suppliers also listed that nice wooden folding stool, and the price varied from $30 to $60.

Cheap Joe's had a fabric and aluminum one, at $19.99.

But shipping to Canada made all US suppliers out of my reach.

Eventually, I realized that I was using the wrong search word. When I switched to "camp stool", I got results like these.

One of those pictures led back to my local Canadian Tire store, which carried not one, but two models -- and at great prices!

This green tripod stool was $8.

And this "camo" model with carrying strap was $10.

I settled for the "camo" one, because of the carrying strap.

It's light, very sturdy and highly portable. The quality is amazing. And it looks great -- very Canadian with its hunting camouflage pattern of autumn leaves and birch bark!

When deployed, the seat is 15" (38 cm) high, and it will fit in my suitcase.

Barcelona, here I come!

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