View Full Version : Vivienb January sketches

01-05-2011, 10:45 AM
My January work will probably jump about a bit - different paper/media/subject

A group I belong to are going to look at still life - something we never really do for finished work, so it's a challenge to find our own angle on it, I'm not interested in conventional set ups with things lined up so I need to find a way that interests me. Some of the work I do will be for that.

Then I get interested in other things and go off at a tangent - so who knows what I'll do - one thing is developing work in traditional media from digital images I've created.

This is one recent drawing on black paper using white pencil - now stuck on the inside cover of my A4 moleskine folio sketchbook. It was done from memory of the explosive seedheads of thistles at the end of the summer that led on to quite a few works. The structure of the seedheads was hidden by the mass of fluffy sees ready to fly away.


Joan T
01-05-2011, 12:15 PM
Viv - Awesome job on this! I love the look of the white pencil on the black paper. The shading really makes this lovely!!

01-05-2011, 03:10 PM
White on black is marvelous. It looks surreal even tho' it's an everyday plant.

01-05-2011, 05:15 PM
Very interesting, looks like you are off to a great start finding 'still life' your way.

01-05-2011, 07:08 PM
Cool and different start to your sketchbook, almost looks abstract.


01-06-2011, 10:15 AM
what a lovely and cool drawing. . . such simple media but its gorgeous! really love it

01-07-2011, 09:12 AM
thank you everyone :)

now where next ...........?

01-07-2011, 06:29 PM
Oh cool. This looks like dandelion "fluff" and the leaves of thistles and/or dandelion plants :)

01-08-2011, 06:32 PM
Oooh! I love the white on black! Great start for your January journal.

01-08-2011, 09:09 PM
Wow - what a striking piece, Vivien! I've had two white pens sitting around for a couple months - this motivates me to give them a try!

01-09-2011, 01:10 PM
EP yes they are like dandelion fluff but just masses of it all together

Thanks Michelle

and John yes - break out those white pens! I have one but it doesn't cover very well so I don't very often use it - I hope yours work better.

01-10-2011, 12:09 PM
White on black, very striking! I'm interested in seeing where you go with this, your work always inspires me.

01-10-2011, 01:45 PM
Wow! How expressive of the fine thistledown by doing white on back. Wonderful.

01-11-2011, 01:55 AM
Vivien - your thistle image is wonderful. Such delicate detail. I love the white pencil on black. You must have been inspired!

01-11-2011, 11:34 AM
Margo, Elain and Jean - thank you :)

I must get some more work done, I've been busy and done very little sketching or painting :(

01-12-2011, 08:29 AM

snowy woods in coloured pencil - finally got something done

The colour blends aren't quite so garish and separated in reality. I find coloured pencil images very hard to scan or photograph without the top layer of colour showing too much in proportion to the underlying colours. I work in lots of scumbled layers and the subtleties gets lost :(

01-12-2011, 10:13 AM
Lost layers or not it's still beautiful Viv.

01-12-2011, 11:52 AM
I like this as well, Vivien - it is always a struggle to get a photo that bears a proper resemblance to the actual piece. I like the use of the violet hues - definitely reads like winter.

01-12-2011, 03:50 PM
Love all the great color in the snow scene and also the loose strokes. You make colored pencil look so painterly! Very cool. . . really nice.

01-12-2011, 10:06 PM
It's very hard to get colored pencils to scan or photograph well.

This is so colorful, yet still reads as a winter scene. Just splendid.

01-13-2011, 04:52 AM
It's very hard to get colored pencils to scan or photograph well.

This is so colorful, yet still reads as a winter scene. Just splendid.

No offence Dr D. but I have been working in colored pencils for over 20 years and have not had that problem. It's even better with the new digital cameras.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2011/129567-nx6a.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2011/129567-tmccluregiraffe.jpg There was a contrast adjustment on the giraffe.

great job can't wait to see more.

01-13-2011, 07:05 PM
if you work with saturated colour as you do Bluefly, and burnish, filling the grain of the paper totally then yes, it's easy. I don't want to work that way with cp's myself you see - I'd use paint - watercolour/oil/acrylic whatever.

So if you work as I do, more loosely - no it really isn't easy to photograph as the paper showing through, affects the camera balance and the transparent, scumbled layers don't show quite the same as the human eye sees them, the top layers coming through stronger than they should. Cameras (and I do have a good digital as I'm sure Debby does and I'm pretty experienced with photography and Photoshop for adjusting images to match) cannot cope with as much variation in colour, hue, tone as a human eye and inevitably the photographs of this kind of work lose some subtlety.

This one was a scan though, not a photo.

I'm glad you liked it :)

01-13-2011, 07:12 PM
Margo, John, Rainy, Debby - thank you :)

Joan T
01-15-2011, 11:20 AM
I love the snowy woods!!! You color combinations in the trees are super!

01-16-2011, 10:49 AM
thanks Joan :)

This is not exactly a sketchbook thing to some - but it is to me as my computer is often somewhere I develop ideas, print them and stick them into sketchbooks as part of a series that includes drawings/paintings/digital images around an idea


Winter Woods

It's a mix of several elements combined and changed using photoshop

01-16-2011, 07:48 PM
Interesting. I think that the digital images where you work things out functions as a sketch, especially if you are printing them out and sticking them in your sketch books.

01-16-2011, 08:23 PM
Quite cool how you are using the computer. I do agree with Debby that digitalizing art can really help sometimes to see things. Heck, I know some folks even sketch on their computer!

01-16-2011, 09:48 PM
Very nice snowy scenes. :clap:

I like the idea of printing digital manipulations etc and gluing them in a sketchbook...I never would have thunk that myself.

01-17-2011, 11:03 AM
thanks :) well here is another done the same day


I think it would be interesting to work from this on a larger scale - maybe watercolour and ink with pastel over it? rich luscious soft pastel - Unisons?

or oils built up in glazes?

01-17-2011, 11:56 AM
Wow, these are stunning pieces, Vivien! I haven't ventured into the computer art arena, but these pieces certainly make that tempting.

As to the limitations of cameras, there is no doubt that photographing artwork (or anything else, for that matter) to get it to look like the real thing is still nigh on impossible, despite new and expensive technology (my pocketbook can attest to this). I worked for several years in the high-end commercial graphics and photographic developing/printing industry and my view is that the more you learn about photography and printing, the more limitations you realize that those processes have.

I had an interesting example last year in the third college oil painting class that I took. The term project was a large master copy project. 'Master' was not defined as narrowly as the 'old masters' so I picked a Winslow Homer painting called The Herring Net. After the instructor approved my choice and I found a canvas that was the same size as the original (30 x 48 inches) the next step was to find good photographic references, since the original (as nearly as I could determine) is located in Chicago. Of course this should be easy to do in the days of the internet, right? Wrong! The more online sources (and then book sources as well) I searched, the more varieties of colors for the painting I found. The extremes of them were staggeringly different. So after some consultation with the instructor, I opted to put my hands on as many high-end art books (including a couple compilations of his works), and a scholarly-oriented 'pay to play' online art image database designed for academic research and settled on a reference. The instructor muddied the water even more because she brought up the other factor I hadn't really thought about...what did the painting look like when it was photographed versus when Homer had just completed it? Yellowing, dust, potential light exposure, etc. could have changed it significantly. So, today's 'real' isn't necessarily the artist's 'real'. My head hurt...:) .

01-17-2011, 06:45 PM
This one looks deep and mysterious. If you go large on this, we'd love to see it.

01-17-2011, 07:26 PM
thanks :) well here is another done the same day


I think it would be interesting to work from this on a larger scale - maybe watercolour and ink with pastel over it? rich luscious soft pastel - Unisons?

or oils built up in glazes?

That looks real nice, maybe the wc/ink/pastel combo would be good. For some reason it made me think of Odilon Redon (http://www.odilon-redon.org/).

01-18-2011, 12:19 AM
Viv the last piece is absolutely stellar! oils, watercolors, heck it would be a fabulous batik on fabric, I could so make a fabulous quilt or better yet a one off jacket with a piece of batik like this.

Can you tell I'm totally in love with batik? All joking aside I LOVE this piece!

01-18-2011, 02:59 PM
mmm I like Odilon Redon Chris

Good points about colour reproduction John and I've found the same thing - and sometimes been very disappointed on seeing the original, it has reproduced in books as something better - and more often the opposite, being so much better in reality.

:) I've only done batik once Margo but really enjoyed it, you are right it would work as one

Joan T
01-19-2011, 11:41 AM
I can just imagine this last one HUGE and hanging on a museum wall!!!

01-20-2011, 06:18 PM
if only!!!!