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vhere
06-23-2010, 08:25 AM
These sketches are in several books - a tiny 7x5 inch one, an 11 inch square one, A4 and possibly others. I used to travel to paint in Norfolk a lot with a friend throughout the year - so there are cold winter days as well as blue summer skies. It's a 200 mile round trip so we'd start out very early and get home at midnight, having stayed painting all day. A good day would mean 6-8 pieces of work. You have to work fast as the tide and light change so quickly that after an hour the scene is totally different.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jun-2010/53888-e__august_paintings_sketchbook_old_031.jpg

This one is in watercolour with touches of oil pastel in the 11 inch square book.

The one on the right was painted whilst waiting for AA to come and open the car for me - I'd shut the car keys inside :o and we were in a remote place - aren't mobile phones wonderful ? :D

Davkin
06-23-2010, 09:01 AM
You do such wonderful watercolor sketches Vivian. A lot of these deserve to be framed and hung on the wall!

David

Jakesgram
06-23-2010, 12:17 PM
Vivien - what beautiful sketches. Can't wait to see more. I especially like the nuances of color in the skies and the water. Very nice.

Jean

mhimeswc
06-23-2010, 02:50 PM
Lovely sketches. It's a good thing that you didn't lock the phone away in the car that day. LOL That's probably something I would do.

ReggieS
06-23-2010, 03:57 PM
Gorgeous sketches Vivien!!

Reggie

robertsloan2
06-23-2010, 04:05 PM
Beautiful paintings, Vivien. I love the surf on the right, that is incredible. The way you got the waves and the foam is gorgeous.

vhere
06-23-2010, 05:45 PM
Thanks everyone :>)

If I frame anything out of a sketch book David, I scan it before framing and stick the print in the book - it keeps all the information and sketches together that way.

It's the nuances that fascinate me Jean - it's why I really really need to get out there and sketch so that I see them. A camera just doesn't catch them :(

Oil pastel as a resist is a great help with surf Robert! I always take a few Sennelier oil pastels along with watercolours when I'm sketching.

robertsloan2
06-23-2010, 07:52 PM
That's a great idea. So you used Senneliers for those beautiful surf patterns? I love them, the shapes are so perfect. I can see how going lightly with broken color would give a glorious effect.

vhere
06-24-2010, 05:03 AM
Yes, some lightly skimmed over the surface and some heavier to totally resist - the watercolours leave speckles of colour on the surface but mostly just roll off. Senneliers work infinitely better than cheaper brands. I'll also use them sometimes for the pinks and mauves that reflect in wet sand.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Jun-2010/53888-e__august_paintings_sketchbook_old_022.jpg

Another spread in the 11 inch square book - these are oil paint used on the paper (unprimed).

I really like using oils in the sketchbook. It's possible to work much faster and change colours quickly if an interesting flash of light/colour occurs in the sea

The left hand page is bits cut off the edges of work that was framed - the colours/textures are useful as reference so if they are interesting I keep them this way.

mhimeswc
06-24-2010, 07:19 AM
Vivien - your little shore sketches look so lovely, and so interesting, but - since they are oils - I'd be concerned about being able to close the sketchbook, or being able to turn the page to start another. How long does it take to dry enough to do that? I mean, I've even had to occasionally carry my watercolor sketchbook open for a little while until it was dry enough to close it.

vhere
06-24-2010, 08:13 AM
you can close the book immediately and you get a slight print onto the facing page

you can then allow the pages to stick lightly together while you work on the next page :>) to avoid smudging it. I've worked this way for years and it's never a problem

they don't stick like acrylic would, or even wet watercolour. They peel apart fine when I get home. The paint doesn't soak through the paper or affect the next page.

mhimeswc
06-24-2010, 08:32 AM
Wow! That is surprising. I would have thought it would transfer a lot of paint to the facing page, and that it would take a day or two at least to dry enough to close the book. Well, I'm glad that it works well for you because the sketches are great!

Davkin
06-24-2010, 09:42 AM
So you leave the oil pastel as part of the painting? I would have never thought to combine oil pastel and watercolor.

David

vhere
06-24-2010, 12:04 PM
Yes David, I virtually always use oil pastels (when I use them) UNDER the watercolour as a resist. If I want colour on top of the watercolour I'd use polychromos/lyra/coloursoft coloured pencils (don't like Prisma myself)

It's one of the things I picked up on my degree - no rules :) - use anything with anything as long as it works

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Jun-2010/53888-sea_resist.jpg

these aren't in my sketchbook but are quick demos done for students to shwo how to combine media. Lines scribbled in white Sennelier oil pastel with watercolour freely washed over for the water and sand.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Jun-2010/53888-oil_res_wcol_free_flowers.jpg

and this one uses coloured oil pastels as well with again, watercolour dropped over them quite freely

Yes, the oil paint never ever sticks Michelle. I've used normal oil paints and Griffin Alkyd quick drying oils - obviously you don't put the paint on with a trowel :cat: or it would squidge and spoil the painting. I use very little/no medium usually. You can even leave the book closed while the painting dries and it still doesn't stick. It's the oil that stops it. Also it never buckles the paper like water can.

(interestingly I was reading that Sargent didn't use any medium)

These aren't paintings - just doodles to show possibilities to students in class.

vhere
06-24-2010, 12:06 PM
oops duplicate post sorry

robertsloan2
06-24-2010, 01:52 PM
Vivien, that's fascinating! I love that next scene you posted, the spread with the sea scene and pinkish sand across from the bits saved from framed paintings. That is so cool. So is the demo sea and sand -- that one's elegant, so simple and so beautiful. The other demo's colorful and interesting, but that sea and sand one is gorgeous as a little painting in itself.

I hadn't really thought of using oils on paper, but I may have to try it sometime. Thanks for the tips, like not using medium with them. I'm definitely going to have to try some of these things someday.

Joan T
06-24-2010, 02:13 PM
These are lovely!!! Your description of your long plein air day sounds like something I would do. lol

vhere
06-24-2010, 04:02 PM
There was a programme on this week with contemporary artists talking about the importance of play and playing with ideas as a child - I like playing with materials and ideas :)

It's great isn't it Joan, sitting in the fresh air, friends nearby, noone talking any more because everyone is concentrating - then the crits over coffee/lunch :)

DrDebby
06-24-2010, 08:14 PM
The sketches and the demos are gorgeous. Using oil pastel for resist is brilliant.

vhere
06-25-2010, 12:21 PM
thanks :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jun-2010/53888-e_beachhuts_at_wells.jpg

This one is watercolour and oil pastel looking inland at some beach huts on stilts in front of the pine woods in the dunes. It only has water like this for half an hour or so at high tide. The tide goes out a long way and between the huts and the sea is this pool and a strand of dune and then more beach. Same square book.

Robert I love the colours in the sheen of wet sand - pinks and lavenders and electric blues, depending on the day.

mhimeswc
06-25-2010, 02:20 PM
I love the little beach huts, their staircases, and their shadows on the sand, and those beautiful colors in the sand itself. Nice one!

Davkin
06-25-2010, 02:57 PM
Vivian, I just don't know what to say. This little "Sketch" shows your maturity as an artist in so many ways that I can't even describe it. Whatever "IT" is that painting defintely has "IT".

David

DrDebby
06-25-2010, 03:12 PM
Oh, very nice! The reflections in the water are awesome.

robertsloan2
06-25-2010, 10:44 PM
This one is fantastic! I love the huts and that approaching water, all the colors of wet sand. You're right, there are so many fascinating colors that can happen in it depending on the light. It's beautiful.

vhere
06-26-2010, 05:35 AM
thank you all :o

It's honestly only practice and observation and experimenting and pushing things so the lights and darks sing. In my very early work I can see the lack of these! and I'm still learning, I hope I never stop :)

Vivien Maloney
06-26-2010, 06:57 PM
Beautiful! Yes, observation, that's what makes your work so powereful. Love it.

vhere
06-27-2010, 05:41 AM
:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2010/53888-e__bandwhunny3.jpg

This one was done in a brush pen (Tombo type) at the end of a long day painting. I used a little bit of sea water to create the wash.

My friends were finishing off their paintings and I'd finished my last one so I did this really fast as the sun was setting. It led on to a whole series of canvasses, collagraphs and digital images because doing it fixed the scene in my mind :)

The mesh things are strong thick wire mesh baskets of large rocks to stop the sea washing the dunes away.

DrDebby
06-27-2010, 03:22 PM
Very powerful sketch. Cool using salt water for a wash.

vhere
06-29-2010, 03:19 AM
it's all I had!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Jun-2010/53888-e__august_paintings_sketchbook_old_027.jpg

Looking down the beach, sitting in the dunes with the tide fairly far in

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Jun-2010/53888-e_norfolk_edges.jpg

This one is strips from the edges of paintings that were framed - I kept them because I really liked the way that they work together and they are reminders of the colours of that day (they change so dramatically minute to minute never mind adding in seasons, time and weather!)

Everyone liked those pages of strips and I eventually did a series of long thin canvasses based loosely on them - they ran from 3foot tall to 5ft ish and from 5 inches wide to about 12, They work as a series and add the dimension of time as you scan across them - the tide goes in and out and the weather/time/season change.

I would never have had that idea but for the sketchbook :)

You can see them on my website if you are interested in the Time and Tide, long thin canvasses section.

DrDebby
06-29-2010, 06:58 PM
Well then it's cool and resourceful. LOL This one is beautiful as well. You have such a way with these beach and surf paintings. Just lovely.

vhere
07-01-2010, 03:46 PM
thanks Debby :)

virgo68
07-01-2010, 06:24 PM
The strips of cut off bits look like a fascinating little composition. It's those sorts of experiments or notes that I really want to be nosey at and are so useful for learning. Wouldn't it be fun to actually sit with someone else's journal in your hands and while away the afternoon....?!

vhere
07-02-2010, 07:05 AM
I agree - I absolutely love looking through other people's sketchbooks :) when artists give a talk and bring their books I love flipping through them

I meet up with a small group of friends once a month to talk art, show each other our latest work and sketch books are always brought along - it's great :)

Vivien Maloney
07-03-2010, 04:07 PM
Love your sketches of the beach with the pink sand. Ah me - sitting in the sand-hills sketching the beach, how wonderful that would be! We are, of course, in the middle of Winter here in NZ, so sitting on the beach feels like a dream to me. Thank you, your sketches are full of atmosphere. Can't wait to see more.

vhere
07-03-2010, 06:25 PM
Thanks Viv :)

we are in the middle of a heat wave! but the coast is 100 miles away and I'm working extra hours to cover another tutor who has been off - so no sneaking off to the coast yet :(

eyepaint
07-03-2010, 10:54 PM
These are lovely!!!

virgo68
07-03-2010, 11:34 PM
Vivien - fancy England having a heatwave lol?! You'll enjoy the coast even more when you finally see it again!

vhere
07-04-2010, 06:10 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/53888-e__beach_huts_old_hunstanton.jpg

OK so here's another - again watercolour and coloured pencil. This is a double page in the little 7x5 inch sketchbook. I don't very often use it as I don't like working in a book that small - I prefer at least A4 really.

This is the beach huts and beach at Hunstanton. The sand really did look that colour on that day.

vhere
07-05-2010, 11:14 AM
Vivien - fancy England having a heatwave lol?! You'll enjoy the coast even more when you finally see it again!



:cat:

JTMB
07-05-2010, 12:32 PM
Hi Vivien,

I thought I had commented on this work previously, but apparently not. I love what you are doing here! Like others, I'm fascinated by the way you use oil pastels along with other media. The sketches are excellent!

DrDebby
07-05-2010, 01:47 PM
I really enjoy all your coastal scenes. It's like taking a day at the beach. The huts and sand and surf all come together nicely in this one.

virgo68
07-05-2010, 08:02 PM
Vivien, I am fascinated by these sketches that take over the double pages of the book. When you open the pages of your sketchbook it must feel like opening a gift - waiting to see what is awaiting you!

Do you draw or paint in a sketchbook every day? I know this one is a smaller scale and easier to fill, but you have so many on the go and the work always looks "finished"........ your work is very inspiring :)

vhere
07-06-2010, 04:04 AM
thanks :)

No I don't draw/paint in them every day :( most days I do something - sometimes it's just drawing things around me to keep my hand in - paintbrushes, students or whatever

Because most of my books are themed, they have patches of really intense work with several things in a day and then they are put away until the next time - or when I want to work on large canvasses based on them. Then I'll use whatever book has the other theme I need. Keeping the 'serious' research together makes it easier to find what I want later.

When I go out I'm inclined to take everything - watercolours, oils, several books .... then i decide how far I have to walk and what I'll actually carry and use. Sometimes if I'm at the coast I'll do 6-8 in oils/watercolour/drawing if I've gone specifically to paint.

This book is really about information gathering - understanding the light and colour and mood of the days/season so that I can remember it and draw on it for bigger work. They become something in their own right because I'm really looking intently. I simply can't get the same depth of information from photos though I use them a little as back up sometimes. These are about how I feel about the place, not the limited information that a camera can catch - I hope that makes sense!

I really need the information from life - cameras don't catch the same number of tones as the human eye can (those white burnt out skies and 'black holes' of shadow) and they don't catch the subtleties of colour that I see. The focal length of the lens causes distortions and doesn't necessarily show the way you actually see the scene. And lastly, there are little emphases and distortions that you instinctively use to enhance sweeps of features in the landscape - Constable moved a church spire half a mile to improve one of his paintings!

I actually find it much harder working at this scale! I really prefer A4 or above.

virgo68
07-06-2010, 07:43 PM
yep - it all makes sense! Thanks for sharing your working methods, I find it very interesting to hear how others go about their work and seeing the results they achieve, inspires me to "pull my finger out" and have another go!

vhere
07-07-2010, 09:09 AM
me too :) I love to look through other people's sketchbooks, watch how they work and talk about it - there's always something useful that I pick up.

Joan T
07-10-2010, 12:49 PM
I love the one of the beach huts!! Great idea to save the strips you cut off the paintings when you frame them...they have a charm unto themselves!!

robertsloan2
07-10-2010, 04:09 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/53888-e__beach_huts_old_hunstanton.jpg

OK so here's another - again watercolour and coloured pencil. This is a double page in the little 7x5 inch sketchbook. I don't very often use it as I don't like working in a book that small - I prefer at least A4 really.

This is the beach huts and beach at Hunstanton. The sand really did look that colour on that day.

This scene is beautiful. I love the way you capture the buildings and the distance, it's gorgeous. Quoted it to bring it forward for those coming to the thread late.

Vivien Maloney
07-14-2010, 08:34 AM
This double-page spread is beautiful! I like the way you've used the two pages. Great recession in your sketch with the strong front foliage, then going to the buildings and on to the far horizon - love it.

Whisperwood
07-14-2010, 03:57 PM
Love this!

christinemlr
07-14-2010, 05:10 PM
Oh Wow, so wonderful to see these books. I really love this work. I live on the coast in North Wales and like you love those colours of reflected sky on water on sand, constantly shifting and changing, but whenever I've tried to do watercolour sketches its just been a disaster so I never do it now, and it seems to me watercolour is the medium to catch those colours and lights, but I just can't handle it. Now I want to try again.
I'd be very interested to know what make of sketchbook you use for these as I'm still searching for one that takes watercolour ok without being specifically watercolour paper.
I really like the B&W pen and wash too and the demonstrations for students. You just have a natural way with markmaking.
Xina

mhimeswc
07-14-2010, 09:01 PM
Great sketch of the beach huts. I like the double page format. There is a beach on Staten Island, NY (where I used to live) that has reddish sand like that.

TaniaBee
07-15-2010, 09:50 AM
Beautiful painting - and i also like how you've used the double page - gorgeous!!

vhere
07-17-2010, 05:31 PM
Oh Wow, so wonderful to see these books. I really love this work. I live on the coast in North Wales and like you love those colours of reflected sky on water on sand, constantly shifting and changing, but whenever I've tried to do watercolour sketches its just been a disaster so I never do it now, and it seems to me watercolour is the medium to catch those colours and lights, but I just can't handle it. Now I want to try again.
I'd be very interested to know what make of sketchbook you use for these as I'm still searching for one that takes watercolour ok without being specifically watercolour paper.
I really like the B&W pen and wash too and the demonstrations for students. You just have a natural way with markmaking.
Xina

Thank you everyone :) I'm back from the coast so my Canson thread will be update soon :)

I like heavy cartridge paper if I'm working on 'ordinary' paper - sometimes it's Daler Rowney, their hard backed (black cover) books are good. so are the Lyndhurst spiral bound books - again just heavy cartridge paper.

I like the Canson book (in my other thread) too, which is a fairly smooth finished watercolour paper. The moleskine watercolour books are ok too.

Though this little book was bought in a sale at Tescos a few years ago - it's about an inch thick, the paper is quite heavy and in the sale it cost only 99p!! The cover is a sort of false suede.

I find working in oils at the coast easier as it's possible to react quickly with light over dark to changing weather and glints of light on the water. I've just done a series of watercolours though and though they take me longer I've really enjoyed the challenge. I'll be adding them to the Canson book once I scan them. It is worth persevering. Also, mixing media - using a little white gouache occasionally to mix with watercolours to regain lost lights, scumble coloured pencil over to intensify and modify colours and use oil pastel or candle as a resist. I throw anything at it that will make the painting work!!