View Full Version : Pocket Watercolor Moleskine (Plein Air from Idaho to Germany, with Zebras of course)

Carey Griffel
08-15-2010, 05:02 PM
Hi everyone. :) Love to lurk in this forum, as I do believe that sketchbooks and such are an art form in and of themselves.

I started a new watercolor Moleskine this past month and so far it's all been plein air...don't know if it will stay with that theme throughout, but I have really been loving this pocket size for on-site sketching--I'm not *really* much of a watercolorist, but I've discovered that I enjoy it more at small sizes.

I started this book while home on vacation...home being Idaho. I always take art supplies on visits back home, and traditionally never use them, of course. But this time I was pretty determined to use my adorable little W&N watercolor kit, and lo and behold, I actually did. And I am so happy that I did because the colors were just so gorgeous...they had a lot more rain this spring/early summer than usual, so everything was a lot greener than usual. ("Greener" meaning something quite different than what it means in most other places, as much of Idaho is actually high desert. :))

I am from eastern Idaho, and this was done just outside of town. Watercolor and Micron pen.


I wanted to play more with the colors of the sagebrush, so I also did this one...watercolor with a Micron brush pen, which gave it a bit of an oriental feel, I guess.


And a couple of sketches from a zoo visit...to my shock and delight, they had a zebra colt! (It's very ironic, though maybe not interesting to anyone but me :lol: ...this is the same zoo where I saw my first baby zebra, and a while later just about lost all the photos from him and worried oh no maybe I'll never see a baby zebra again...but they've had a lot of zebra babies at the zoo I visit here! Anyway, ironic they have one back home this year again. :))

This is the non-mama mare. Watercolor pencil with watercolor on top.


And the colt, again watercolor pencil and watercolor...somehow got his neck too long and the colors are a bit muddied, but I was so happy to get the time and opportunity to sketch.


One last sketch from back home, a local reservoir on a cloudy day (actually there ended up being some thunderstorms), watercolor and Micron pen.


And plein air from here in south eastern Germany. These are all at the same lake, this first from the other day when I got a bit drenched in the intermittent drizzle that does not seem to want to leave us alone (no desert here, that is for sure!), watercolor and Micron pen. Oh, that is a little paddle boat near the shore.


And two from today when we finally caught a bit of break in the weather...both watercolor pencil and Micron pen.



I hadn't really intended to include the kiteboarder in that last one, but my three-year-old suggested it was a good idea, and of course toddlers are always right, so I put him in.

Now we'll have to see what the other pages in my book bring. :)


08-15-2010, 08:00 PM
These are wonderful! I'm glad you've taken to using your sketch book en plein aire, and that you've taken up pen and WC also. The Zebras are amazing considering you did them from life. Animals just don't like to sit still no matter how much you will them to! I think my fav though is the first one from Germany.


08-15-2010, 08:14 PM
Lovely paintings, all of them. Like your combination of ink and water color.

08-15-2010, 10:02 PM
Hi Carey! What a wonderful start to your moleskine. I like all of your work, the colours are lovely and fresh and you have a liveliness to your sketches, and the zebra is just so cute. I look forward to seeing more!

08-16-2010, 12:34 AM
Carey, these are incredible. I have a pocket Moleskine watercolor notebook too that I haven't started yet, but when I do I hope I can do justice to plein air subjects as well as you have. Your colors are vibrant. Your mixes are powerful and intense, your compositions great, your balance between detail and looseness wonderful. The zebras are so lively. I love the subtle colors you brought into those black and white animals, and their anatomy is so perfect.

Which W&N pocket kit do you have? Cotman or Artists? I'm guessing Artist's from the intensity but I could be wrong, the Cotmans are pretty good in the hands of someone who handles them well - and you do!

I'm curious, because I know the different small W&N sets have slightly different palettes. When I switched from a Cotman Field Box to an Artist's Field Box (after 30 years of using it more than any other WC set) I had to get used to an entirely different palette which included black but lacked a sap green. It was tough!

08-16-2010, 11:05 AM
I have a Moleskine watercolor notebook, too.. I love it. I plan on buying a couple more. I need to post my "journal" on here when I have time. :)

Vivien Maloney
08-16-2010, 03:10 PM
Carey; Your new Journal is amazing. Lovely clear watercolor sketches and I love the Zebra. Can't wait to see more.

08-17-2010, 06:16 PM
Great work, Carey! I was surprised to see you thread here - I usually lurk in the oil painting forum...:) . I have several Moleskine sketchbooks (both regular and watercolor) going. The pen and wash style you've used here works really well in small formats.

08-18-2010, 09:29 AM
Carey, your watercolor sketches are wonderful, and I loved seeing what Idaho looks like, and your Germany sketches, but most of all I loved the zebras. :-)

08-18-2010, 04:22 PM
Love those plein aire landscapes. Cute little zebra-let :)

08-24-2010, 08:43 PM
The landscapes are lively and interesting, Carey, but it's hard to top the zebras.

08-26-2010, 07:43 PM
Nice "art from life" style journal pages. Sometimes I think journal pages are better than planned paintings. Kurlie