View Full Version : Vivien sketching 2016

02-24-2016, 04:53 AM

Another in the rags to riches series. Digital image. I love that programme (http://mrdoob.com/projects/harmony/)!

It runs on algorhythms .... might just as well say fairy dust for the understanding I have of that! but I love the way it works.

02-24-2016, 05:45 PM
Fairy dust is cool. :lol: The image reminds me of seaweed fronds in water.

Vivien Maloney
02-25-2016, 12:45 AM
Hey Vivien, hi there from the other Vivien!:clap:
Great to be posting in this Forum again and seeing everyone's sketches.
This is lovely and yes it does remind me of seaweed in water and maybe water rippling over stones too. :thumbsup:

02-25-2016, 11:33 AM
Hi other Vivien :)Thank you both. It's a great programme to play about with. I just wish a higher res/bigger print size and download was available

02-25-2016, 11:31 PM
A very striking image!

02-26-2016, 08:17 AM
An update on rags to riches


Not quite finished

02-26-2016, 11:26 AM
And playing with some Colourfix primer on Khadi watercolour paper (didn't like the texture or the fact it is too absorbent with watercolours). 2 coats of colourfix then watercolour, then coloured pencil.

It isn't as good as colourfix paper or Fisher 400 for gripping colour cleanly.

Anyone use it? did it need more coats? or isn't it as good anyway?


and an update on another of the rags to riches images


02-26-2016, 06:37 PM
and just doodling with mr doob and corel


and the mr doob sketch before I added colour in Corel


I do like the marks it makes :cat:

drawn with the mouse

02-27-2016, 01:13 PM
A3 large sketch

A5 sketchbook S&B epsilon

sketching the model today and then sketching the sketchers

Not my comfort zone! I did it for practice, it's good to leave the comfort zone sometimes

02-27-2016, 03:46 PM
I would love to find a sketching class around here. Lovely work!

02-27-2016, 04:19 PM
Wonderful line up of work.

02-28-2016, 12:23 AM
Fabulous sketches Vivien!!

Vivien Maloney
02-28-2016, 01:39 AM
Lovely sketches!

02-28-2016, 04:27 AM
Thank you everyone :) Kate it was just a studio session, no tuition, but I have done a couple of taught life sessions over the past year. It's good to get feedback and input from experts and makes you think.

I'm doing a one day class with a watercolourist soon and he listed Paynes Grey as a colour he wanted us to have .... I don't buy it as you can mix it yourself and then you can tip the colour balance to get variations and subtlety. So I thought I'd look up brands to see what was in their tubes. Sorry about the scrawl, hope you can read it!

At uni I remember they said it was ultramarine or indigo plus burnt umber. Lots of brands use burnt sienna and it makes a more interesting grey. So this is my page of experiments (and 2 Daniel Smith greys to compare).

I'll just make a big mix of my own Paynes grey for the day.

BU Burnt umber, UB ultramarine blue, BS Burnt sienna


Just not a colour you need to buy IMO - or neutral tint. Do you use it?

02-28-2016, 04:45 PM
Awesome page of experiments.

Joan T
02-28-2016, 08:58 PM
Wonderful variety of different techniques!!! These are great!

02-29-2016, 01:36 PM
thanks :) Working a bit more on the rags to riches but not photographed them yet

03-02-2016, 01:53 PM
So more scribbly stuff. JJ has done some really nice sketches (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1396337&page=3) with an elegant writer pen and kindly put up the info and a video. So of course .... I wanted one! (errm ok a set :evil: ) I like watersoluble ink and especially if it dries waterproof.

They arrived and all I've had chance to do is one very quick try out. I really like that quirk that blotting it whilst wet leaves pink as the ink separates.

So just scribbles ...


This will be interesting to use.

Top left corner is grey ink in a Flude pen and not connected.

03-02-2016, 04:32 PM
Fun experiments.

03-05-2016, 07:54 PM
Oh you are going to have a blast with these. Do try different size misters too. I found the rougher the paper, the better the texture. :)

03-06-2016, 01:19 PM
NO!!!!! JJ no more art materials spending for a while! Top up watercolour tubes and some Fisher 400 paper on its way and I have to stop!

Have been drowning in teaching paperwork, workshops and training courses and dropping stuff off to exhibition and .... so on and on ..... so not much art going on at the moment.

This one is one selected for the Open Exhibition at our local museum. It was in a sketchbook with heavy buff coloured paper. Now framed. Last year's work but exhibited this year.


and this one on Fisher 400 paper, again last year

Dropped off there on Saturday


03-06-2016, 04:10 PM
Lovely work. But are you having fun with all that going on?

Deborah Susan Hill
03-06-2016, 05:24 PM
Vivian, your winter scene with the sunrise/sunset is lovely! I especially like the way you paint your trees and brush, and the sky is lovely muted colors, very much like the atmospheric effect we have here in southwestern Wisconsin. We're probably at around the same latitude as The British Isles. I noticed that sunrises and sunsets look much different in the Desert Southwest when I lived there for a short period in the early '80s. All of the colors were hard edged and more brilliant, likely due to the lack of moisture in the air..

03-06-2016, 06:18 PM
Thanks Debby .... Hmmm all the background work in teaching is so not good!

Deborah, thank you, yes place makes so much difference. When I lived in Malta the sunsets were so quick, the transition and the rapid movement of the sun down below the horizon. At our latitude it lasts so much longer with all the subtle or vivid changes.

03-08-2016, 08:58 AM

Checking the colours in my watercolours :). Top set are mostly W&N, some DS and Maimeri. Bottom set White Nights

I squish some colours from tubes into the gulleys ... hence the thin swatches :).

Doing a workshop on Saturday so checking anything I needed.

03-09-2016, 05:40 AM
Oops! Posted twice from the iPad in one day

This was the colours thing that should have been above


JJ I am going to have fun with those pens - I imagine they will fade though, so only in sketchbooks.

03-09-2016, 03:47 PM
I was wondering as I read the description of the one post what in the world you were talking about. Now, with seeing the second post, it all makes sense. Love seeing color experiments.

03-12-2016, 12:37 PM

and I did a workshop today with a watercolour painter (that I won't name!) OKish but too slow and not challenging enough for half of the group.

Anyway this was one of the experiments

A3paper and watercolours

03-12-2016, 03:48 PM
Probably was expecting beginners and got a bunch that already knew the basics and more. Nice painting.

03-12-2016, 04:36 PM
Yes he must have ... But should have known. When I do a workshop for a club I try to be clear on their level. This group has a website, FB page and membership is by selection, so not beginners :(. Ah well, I enjoyed the day anyway :)

Vivien Maloney
03-12-2016, 09:29 PM
Vivien - lovely sketches and you would have enjoyed the day out regardless.
Love those pens too. Do I need any more art materials? Oh dear no.....but those pens look SO good! :thumbsup:

03-13-2016, 05:15 AM
You always need more art materials!

Here is one from my sketchbook with teaching demos in. Built up over time when demonstrating materials and then adding mixed media when students needed to see how I would combine materials.

Started with artbars and inktense some time ago and then slowly added to with watercolour, oil pastel, gouache and coloured pencil.


The simple one above has a fairy tale quality to me and I was deliberately keeping the simplicity that the artist was teaching - but I don't find it sustaining to do a whole painting that way. Too shallow and just pretty. What interests me about trees is their texture and strength and that simple one has a fairy tale quality without what interests me. Although the distance is fine, the tree trunk doesn't say anything about the object. hope that makes sense!

So while this isn't a finished piece, just doodling for demos, it says more about the tangle of woods for me.

03-13-2016, 04:06 PM
Your multi-media demos are a treat.

03-16-2016, 07:51 AM
Another demo but one I'll finish. Decisions to be made about cropping and how much foreground foliage. I'll let it evolve slowly. It's larger, A3, on rough watercolour paper.

Winter fields


and possible crop

03-16-2016, 03:53 PM
Looks like a good crop.

Joan T
03-17-2016, 10:08 PM
Beautiful pages!!!

03-26-2016, 02:53 PM
Thank you :)

These are from a portrait session with a great model this afternoon, both in A3 sketchbook (large)

watercolour and conte pencil, with a tiny bit of coloured pencil.

charcoal, willow and compressed

03-26-2016, 03:48 PM
Lovely portraits.

03-27-2016, 12:37 AM
I love the winter fields landscape!

Joan T
03-27-2016, 08:43 PM
Love the portraits!!! Each has a little bit of a different feel to it. Nicely done!

03-28-2016, 10:23 AM
Thanks :)

And digital doodling today with the mr doob Harmony programme


I just love the marks it makes :)

03-28-2016, 03:01 PM
Pretty cool textures in that program.

03-28-2016, 04:32 PM
Delightful sketches, Vivien. I think your scribbles are really cool.

Joan T
03-28-2016, 09:40 PM
Those branches have such great texture!!!

03-29-2016, 06:30 AM
thanks :)

... and some digital doodling with the mr doob Harmony programme online. I do love the marks it can make.


and with added colour, done with the Sketch Club app


03-29-2016, 05:31 PM
Vivien, I think your digital sketches are really good. They turned out better than I thought they'd be.

03-30-2016, 06:14 AM
thanks :) you can make really expressive marks drawing digitally


playing with mr doob Harmony and Corel Paint Shop on the pc this time

03-30-2016, 04:31 PM
Nice with the color added.

04-02-2016, 12:48 PM

Playing with collage

04-02-2016, 08:06 PM
Looks like an old dry tree in the desert.:thumbsup:

04-04-2016, 06:02 AM

And drawing with the 'wrong' hand - ink and wash and pastel A3

04-04-2016, 08:45 PM
Usually a difficult exercise to use your off hand. Good job.

Joan T
04-07-2016, 05:00 PM
Great abstracts!!!

04-12-2016, 10:50 AM
Thank you :)

04-12-2016, 10:57 AM
Thank you :)

And today, doodling spring weeds in mixed media. Mostly watercolour with a little acrylic and cp

In my square S&B beta sketchbook


Dandelions are like little bursts of sunshine :)

04-12-2016, 03:46 PM
Weeds are wonderful. So many are useful. Delightful sketch.

Joan T
04-12-2016, 04:58 PM
Love the sketch of the spring weeds.

04-14-2016, 11:42 AM
Thanks :)

Sorting out a sketchbook to take to a meeting tonight and ended up doodling some more on this old one, and cropping.


04-14-2016, 06:30 PM
Doodling... much better than attending meetings. :D Great.

04-15-2016, 04:19 AM
it was an art meeting :) and we were sketching together while chatting - I did the one below from tulips someone took, with those calligraphy pens with the ink that divides so nicely.


I sprayed the intial drawing and then worked into it and used charcoal and touch of white pastel as well. I love the way that spraying created those jade washes and blotting creates the pinks. Not sure it would be very lightfast but fun :)

04-16-2016, 05:41 PM
Looks like fun. Lovely tulips.

Joan T
04-16-2016, 08:38 PM
Did you use one of the Elegant Writer pens to get that effect? I always like the shading that you can get with them.

04-17-2016, 03:25 AM
Yes Joan, I sprayed water on, which made it divide even more dramatically and gave lovely edges and runs :) I suspect they won't be light fast, must check, so couldn't sell anything done with them I think. Does anyone know?

04-17-2016, 08:20 AM
Yesterday I went down to the Cotswolds with a friend to an exhibition. There was a very late fall of snow on the high ground - on the lanes we were constantly just below the snowline. The verge had just a dusting of snow but the hills were white with lovely silouetted trees and hedges - just gorgeous.

I took some very bad photos with my phone, through a wet windscreen in a moving car (not me driving!) but add in memory and they are enough to work from, keeping things loose :)

So this is the first sketch, in a sketchbook with rich cream paper, Derwent tinted graphite and the white is oil paint.


I want to do a series of sketches, leading to maybe a large canvas and/or large pastel.

04-17-2016, 10:27 PM
Great landscape.

04-26-2016, 10:41 PM
I really like the abstract aspect of your digital (and regular) work. Your 'wrong hand' sketch turned out wonderfully. Really impressive work since I last checked in!

chammi kaiser
04-29-2016, 05:41 AM
Beautiful elegant work.

05-07-2016, 04:14 PM
thank you :)

05-13-2016, 08:48 AM
I did a larger pastel version which I put on the pastel forum http://http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1405044here

And this little 4 inch tall one on an offcut of the paper.


05-13-2016, 02:51 PM
Such detail. :)

05-15-2016, 01:48 PM

I'd been to the museum and had a few minutes to waste before heading off to a Life Drawing class, so I did this street sketch in water soluble graphite in an A4 sketchbook I keep in the car for moments like this.

05-15-2016, 02:41 PM
Dreamy. Good use of your time. :)

05-17-2016, 02:37 PM
Thanks Debby

and sketching by the canal today with a friend


charcoal, A3 sketchbook

and then I looked up at this lovely gnarled branch on a huge tree


water soluble graphite and a 5B pencil

05-18-2016, 04:12 PM
Marvelous sketches.

Joan T
05-18-2016, 09:10 PM
Nice landscape sketches!!!

05-19-2016, 05:10 AM
thank you both :) - the first was a disaster, not to be shared!!!

I, for some stupid reason, decided to use pastel on a complex scene of canal boats and buildings and water, in an 11 inch square sketchbook - brain obviously not switched on when I made the decision! far too small for blocky pastels and the result was awful! I'll wash the the colours to a smudgy mess and prime it with some Colourfix primer as the paper in the book is really strong. Then re-use the page. It was a good warm up at least!

05-19-2016, 07:19 AM
ok I've pulled it slightly together with pastel pencil for the finer details - but still not happy with it - this is a short walk by road, or a longer loop along the canal from the trees. The canal basin, where the old warehouses are now housing, overlooking the boats in the marina.


It needed to be done on much bigger paper and better observation! approx 11inches

I'd used Colourfix primer over an old drawing, which is why you can see brushstrokes.

Have now fixed the perspective on that wonky balcony on the right which suddently jumped out at me - careless!

05-19-2016, 02:29 PM
Sketchbooks are for learning. :) I can see you doing this as a much larger piece with lots of details.

chammi kaiser
05-20-2016, 04:25 AM
Sketchbooks are for learning. :) I can see you doing this as a much larger piece with lots of details.

I totally agree. That's what is so wonderful about sketch books. Mine are full of things that went wrong. I have learned so much over the last couple of years. Your landscape sketches are wonderful.

05-20-2016, 12:10 PM
Thanks Chammi and Debby

Totally agreeing. Sketchbooks are for exploring and not everything will work - but that's ok. I think you often learn more from things that don't work If you stay in your safety zone you don't learn anything new. Buildings aren't my safety zone!

05-24-2016, 07:24 PM

About 13 inches square I think, pastel over a dark watercolour wash.

Based on work in my sketchbooks done when we had a very early snowfall one November (we don't usually have snow until after Christmas where I live). I was travelling home and the light was beautiful, the patterns of the ploughed fields and hedges too and then the icing on the cake when a flock of birds took off.

chammi kaiser
05-25-2016, 01:06 AM
Wow Vivien, that is so dramatic and full of life. Fabulous work.

05-25-2016, 06:56 AM
Thanks Chammi :)

And a tiny 5 inch one I did in cp on an offcut of Fisher 400. Underpainted deep blue with watercolour and then the cp on top. I wanted to get the light fading a bit more and dusk taking over.

I took an old work out of a frame that fit it - so framed it's 10 inches.

Done from sketches in sketchbooks done at the time. I didn't copy - just used them as a starting point, so horizons and hedges vary :)


Now .... to add that flurry of birds? or leave it as it is?

chammi kaiser
05-25-2016, 01:50 PM
Vivien, this works beautifully in that small frame. I feel the birds would be 'too much'.

05-25-2016, 05:54 PM
I'm glad you said that :). I like the tranquility ... Most people voted with birds ... So I did another with birds on another off cut :). I will post it tomorrow.

05-27-2016, 11:18 PM
Vivien, neat sketches. I agree that the latest sketch works better in the small frame without the birds.

05-28-2016, 05:05 AM

so I did a small version with birds!

05-30-2016, 03:09 PM
They both work. Delightful.

05-30-2016, 03:31 PM
thanks Debby :)

And today ink with a twig to draw with, and wash of water

8x20 inches


I'm trying to decide whether to add slight hints of colour

Joan T
05-30-2016, 08:17 PM
Love the different ways you did the snow. My favorite is this last one in ink. It is perfect as is. I wouldn't add any hints of color.

05-31-2016, 10:18 AM
I did add colour - but only subtly as I'd planned. This is how it is now


I wanted to change the sky top left and add hints of warmth in some of the trees/hedges and reflect the sky colour into the shadows and the road. Oh and that bit of warmth leading your eye to the bottom of the hill.

I think it is more interesting now. What do you think?

06-01-2016, 03:31 PM
Wonderful. Lovely landscape.

06-01-2016, 07:15 PM
thanks Debby :)

06-02-2016, 08:04 AM
...Vivien, love your adventurous sketches, great use and experimentation with diverse media. Your work is very inspirational 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

06-02-2016, 09:41 AM
awww! thanks Scatty :D

Joan T
06-02-2016, 09:02 PM
Vivien, you were right about adding the hints of color. Love it!

06-03-2016, 06:54 AM
thanks Joan :)

06-07-2016, 08:38 AM
About 8 x 20 ins, mixed media


From a vivid memory of fresh snow and early morning mist - everything was white and the hedges floated as though in the air. The sun was like a Japanese print, red, burning through the mist.

06-07-2016, 03:00 PM
Lovely landscape from memory.

06-10-2016, 10:58 AM

Yesterday I sketched in the garden of a lovely house built in 1860.

not great and not really and the darks in the foliage needed pushing deeper. Good practice though - buildings aren't my usual subject.


8x20 inches, watercolour and some mixed media on some paper I really don't like for watercolour. The canvas texture doesn't allow the paint to run in the ways I want but is inclined to channel it in straight lines :(

Munin Raven
06-10-2016, 11:47 AM
I love, love, LOVE the winter scene. Great sense of atmosphere and place. I've enjoyed many a walk through a similar scene, and you nailed my feelings on the subject. :heart:

06-10-2016, 03:11 PM
thanks :) that's so good to hear

06-10-2016, 03:28 PM
Nice house piece. Love the garden around it.

chammi kaiser
06-10-2016, 04:28 PM
Super sketch of the garden and old house Vivien. You nailed those greens.:thumbsup:

Joan T
06-10-2016, 05:25 PM
I like that one of the building with all the open windows. Good job on these.

06-11-2016, 08:19 AM
thank you all :) I tweaked it a bit, I ran out of time to quite finish it there


- pushed the darks, straightened the verticals, added more daisies ....

She is so lucky, the house and grounds are beautiful.

chammi kaiser
06-11-2016, 09:41 AM
Didn't think it could get any better but pushing those darks really made it 'sing'.

06-11-2016, 06:28 PM
Wonderful. Yes, the darkening it up really did make it better. :)

Munin Raven
06-24-2016, 08:13 AM
You've managed to capture such a busy scene in a very effective way. Great foliage variety. :thumbsup:

Joan T
07-10-2016, 06:37 PM
Oh, this came out great with the darks added! I love it!

07-20-2016, 09:25 AM
Thanks :)

and doodling, in between chatting to visitors and fellow artists, while sitting in at the pastel exhibition at the weekend


Munin Raven
07-20-2016, 10:43 AM
Lovely trees. :thumbsup:

07-20-2016, 01:36 PM
Great trees. How did you manage not to lose focus being interrupted by chatting?

07-20-2016, 03:32 PM
It's coloured pencil Debby so it just evolved very slowly with many layers of different colours blending. I purposely took cps to work with as I would have made a mess with pastel and being faster, need more concentration as each stroke matters.

It was purely from imagination/memories, so it could just grow slowly, evolve, without me having a totally preconceived idea of the finished piece.

Thanks Munin Raven :)

09-12-2016, 01:27 AM
Wonderful work here, as always. I am really drawn to the pen and wash landscape. Well done!

Joan T
09-18-2016, 03:50 PM
I really like the misty look to the last one!!!

09-23-2016, 07:27 AM

A small one done on a scrap of purple/grey colourfix with cps. From memories of that brief time when there is still a bit of colour, the moon is rising and the birds going to roost.

Joan T
09-23-2016, 10:59 AM
Lots of atmosphere there!

09-23-2016, 04:02 PM
Very moody.

10-02-2016, 09:36 PM
Love the atmosphere here :)

Munin Raven
10-14-2016, 11:00 AM
You handle Autumn so well. I can almost smell the crisp yet slightly damp air. Beautiful.

10-26-2016, 07:34 AM
Thank you all :>)

Another moody one, done half whilst manning an exhibtion and half finished as demo for class


It was from memories of sunsets sketched in Cornwall. On Fisher 400 with a very loose watercolour underpainting and then cp because it was clean to work with and not too much to carry. About 10 ins square

Joan T
10-26-2016, 05:31 PM
Love this moody last piece!!!

10-27-2016, 10:25 AM
Love this moody last piece!!!
Agree! Oooh!

10-27-2016, 01:39 PM
thank you both :)

moody is fun to paint!

10-29-2016, 04:36 PM

and one from today, done in acrylic to make myself use it a little more :) but of my messy watercolour box with all the extra colours squidged in the spaces and some chinese brushes

I did enjoy using acrylics today - but a reminder of another reason I don't - I managed to dip my sleeves in the paint :rolleyes: - luckily just a painting top

Oil paint comes off with some baby oil and a wash but acrylic stays

11-12-2016, 02:24 PM
Well lots of those sketches plein air (and I'd made a promise to myself to work bigger) are now in 3 local exhibitions



These at one gallery now on an 8 foot panel and a 4 foot panel

Joan T
11-13-2016, 06:26 PM
Congrats on all the larger pieces for the exhibits. They look great!

11-16-2016, 10:50 AM
Impressive landscapes with moodiness for sure and even more impressive gallery display of your work! Best of luck with sales, too. :clap: