Monday, March 19, 2007

moleskine, watercolour, coloured pencil, pencil - and seascape

I knew that people had said that moleskines didn't take watercolour - but I had to find out for myself :>)

I started off with a rough pencil sketch of a marsh harbour at Brancaster Staithe from the small moor on the hill above. It's a tiny area but real moorland with gorse and bracken and rocks.

The watercolour just rolled off its waxy surface and had to be scrubbed in quite drily to get it to stay on the paper at all! Definitely not one to try again - maybe gouache? or acrylic?


Then I used coloured pencils to reinforce colours, letting some of the watercolour that 'stuck' show through.

A mix of Polychromos, Lyra, Derwent and some cheap unnamed supermarket coloured pencils were used, reinforced with graphite pencil.


This is a view I'd like to do in oils some time, working plein air. It was done from a photograph taken when I sketched there last year. There's a wonderful view from the moor, known as The Common, of the harbour with its islands and twisting creeks, reed beds and salt marsh . Norfolk is generally fairly flat so it's lovely to be able to get a high viewpoint from rolling hills - North Norfolk is really a very nice area.

I'm disappointed that the moleskine doesn't like watercolour as I use it a lot in mixed media sketches - but it's so nice to use with drawing media that I'll buy another when this is full. I'd like to see them made double the size though.

8 comments:

Dave said...

It turned out pretty well despite the problems with the w/c. Have you tried the moleskines that are designed for watercolour?

vivien said...

thanks :) - no I haven't tried their w'col one - well this is the first moleskine I've ever used!

I don't hear good reports of it though. Also they are very small books and generally I prefer larger sketchbooks so I doubt if I'll bother with the watercolour one. Hve you used one?

Dave said...

No, I haven't used one. They seem to be one of those things that some people love and others hate. I prefer cheaper sketchbooks, then I don't feel worried about "wasting" pages!

Lindsay said...

Moles work for everything EXCEPT water media!! I love them for colored pencils.
Love the light airy feeling in your sketch

vivien said...

thanks Lindsay :) - yes I'm finding I like the moleskine with lots of drawing stuff - ink and pencils and charcoal pencil (but not charcoal) and I like the smooth paper a lot.

Dave I have loads of sketchbooks on the go! I like various sizes and types of paper for different things - some women have a shoe 'thing' - I collect art sketch books I think!

Katherine said...

Lovely sketch Vivien - despite the problems. I'm looking forward to seeing the real thing

And I'm with you - sketchbooks are much better than shoes anyday!

MrsSnowy said...

I love this sketch, Vivien. A series of the same tree is a lovely idea. I have been following the moods of a little persimmon tree - I have the photo references but am behind with my homework.

I have an old set of Pelikan pans that belonged to my daughter - I think they are gouache, too chalky to be watercolour - they work a treat in my Moleskine.

vivien said...

thanks for that info - so gouache may be ok, I don't mind if I can't paint in it - I'll just use a different book. I do like to mix media though so if it is possible it's great.

I'll bring the sketchbook on Saturday Katherine. There's not much in it yet though. Work has been a bit hectic :(