Cardoons. 2 sketches in coloured pencil in a moleskine sketchbook

Small cardoon flower 1 , coloured pencil and biro in moleskine sketchbook, Vivien Blackburn

One of my students (thank you Gill :>) ) kindly brought these cardoons in for me to draw. There is something really interesting about thistles/cardoons/artichokes to draw - the contrasting textures and fascinating shapes.

The sketch above is biro with coloured pencil and the one below simply coloured pencil. Mostly the pencils are Polychromos and Lyra.

I really like the way that cp's work on the paper in a moleskine. It's very limited paper in the materials I can use on it - ink, which I only use occasionally or pencil/coloured pencil. I wish it was possible to buy the paper in larger sheets though.

Does anyone know if the new Folio moleskine is the same paper? that strange sort of waxy finish? If it is I'd like one, if it isn't then I wouldn't bother as I've got nice A3 cartridge paper sketchbooks already.

Small cardoon flower 2, coloured pencil in moleskine sketchbook, Vivien Blackburn

Previous sketches of thistles and artichokes:

Thistles, large pastel drawing

Artichoke seed heads, coloured pencil

Artichoke Flower
, coloured pencil


dinahmow said… thistles! My preference is for the biro& pencil(Top) though both are good.

And, on another matter - Sylvia is sending the books to me! I'll be in NZ for a week, but hope to hit the ground running on return.
laura said…
I love thistles too, and have often thought, but never dared to draw or paint them (those overlapping scales, on artichokes, pineapples, the undersides of sunflowers always bedevil me).
These drawings are both lovely and the purples beautiful!
vivien said…
thank you Dinah and Laura :>)

they aren't easy but they are interesting to do :>)
Billie Crain said…
Vivien, your cardoons and thistles are wonderful. Your pastel thistle painting is one of my absolute faves.

I prefer the colored pencil and biro also. Btw, what's biro?
vivien said…
thanks Billie :>) I prefer that one as well - I tend to like mixing media, rather than keeping to the limits of one.

Biro? it's just a ballpoint pen - I like Parker biro's to draw with as they don't leave blobs and globs like cheap ones. :>)

I prefer them any day to scratchy pen nibs as they flow across the page.
. said…
Gosh that biro is lovely! Love the textures :-)

Vivien I've nominated you for a Sunshine Award. Thanks for such a wonderful blog!

You can collect it here :-D
caseytoussaint said…
Beautiful work, Vivien! I like them both - I'm afraid I can't choose.
vivien said…
Thank you Nicki :>)

and Casey :>)
Robyn Sinclair said…
I've missed your beautiful sketches, Vivien. These are so beautiful with wonderful realistic textured. I really must try biro one day - I've never forgiven it for the early days when it left great blobs on exercise books.
vivien said…
:>) it certainly did! It looked awful.

I like Parker biro's with a fine refill in - they never ever blob and flow easily over the paper
Joe Wray said…
what you said about the waxy finish caught my eye... ive been looking for a moleskine to replace one i bought a while back (cant rememember where, somewhere in london) and ive been unable to replace it. i originally thought it was the plain notebook (192 pages) - its not (has about 130 - 140 pages, might've ripped 1 or 2 out along the way). the plain notebook has pages which are much thinner and let the ink show through much more strongly on the other side.
i love the waxy finish of my original moleskine... allows some beautiful layerings of acrylic inks especially... if i knew it was gonna be so hard to find a replacement i would've kept the original receipt or remembered where on earth i bought it!
any thoughts? did you have the same one?
great drawings by the way...i like the thistle too. keep it up!
vivien said…
thanks :>)

You need to make sure it's the Moleskine SKETCHbook and not notebook - they are still on sale

Amazon sell them and they have that waxy paper.

Good luck finding one (UK Amazon they are currently £9.49)
Joe Wray said…
thanks vivien, should've said, but already have the sketch version...great for coloured pencils, but doesnt give the same deep effect with inks... never mind, its looking like a lost cause! cheers for the advice though.

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