Testing out Viviva Colorsheets

(( This is not a sponsored review, this is just me making a few color swatches and sharing the info <3 ))

EH Sherman testing Viviva color sheets

I make a lot of work while on the go. Whether that’s an adventure abroad, or a coffee shop down the street I paint a fair amount outside the confines of my little studio and need small(ish) supplies to be able to do so.

And so, I am constantly on the look out for materials that will travel with me; tucked away inside a backpack or in a back pocket.

I had seen a few ads for these watercolor colorsheets from Viviva and found myself intrigued - but cautious. I’ve tried a few portable-themed watercolor paints that seemed great in theory, but didn’t really perform up to my standards, so I wasn’t overtly hopeful as I placed my order.

The colorsheets shipped from India and so took a little while to arrive (so keep that in mind if you order a pack for yourself!) but when they did I found myself getting more excited about trying these out. Slightly larger than a business card, these could bypass my backpack storage and go straight to my pencil case. That was an interesting thought.

EH Sherman Art Review - Viviva Colorsheets
How pretty is this rectangle of Viridian?

How pretty is this rectangle of Viridian?

EH Sherman Art Supply review - colorsheets

On trying them out, I was surprised. I expected patchy color, or a LOT of water application to loosen the pigments. Not the case. The brush glided across the surface and picked up SO. MUCH. PAINT.

In between each sheet is a page of wax paper, this is to keep the wet colors from sticking together (though it is recommended to allow each to dry before closing the book) and really enjoyed flipping through the pages. Some of the colors are so different from how they appear on the brush due to their concentration, it’s a bit magical to watch.

I made my swatches, noting how often I had to refresh my water due to the potency of the pigment. Definitely not what I was expecting.

EH Sherman Art supply review - Viviva Colorsheets

I don’t know how long they will last, though I will continue to use these sheets and update here when I run out of a color. I also don’t know much about the archivability of the pigment, I wonder if a bit of added of water might make them run off the paper once painted? But for a small set to sketch with, these work really well. And the fact I can keep them in my pencil case and not even need an additional bag - even better!

EH Sherman sketching with watercolor sheets

What do you think of these? If you try them out I’d love to know how they work for you!

US Art Factory Watercolor Markers

I do a lot of my work on the go. Painting from cafes, parks and passenger seats has always been an important part of my practice. Sometimes I lug a full backpack of paints, large brushes and big papers/canvases with me, but other times I need small, quick supplies for flash color studies and sketches.

EH Sherman Watercolor Marker test

I was sent a package of Watercolor pen brushes by US Art Factory to test, and I am happy to say that these will be a part of my travel supplies going forward. I really appreciate the form factor with all the pens and a small pad of paper fitting easily into a slim snap-enclosure case that doesn’t take up too much room in my backpack. Big win.

The markers themselves deliver a decent amount of pigment, but I did have to press relatively hard at first to get them going. 

EDIT!!!: I learned from the company that this dry tip can happen when the markers are shipped/stored with the tips facing up. I was advised to leave them upside down for 24 hours and see if the tip wetness improved. It absolutely did. I added a new video below to show the line width variation now that the brush tips are functioning correctly.

I love these for moments on the go when I want to quickly get movement and tone down onto paper, knowing I can take a waterbrush to the page at my leisure later. I’ve played with other watercolor markers, but none with the brush tip (as opposed to a marker tip, and I really appreciate the fibrous texture this tip leaves behind. Using these markers I don’t have to worry about the pigment drying on the page in an exact line, which can be difficult to fade with water later. This can dry fully and still feel like a watercolor application with the introduction of the water brush.

EH Sherman US Art Factory Watercolor Markers

The pigments blend together really nicely, making it easy to create dreamlike, meditative color fields. I’m planning a quick little trip up north to paint the lakes in all their frosty wonder before spring and will definitely be bringing these in my pack.

EH Sherman Art Watercolor marker tests