I had a most excellent surprise when I opened the September Scrawlr Box. The featured artist was one of my favourite artists. Kasey Golden!
And then when I opened the little tissue parcel and saw the supplies, I got even more excited. Viviva watercolour sheets! I’d seen these on a lot of YouTube videos earlier in the year and I had considered getting some, but as ever, I just never got around to it.
The mechanical pencil is awesome. Very smooth, and it erases perfectly. I’ve been using it as my go to pencil ever since.
The fineliner is.. well it’s a fineliner. I have discovered that it does NOT like alcohol markers though, so I’ve put it with my watercolour stuff so I don’t ink a marker piece by mistake.
And the paints!
They are so bright and so creamy and so vibrant. Not chalky in the slightest. The gimmick for the Viviva colour sheets is that the paint is a thin layer, on a page in a little notebook. And it works really well.
The colours are different from how they look on the sheet. Some of them are VERY different. But the book comes with little spaces for swatching each colour.
The little book also comes with an extra sheet for you stick in the back, and use as a mixing palette.
The texture of the palette is a little weird, and I prefer using my ceramic plate, but it’s a cute little addition.
The theme was bugs, and after a cute little glow worm I drew a few days before for something else…
… I was more than happy to stick to the theme. I drew out a selection of cute not-very-realistic bugs and inked it. I inked in the black parts too, because it’s hard to get a saturated black with these paint sheets.
By this point it was late in the day and I was beginning to get a bit tired. I didn’t wanna start painting it because I knew I’d stay up til it was finished and it would take forever and I’d make mistakes.
So instead I did some more swatches, and some practice pieces.
I discovered a few things here. It’s hard to do a wash. It’s difficult to keep the paint moist, or to see how moist it is. And no matter how dry the paint is, it picks up really easily. Too easily. Adjoining sections will bleed.
Then when I was nice and refreshed, I took on the bugs.
The paints are awesome. They’re extremely beautiful. Every time I put colour to paper I was stunned at how gorgeous it was. It’s hard to tell how much paint you’re picking up though. It’s hard to tell if you’re getting saturated or paler colour, although that could just be my skill level.
The pad itself is very clever. The partition sheets work well. It ends up a little messy, but my Sakura Koi are just as messy.
I only got a little way through, when I got distracted and went to visit a friend for a few days. When I came back I discovered that even 4 days of letting the paint dry doesn’t stop it being easy to pick up – as demonstrated by the bleeding red on the ladybird here.
I tried to be extra careful when finishing the piece, but I managed to make a mess in some places – especially the poor dragonfly.
I did considering shading the bugs, but given the issues with picking up paint, I was a little bit terrified to try. Which made me wonder how well layering and glazing would work with these paints?
I am happy with the piece though. They’re adorable, and so bright. I was a little annoyed by the mess I made of the dragonfly, so I scanned it and tried to edit it a little, and I’m not sure how I did. I got a little bogged down in detail again.
For instance, can you discern any difference in these?
There are differences. I spent so much time fixing every detail. Fixing the orange on the dragonfly, tidying up every little bit of paint that went outside the line, cleaning up any bits where the paint bled, and patching up any white gaps. Each picture is a different step in that process.
But I’m fully aware that you can’t really see those details unless you zoom right in. I need to stop being so perfectionist when it comes to digital art.
Anyway, here’s the finished piece 🙂