View Full Version : Local Landscapes

01-31-2011, 02:19 PM
This thread is going to be about local landscape sketches, done in a variety of books,sizes and media

Here's one done this month in mixed media 9.5 x 7 inches in a book with canvas paper. It's a mix of acrylic, pencil, coloured pencil and I can't remember what else!

It's a misty day with Hoar Frost


The colour is a bit too warm, it was taken under artificial light.

It has been taken out as it's part of an exchange and is now in the post.

01-31-2011, 04:59 PM
Lucky recipient. This is marvelous. Looking forward to seeing more of these local landscapes.

01-31-2011, 05:05 PM

02-01-2011, 12:32 AM
Wow Vivien - this is a really great piece here!

02-01-2011, 01:30 AM
Very appealing- I want to go for a walk there!

02-01-2011, 08:37 AM
thanks everyone :) it was COLD!

02-01-2011, 09:49 AM
Wow, that is beautiful. I so wish I could do landscapes like that. . . maybe taking Johannes classes will help me (I hope!). I also really admire mixed media and this one is a wonderful example of it! Bravo. Lucky person whoever is getting this :)

02-01-2011, 12:46 PM
thanks Rainy - mixed media is very forgiving! Lots of opportunities for changing things and layering, with elements showing through, which I like.

I convinced one of my students to like watercolour after all - she was about to give up on it - by showing her the subtle beautiful changes in colour she could make by hazing coloured pencil over it in places. She was convinced :)

02-01-2011, 04:25 PM
Absolutely beautiful....I like what you said about combining methods with the watercolor.....I may try to read up on this method.

02-01-2011, 08:11 PM
Looks like a very effective mixed media piece, Vivien.

02-01-2011, 10:43 PM
What a gorgeous start for the month Vivien!

02-02-2011, 05:24 AM
thank you all :)

Ed just thrown anything and everything into what you are sketching/painting that will make the right kind of mark - simply think what will help to achieve what you are trying to show.

02-02-2011, 05:30 AM

This is 100 yards down the road in early summer - a bit of a contrast! Not done now but I thought it would be interesting to show the difference. The yellow is the rape seed in bloom.

02-02-2011, 10:06 AM
that is beautiful! is it mixed media also?

02-02-2011, 12:58 PM
yes :)

watercolour, touch of coloured pencil in there and tippex (typing correction pen) used in that haze of white cow parsley (Queen Anne's Lace) - oh and maybe a bit of white gouache

02-02-2011, 01:00 PM

This one isn't mixed media just coloured pencil in the big folio moleskine. I experimented with scanning and photographing it to see which came out best (and put the various stages on my blog). Cold winter field with puddles in the evening light.

I put a scribble of each colour I used down the side

02-02-2011, 01:37 PM
Gorgeous Viv, and what a difference a few months make in how a landscape looks!

Joan T
02-02-2011, 03:44 PM
These are beautiful, Viv! I like the different styles to each.

02-02-2011, 06:28 PM
hmm...we cross posted I didn't see the piece done in cp's, love that one!

02-02-2011, 08:13 PM
All beauties but I especially like the Queen Anne's Lace- just lovely (especially to gaze at in this cold spell).

02-02-2011, 08:20 PM
These are wonderful pieces.

02-02-2011, 10:42 PM
Some more nice colourful pieces. :clap:

(The rape seed must be GM, with that nice yellow glow!:D)

02-02-2011, 10:57 PM
Vivien - your work is just lovely! I love the beautiful colors you achieved with colored pencils in the 3rd one. And both of the others are so beautiful, you make me want to do landscapes for a while. Nice work!

02-03-2011, 04:42 AM
Hi Vivien, your new thread is wonderful - I love the different looks you are achieving with the different media. Very nice indeed :)

02-03-2011, 04:26 PM
thank you all :) at the end of a very long and tiring day these comments gave me a lift

02-04-2011, 01:14 PM
beautiful colored pencil landscape, love the sky especially

Vivien Maloney
02-07-2011, 01:02 PM
These are beautiful Vivien.

02-07-2011, 05:04 PM
Vivien, these are all so beautiful. Each one full of texture and mood and light. I love the sky in that colored pencils vertical one, it's spectacular and so is the tree and the puddle... they are all awesome. Love this topic!

02-08-2011, 07:07 AM
thank you :)

This is a really quick scribbly one, looking across the fields, with a glimpse of the canal as it turns a corner.

Done with a Lamy pen, grey ink and water + brush for the wash. There is a little more pale wash near the front which hasn't picked up very well.

02-08-2011, 10:09 AM
brrrr...very atmospheric, it looks chilly

02-08-2011, 05:54 PM
it was!

02-08-2011, 08:02 PM
Very winter. Great painting.

02-08-2011, 08:10 PM
Hi Vivien,

I haven't been checking journals often recently, and I've certainly missed some wonderful pieces here. The rape seed (known as canola over here) is really a wonderful subject when it's blooming next to green fields of wheat in the southeastern part of our state. Very photogenic. This is excellent work you've done here!

02-10-2011, 06:52 AM
oh that's what canola is

Here is the ink sketch with scribbles of coloured pencil added (scan didn't pick up the palest colours well)


02-10-2011, 09:33 AM
Viv, I so enjoy your sketches! In their simplicity they still suggest so much in the landscape.The quality of the composition makes them appear quite complete, even though you use the terms sketch & scribble. ;) Thanks for sharing. PS Your website is awesome, and I rarely use that word!

02-10-2011, 12:28 PM
Hi Viv, I went to your website, then blog, then to Postcard from my walk! What fun!!!!! On one of those I saw you paint with oils in your sketchbook. Now I am intrigued, do you gesso first, what is the drying time? Hmm...do people use fixative on their images before they mail them on the Postcard group? I know 20 questions

Love the cp's on the ink painting, amazing how much a bit of color changes things, it doesn't read as cold as it did before.

02-10-2011, 04:06 PM
Beautiful landscape. I love that you are using colored pencil and ink.

02-11-2011, 04:49 AM
Candace, Debby and John thank you!

Margo thanks and

no, I don't gesso the pages (it makes the paint behave differently) - as it's a sketchbook I'm not worried about 100 years down the line archival qualities :)

Larger sketches are done in A3 or A2 Cryla pads of canvas textured primed paper. They are usually intended for framing as complete pieces though.

I use Griffin Alkyds (quick drying oils) and simply close the book carefully so the facing page temporarily 'sticks' to it to prevent smudging as I continue working, then I can keep on painting or drawing or whatever on the next page. A full day at the coast will result in 6 - 8 at least.

At home I open it up to dry overnight. The paper never sticks but I get a faint imprint of parts on the facing page, which occasionally I've worked into. They dry in under 12 hours. You can use normal oils as well, I did at uni often. I actually really like the way oils behave on paper.

Some people in the postcard exchange are sending their postcards as a card, risking damage - most are sending them carefully packaged. They are a great group and we have a private site to chat so the background knowledge exchange really adds to it.

02-11-2011, 10:41 AM
Thanks so much for all the information Vivien, I really like the idea of painting on paper, and I shall have to try it out soon. It seems like a good alternative to carrying a stack of panels and then needing to drag along a box to carry them home in.

02-11-2011, 06:34 PM
Great scribbly sketch! I assume the grey ink is re-wettable, it gives nice tones. And the colour additions look good too.

Thanks for the info on oil paints in sketchbooks, sounds like a good way to start using oils outside without fussing with easels etc.

02-12-2011, 12:55 PM
On my degree we had a term of working in the landscape for a morning each week - from Christmas to Easter. We sat dripping under hedges in rain and snow and gales! it was so much fun though. We were expected to do 3 small paintings and a range of sketches in that half a day - my friends and I tended to stay longer than half a day and go out another day as well. That's when I started the oils in sketchbooks.

When I was first learning oils (before uni) the tutor got us to use large sheets of brown paper to work on. That was interesting.

02-14-2011, 08:50 PM
I love the range of moods in these landscapes :)

02-25-2011, 10:15 AM
thanks EP :)

This is the latest 7x9 ins, done with Caran d'Ache wet and dry on Arches paper


A muddy winter farm track, the hedges just starting to get that glow they get as the sap rises ready to burst into growth.

02-25-2011, 11:01 AM
Viv, Our landscape is neither glowing nor bursting anytime soon in the Rocky Mt. area. :wink2: Your picture is lovely & makes me want to follow the road around the bend.
Your tale of rainy/snowy days with art class friends was fun to read. Oils on brown paper- didn't know that would even be possible! My college basic drawing teacher made us do all work on large newsprint, I suppose so we wouldn't be afraid to mess up good /expensive supplies. But we only used pencil and charcoal, not paints!

02-25-2011, 11:57 AM
we used that as well

And huge rolls of Fabriano paper where we could do 6 foot drawings in charcoal or paint - we pinned it to the walls to work

I've lightened the distant hedges a bit to push them away into the distance more


It's so difficult to scan textured papers

Joan T
02-25-2011, 03:19 PM
I like the ink one of the canal and landscape, but this last one is super...I just want to go strolling down that path!

I can just see a group sitting out every morning painting the same spot in different light and conditions. It must have been fun.

02-25-2011, 05:59 PM
Thanks Joan

When we worked out in the landscape that term at uni it was way out in the countryside and there was an area of a few miles that we could work in and the tutor would find us - it must have kept him very healthy! It was interesting watching winter turn to spring in the same small patch of landscape - it was hilly so the views were great. It is good to look at the same thing throughout the seasons.

Sarah Wimperis is doing just that with a particular creek in Cornwall near her home (google her name for her Red Shoes blog if anyone is interested in looking - she's very good - or look at the link in the sidebar of my blog)

02-25-2011, 07:55 PM
that is very lovely. . . is this caran d'arche pastels? or maybe watercolor pencils?

02-25-2011, 08:47 PM
Wow, that's spectacular. Great lead in with that road.

02-25-2011, 10:29 PM
Nice work with the Caran d'Ache medium!

02-26-2011, 06:06 AM
thanks everyone - I've edited it yet again!

I fiddle for a while changing stuff but it's worth it usually - I'm happier now with the grounding of the lane and the muddy heaviness

It's the Caran d'Ache Neocolor II (http://www.dickblick.com/products/caran-dache-neocolor-ii-artists-crayons/) - they are waxyish but water soluble. I've got the set of 30.


02-26-2011, 11:15 AM
that is great. . . I have a set of 15 of those and they are like crayons. Never would have thought to do such lovely work with them like this! Wow.

02-26-2011, 12:40 PM
Stunning Viv, and this is without a doubt the best piece I've ever seen done with the neocolor II's!

02-26-2011, 06:19 PM
wow! thank you!

02-26-2011, 07:26 PM
So Miss Vivien are you putting the Neo's on dry or are you taking the color off of them with your brush?

Just went to your blog again and subscribed, fun seeing all your variations on the still life together. Like that charcoal and ink piece alot.

02-26-2011, 07:49 PM
Still looks good. Glad you are happier with it.

02-27-2011, 02:34 AM
thank you both :)

Margo I started off scribbling the cd's thinly and using water to create washes - so some parts like the sky and field and parts of the hedges and lane are still just that.

Then I used them in bits as a palette to lift colour from and occasionally smudged it with a tissue to lose the paper texture and fill in the hollows with a colour.

and then finally there is quite a lot of it used dry, more like oil pastel.

I also scratched back into bits where it was thicker.


sky and field are thin washes - tree trunk a mix of wash and overlaid dry layers


bits of underlying wash but lots of crayon used dry

The paper is very textured and so it's easy to just let the higher surface pick up the colour, letting lower layers of colour flicker through

02-27-2011, 07:48 AM
That is so beautiful!!!

02-27-2011, 10:51 AM
Thanks Viv, for answering my questions and showing the closeups.

02-27-2011, 11:55 AM
Thanks for describing your approach, Vivien - and very nice work!

02-27-2011, 06:35 PM
Thanks for sharing your process.

02-28-2011, 04:27 AM
Very nice landscape, the closeups are useful, thank you.

02-28-2011, 09:15 AM
Wow! I'm away for a while and then you take it up a few notches higher Vivien. These look like paintings, not sketches!


02-28-2011, 04:46 PM
I never know when to stop David!

02-28-2011, 10:32 PM
ah hemm...that's why they are so striking Vivien!!!!!!!!

03-01-2011, 07:56 AM

Joan T
03-01-2011, 12:52 PM
Viv - Thanks for the description of what you did for that painting...the texture is wonderful. I checked Sarah's blog...it would be nice to stay in one spot and chronicle the changes from day to day...a fun project, and probably awesome to view the series of work all together.

terry n me
03-01-2011, 04:20 PM
Love Johannas class on landscapes. He's a great teacher.

Ella Ann
03-01-2011, 04:39 PM
I really like your use of colour, you make the landscape look so beautiful. :thumbsup:

03-09-2011, 07:05 AM
Thank you everyone :)

approx 14x4 inches on (I think) Fabriano Rosapina paper

detail to see the graininess

This one isn't exactly a local landscape as it's just a made up one but I thought I'd drop it in here.

It's a collagraph print worked into with coloured pencil.

I think it's a print done (ages ago) with a cut off section from a larger collagraph plate and printed as an experiment in the colours I was using for the main piece. Just yellow and green - you can't do many colours on a collagraph and they blur into each other in a characteristic painterly way. (anyone who doesn't know the process of collagraphs can search on my blog using the search box and find all the explanations, it's too much to squeeze in here)

The print had been thrown in the drawer full of bits 'to be worked on' . It had been vertical but I saw a landscape in it when I held it horizontally, so worked with pink, magenta. orange, cadmium and indigo coloured pencels to push darks and add the rosy glow. Coloured pencils suit the grainy texture of the collagraph print better than paints for playing with the image like this.

03-09-2011, 08:54 AM
that looks really cool. it gives the impression of texture. . . is it?

03-09-2011, 11:16 AM
yes it is textured - collagraphs create grooves and raised areas with the pressure of the printing press , depending on where I cut away the surface

- and where the darkest tones are, there was sand on the printing plate (glued down, it holds the ink and prints darker) which creates a rough texture

the mid tones were where the top surface was peeled off the mountboard printing plate and so it creates a fuzziness with the underlying paper texture (sealed with shellac before inking and printing)

03-09-2011, 06:35 PM
Interesting. I'd not heard of collagraph printing before. I like your imaginary landscape.