View Full Version : Vivien's Zeta S&B sketchbook

04-22-2013, 12:39 PM
I've had chance to use my lovely a4 Zeta sketchbook. The paper is so wonderfully strong and heavy. I did a couple of double page spreads, back to back with no bleed through, no buckling and the pages lying flat for working, no mean feat with this heavy paper.


I'm on the iPad so can't upload more than one image in a day here as they don't have file names and simply overwrite each other :(. I will post another tomorrow.h

04-22-2013, 12:48 PM
Oooh! That is simply beautiful! I've heard great things about that notebook. Perhaps I'll have to stray from my Moleskine and try it out.

04-22-2013, 01:10 PM
that's beautiful, Viv. amazing color. . . esp in the trunks. is this watercolor or mixed media?

04-22-2013, 03:09 PM
Marvelous landscape. Great to hear good things about the Zeta.

04-22-2013, 05:50 PM
Gorgeous landscape, and good to see green peeping back into your part of the world.

04-23-2013, 03:14 AM
The S&B are good with a much wider range of materials than moleskine Heather. I really love them. Especially the Beta, I've only done s couple of pieces in this one as yet but it looks like being another favourite :)

Rainy it's gouache used with brushes and a reed pen.

Spring looks to be finally ... Very late ... Arriving Margo.

Debby I think you will like it. The epsilon was very nice but the heavier paper in the zeta is a joy to use.

04-23-2013, 07:57 AM
What a beautiful landscape. I love the colors you chose. Do you find gouache hard to use?

Joan T
04-23-2013, 10:36 AM
That is beautiful! I got a Zeta but haven't had a chance to try it yet, and since I'll be away I won't get to try it for a while.

04-24-2013, 02:11 AM
Pezk no, I find gouache quite easy with being able to use it washy or denser. Do you use it?

Thanks Joan, f

04-24-2013, 02:13 AM
Pezk no, I find gouache quite easy with being able to use it washy or denser. Do you use it?

Thanks Joan, have a good trip.

Here is the one of a less colourful dusk


Done with grey ink and bamboo pen and the XL Derwent tinted blocks of graphite.

I'm so glad I found my mislaid bamboo pen :). I love them. I must find some twigs as well to draw with, they make great marks.

04-24-2013, 01:18 PM
Both beautiful landscapes, but I prefer the soft greens behind the blue tree trunks promising spring is finally here.

04-24-2013, 03:35 PM
The dusk one is great too.

04-24-2013, 05:41 PM
Vivian, I've never tried it. I love the look of it. Your dusk scene is just as beautiful in it's own way as the other one. You captured the stillness. Very nice.

05-13-2013, 01:43 PM
Thanks :)


And a mixed media and gouache one. The paper seems to work with anything :cat:

05-13-2013, 02:37 PM
Lovely scene. Good to hear the Zeta is taking all the different media.

05-13-2013, 05:59 PM
Gorgeous work!!

05-15-2013, 03:49 AM
Thank you :)

This was a very quick demo to the class to help a student who wanted to do a sunset.

I was showing them how to glaze the clouds over the warm colours so that they sine through. Then dropping the clouds into wet paint/scratching lines/lifting colour out/hazing coloured pencil for further glazes in the clouds.


05-15-2013, 02:07 PM
Beautiful sunset. Thanks for the tips on how to.

05-17-2013, 08:43 AM
I like very much the calligraphic quality of the foreground herbs. It's another beautiful journal. :-)

05-17-2013, 04:15 PM
Thank you Sizun, lovely work on your blog

And thanks Debby

05-18-2013, 12:04 AM
beautiful sunset. . .

I just started my Zeta the other day (two pages so far, both graphite). Great sketchbook

Joan T
05-24-2013, 04:00 PM
Oh the ones of the trees are so great...and each has it's own feel. The sunset is super.

05-25-2013, 04:36 AM
Thanks :)

Life is hectic at the moment but I'm hoping to get some intensive sketching time in at the beginning of June.

05-25-2013, 01:08 PM
Viv, great work from the new Zeta! Beautiful results!

05-25-2013, 06:53 PM
looking forward to you next sketching extravaganza Viv, you never cease to inspire me to try new things and spread my wings just a little bit wider!

05-26-2013, 05:52 AM
Good stuff, lovely and free!

12-29-2013, 05:06 PM
My Zeta book got a bit neglected for a while.

My students are going to be using ink at the beginning of term so I was doing some samples of various types that I have to hand.

First I did scribbles with each for a handout


And then some doodles but as I'm on the iPad I can't post those until tomorrow

12-29-2013, 06:44 PM
Love the splotches at the bottom of the page.

12-30-2013, 02:19 PM
Great trysies page.

Joan T
12-30-2013, 04:02 PM
Nice to experiment with the materials before the class.

12-31-2013, 04:15 PM

This course is for a certificate, over a year, so they have to produce a folio of work that shows them experimenting with a range of materials, looking at artists work and producing stuff - working out sketches to finished pieces. And write ups on everything.

So I need to demo each and provide handouts. And do a lot of marking :(

These are the samples . They will choose their own subject after doing their own trysies ( lovely word DrDebby!


01-01-2014, 02:37 PM
Great to use tree trunks to see the various media.

01-02-2014, 11:40 AM
Yum! I've treated myself to a S&B zeta with the intention of doing some 'drawing stuff from the natural world' stuff over the coming months. Your work here has whetted my appetite, now I can't wait to get going!

01-02-2014, 01:16 PM
:) good, look forward to seeing what you do.

I like it best for drawing , with only light washes. I love beta and delta books for more watercolour or charcoal.

Zeta is lovely with ink in particular, all kinds I've played with and pencil too.

Thanks Debby ... Comfort zone!

01-02-2014, 04:14 PM
...looks like you have a hefty workload ahead, but exciting too. Love the tree studies...

Joan T
01-03-2014, 08:44 PM
I like seeing the trunks all together and the different effects you can get with each kind of ink.

01-03-2014, 09:02 PM
Love your trees, always do! That sounds like a very interesting course you will be giving!

01-04-2014, 12:28 AM
Lovely sketches.


Marge Cameron
01-05-2014, 01:09 PM
The trees are great, as is the "scribble" handout. It looks like it will be an interesting project for your students.

01-05-2014, 01:23 PM
Thanks :)


More examples for the class. Next to do are freer ones with bottles of ink, twigs, sticks, bamboo pens and brushes. And of corse mixed media.

01-05-2014, 02:40 PM
Great supplies page.

01-07-2014, 06:44 PM

And again in the zeta, with class in mind, freer drawing with bottled inks and bamboo pen plus water brush.

(Indian ink, Herbin Gris nuage ink an Daler Rownney FW acrylic ink, Paynes grey)

I enjoy the slower observation in the previous ones but love the freedom of working this way.

I think something of the storms and dramatic seas we've been having may have sneaked into that last doodle just a bit! It makes me think of the water streaming back down the cliffs as the wave ebbs back, before crashing high again.

Joan T
01-07-2014, 09:37 PM
I love this one of the inks!!!

Marge Cameron
01-08-2014, 02:12 PM
I admire your ability to move material around like in the ink one. Both are great, though. I think I'd have a heart attack if I tried to let things splish-splash around. (Yeah, I need therapy.) LOL

01-08-2014, 02:57 PM
Wonderful inky page.

01-08-2014, 04:54 PM
Thank you all :)

:cat: if at first you make a mess just keep going! There are some ugly stages in there covered over! I do like free messy but observed work. I love the work of Kiah Kian (hope spelt I right) one of the urban sketchers. Worth looking up if you don't know his work.

02-17-2014, 03:36 AM
super sketches encore, love the arty material double page, and the 'water' inspired wild ink sketches, good info too, must get meself some more dippy ink, thanks for the nudge... this is a cool journal... :D

02-17-2014, 11:42 AM
I love this look. Love the trees. Just what I wish I could do! :clap: :clap:

02-18-2014, 03:54 AM
Thank you :)

Oh do get busy with ink and twig and stuff catty :)

Will get back to th S&B soon. I've been using up an a4 moleskine, it's waxy paper is interesting but so limiting. It's ok with ink and cp but then if I want to throw some watercolour or pastel or something into the mix .... No chance. I doubt if I will ever buy another. With my S&B I can use whatever I want.

03-26-2014, 08:18 AM

Another feather - in watercolour, Derwent's tinted graphite pencils and coloured pencil. The Zeta paper was lovely for doing this, with no paper texture interfering with the feather textures I was trying to capture.

03-26-2014, 02:32 PM
Great details on the feather.

Carole A
03-26-2014, 08:50 PM
:heart: :heart: , your feather! You've covered it all, quill and down. How you do that is a mystery to me.

03-28-2014, 12:02 PM
Fabulous feather, so soft! Would like to try the tinted graphite, looks interesting.

Joan T
03-28-2014, 04:03 PM
Your feather looks like I could pick it up off the computer screen!

03-28-2014, 10:32 PM
I remember commenting on that feather yesterday. I wonder where my post went. In any case, awesome job on the feather. I like the wispy bottom part best.

03-29-2014, 06:59 PM
Thank you :-)

They are so nice to draw ... So I did another ...


03-29-2014, 07:01 PM
Ps yes, I like the tinted graphite pencils and the big chunky blocks of it called XL , subtle colours that are water soluble.

03-30-2014, 06:12 AM
Stunning feathers Vivien!

03-30-2014, 06:47 AM
The feathers are lovely. They look as if they are about to just float away off the page.

03-30-2014, 09:04 AM
thank you :)

03-30-2014, 02:29 PM
Gorgeous feather.

04-12-2014, 11:11 AM
Thanks :)

A really quick sketch. I had laser surgery on Tuesday and my distance vision is now great. :) I will now need reading glasses for small print and my eyes are still settling. So this was a quick sketch of a metal bird next to my patio.

Rotring art pen and wash, just to sketch something! Not a good drawing but I'm working out the need for reading glasses when sketching ... Or not. I won't know what prescription I need until next week. So nice to see distance without now :)


04-12-2014, 01:59 PM
So glad you came through eye surgery ok. Your eyes will settle down and with some new glasses you'll be right as rain. Great sketch.

04-12-2014, 02:18 PM
Woohoo, improved vision is always a plus!

04-13-2014, 05:15 AM

The previous sketch was in the late afternoon and the light didn't catch the bird interestingly. This morning the light on it was much better so I did a really loose sketch, far bigger, with oil pastels and watercolour,

(the one on the right was yesterday in late afternoon light)

In the Zeta A4.

This was before breakfast .... so now I'm off to get that.

04-13-2014, 02:17 PM
Different light makes such a difference. Great sketch.

04-15-2014, 06:07 PM
Interesting combo of media. Did you use the oil pastels first? How are your eyes doing?

04-16-2014, 03:47 AM
Thanks :)

Yes Margo, always the oil pastel first as I love the way the watercolour rolls off it.

Eyes are doing ok but a bit dry (a common temporary problem, especially with a big change like mine :( ) so I have some stronger drops to put in hourly fo a while. Vision is brilliant :). I bought a temporary pair of reading glasses and am adjusting to this different way of seeing the world!

04-17-2014, 11:33 AM
I'm so glad your vision is brilliant. Thanks for the tips on the oil pastels and wcs, it's time for me to play with more of my toys again. You never cease to inspire me to something new, thank you.

Joan T
04-22-2014, 09:15 PM
Glad your surgery went well and that you are adapting to your new way of seeing. Love that quirky bird sculpture, especially the way you did it in color,

04-24-2014, 11:58 AM
These are just sooooo nice!
Have fun, Dave

05-08-2014, 04:49 PM
Thank you :)

This is another one playing with ink in the zeta. Grey and white acrylic ink , drawn with a pointed stick and a little Tombow pen as well.

It was the eye drops I'd just put in plus the temp reading glasses and sunglasses. The zeta paper is brilliant with ink and strong enough not to buckle with some very wet washes.


Then I did a couple of cartoons of one of the cats that I might upload later.

05-09-2014, 04:24 AM
When my eldest was a baby, my parents didn't live nearby and I used to do cartoons of her in letters. I've done it a bit over the years, especially in the books I did for the grandchildren. I decided to do some more.

So on the page facing the sunglasses sketch are 2 cartoons of the resident panther. A dmanding little monster when he wants something.


Thia one is my furry clawed alarm clock who wakes me up most mornings by curling up purring at waist level and if that doesn't work pats me repeatedly with claws slightly out.

And then he'd played out in the rain and came in soaking - straight onto the cream chair - the round and round my legs with cold very wet fur :(


Joan T
05-09-2014, 04:51 PM
Love the effects you are getting with the ink on the Zeta.

05-16-2014, 04:56 AM
Thanks Joan :). The paper is ideal for inks (IMO)


I've sketched plein air here often but this was done yesterday from a photo. ( anyone interested can see the plein air ones on my sketchbook website)

Again those grey and white inks, a twig, a brush and water.

05-16-2014, 03:05 PM
Gorgeous coastal sketch.

Joan T
05-21-2014, 04:15 PM
The inks work perfectly for the atmosphere of the rocky coast!

07-06-2014, 12:38 PM
Brilliant work. I too had eye surgery recently and have great distance vision but need glasses for close work.

07-08-2014, 08:25 AM
Thanks :). The surgery is settling well and I don't have to use the drops much now.

07-17-2014, 05:58 PM
super sketches, glad your eyes are well. Love the contrast in the glasses one, and the sweet alarm clock kitty, so much nicer than a raucous clamor. Super sparkles on your sea, all lovely, and always a treat to look through your thread... :)

Jeffro Jones
07-18-2014, 07:00 AM
What beautiful work, a delight to view.

07-19-2014, 04:13 PM
thank you Jeffro :)

08-16-2014, 11:48 PM
Aww love your little panther! Such cute cat cartoons! Interesting ink wash experiments. I Have a Zeta that I haven't used yet, since my Delta is nearly full and I'm determined to finish one before pouncing into all of the rest again. Only two pages to go. But that one you did with wet washes and eyedrops is gorgeous.

Really striking how vision affects style. I got magnifier glasses, not wanting to do the eye doctor appointment to get a prescription and keep putting that off. But I know my vision has declined both near and far, this has gotten me to loosen up a lot and stop being overdetailed. You don't seem to have that problem even when you get detailed, everything flows and your details fall naturally where they are most important!

08-17-2014, 03:27 AM
I think you will love using ink in the zeta. For watercolour I prefer the beta and delta.

I really fell in love with grey inks. Black can be too harsh for me. With grey I can get all the different tones I want :)

My near vision was my major concern with the surgery (that i didnt lise it too much.. i could see close up fine) but it turned out Well. I can paint without glasses or for more detailed work, with. I just need 1.5 for small print and detail. I was SO short sighted before and it's brilliant to see all the time without. I just bought them over the counter, even the optician suggested it.

I can get over detailed! And have to lose some of it. A constant battle between enough and too much!

08-19-2014, 09:28 PM
Oh wow! That's so interesting about your vision. I started losing mine and even close vision keeps getting fuzzier, so I loosened up and also bought magnifiers - 2.5 and 3.5 actually, really like them. The reading glasses help but I still wind up holding the journal or drawing board closer than I used to in order to get the best focus.

I figured out today this is why I won't be setting up an easel where I'm reaching over the pastel sketchbox for plein airs. I could shorten my distance from the paper holding a pochade on my lap but if I were seated at an easel I'd be hunched over uncomfortably - unless it's my Anderson one, where the sketchbox is off to the side and I can pull right up to it.

08-20-2014, 04:36 AM
I've had to learn not to hold books up to my nose to read and not to lean down close to the paper to draw! My near vision was good, being so short sighted that's without glasses. Having the surgery so I could see distance, meant that the age related loss of closer vision would kick in.

Being able to peep over the glasses if I'm using them and then flip to close vision by looking down through them is proving a real bonus!

08-20-2014, 09:45 AM
I've got astigmatism and it's gone to the point where I need large print to read. Very frustrating. So I do work close to the paper. When I was a kid, I wore glasses but often preferred bringing the work closer and working small. I did not have much access to paper of any kind and had to hoard it in order to still have journal paper and drawing paper to last the year.

I also had 3x0 and 6x0 Rapidographs, which stayed functional when I used them every day for writing and drawing. So I wrote so small that it'd take a magnifier for a normal person to read it, did ink drawings the size of postage stamps and whenever possible got paper that wasn't lined so that I could fit more text or drawings onto it. I didn't like drawing on lined paper at all, but I did like illustrating my story ideas and journals.

So now my style is changing with my physiology. I always wanted to be able to draw and paint the way you do - that accurately by observation, that powerful and effective.

08-20-2014, 12:19 PM
I had tutors who insisted on observation to underpin loose work I wish they could read that comment! Thank you :)

I was lucky that I always had paper( not quality and I had to make it last. I always hated drawing on the back of pages!). Also pencils and paint, not lots but always there for me. Probably cos it kept me quiet! I was an only child and my parents (good) weren't really child orientated.

One of my earliest memories is of letting myself out of my grandmothers garden to trot down the road to post a letter to my dad. I must have been 18 months and my mother would get me to scribble at the end of her letters to him. He'd been posted to Gibraltar and we would follow him out once he found us somewhere to live. So I can date it accurately :). My mother and grandmother came flying after me and I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. I was just posting my letter?

08-28-2014, 08:41 PM
Oh wow that is so cool. I would have liked your tutors. That was what I was really doing. I had art teachers who were all about Do Your Own Thing except the one with dead weeds in a brown pot. He was in love with brown things and I really couldn't stand his still life setups, especially for things like contour drawing. He would have totally hooked me if he'd put a skull in with it, any sort of skull really, not even human.

He would go on about how the pots were so beautiful when they were chunky and glazed with runs on them, which at that age to me wasn't beauty. It looked like the potter put the glaze on sloppy and didn't have a design in there. For years I hated brown and beige until I got a brown and beige and smoke colored cat. Now anything Ari colored is beautiful.

Joan T
09-01-2014, 08:06 PM
Love your story about posting the letter to your father!

I was lucky as a kid. My dad worked as a printer, so he always brought home the leftover paper from different jobs...so we always had drawing paper.

09-02-2014, 08:18 AM
For years I hated brown and beige until I got a brown and beige and smoke colored cat. Now anything Ari colored is beautiful.

:) definitely beautiful!

I was lucky with some good tutors over the years - tough but good. Crits could be scary!

Skulls are fascinating I agree. One place I worked had a goat skull and I loved to draw it in class while the students worked - they are lucky it didn't 'accidentally' fall into my bag when I left!



I drew it several times from different angles.

09-02-2014, 03:05 PM
Great skull renderings. I was lucky as a child to have end rolls of newsprint. My parents would go to the local newspaper where you could buy the ends from a newspaper printing. The rolls were too small to run another print run so they'd sell them for some ridiculous price of less than $1. As a kid I could draw and color on huge sheets of paper. My sibs and I would wrestle the roll out of the closet drop it on the floor and let it roll out, grab the bucket of crayons and go to it. :D Happy memories.

09-02-2014, 03:38 PM
So good :)

09-02-2014, 07:02 PM
Debby, that does sound like so much fun! I would have loved that.

Vivien, wow! The goat skull is fantastic. Tempts me to try to get one someday.