Do you enjoy taking your watercolors with you while traveling or to different local settings to create unique, artistic renditions of your experiences? Love exploring new art supplies and sharing them with your creative friends? Do you like bold, bright, expressive color?
It's been a month since I first received my Viviva Colorsheets and I'm excited to report that, after having created a little series of paintings with them (some of which I'm including in this post), I'm ready to share my thoughts!
In this blog post, I'll not only be including my swatching video for the 16 colors offered in Viviva's watercolor sheets, but I'll also share some information about this amazing brand, the products they currently offer and my observations after having explored them for a bit.
This way, you can decide whether to order yourself a set a.s.a.p., or stick to regular watercolor tubes or pans.
Viviva's watercolor sheets take the form of a booklet and each sheet contains 2 (6 x 4.5 cms.) highly saturated "plaques" of pigment. To use them, one has to simply touch the color with a slightly wet paintbrush and the color will be immediately activated.
This is an idea pioneered by Peerless Watercolors in 1885 and Viviva has succeeded at creating their own modernized, all-around visually appealing version that they're constantly working on improving and providing different iterations of for their audience.
Viviva Colorsheets was founded in 2015 by med student Aditya Vadgaonkar, who loved watercolor, but found it hard to make time to paint ever since starting with his university studies. Even when he did have a bit of free time, the set-up process, taking care of required supplies and clean up involved, made things very impractical for him.
He longed to continue with his art practice and knew that there probably were lots of people around the world who loved art and felt that eagerness to sit down to create, yet found it too challenging to make time for it in their busy schedules.
While working on a med school assignment involving a diagnostic technique that required picking up color from a paper substrate, the idea of creating watercolor sheets that contained color in dried form occurred to him.
He thought this would be a great way to make watercolor painting more practical for busy people and for those enjoy sketching/painting outside of the studio, as these sheets would be easy to carry around and required minimal preparation/clean up.
Passionate about making his idea come to life, Aditya then worked with an expert on colorants and, after 2 years and lots of different iterations, they arrived at a product that was ready to be offered to the world.
They came up with a method to create watercolor sheets using a minimal amount of binder (when compared to regular watercolor pan sets), which gives them their vividness and great color payoff.
In May 2017, Viviva launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to begin producing their colorsheets in small volumes and start selling worldwide. It was a huge success.
Viviva has been working on their product design nonstop, and now offer a wide range of vibrant colors that are not only super bright and easily activated, but portable, durable and eco-friendly.
They've added more colors, tabs on the bottom of each sheet so that colors can be easily found, protective water-repellent paper in between each sheet, a small foldable paper palette, and they've even added beautiful and customizable wood covers as an option for your colorsheets (an amazing addition if you want to give these colorsheets away as a gift).
They've also been working hard on getting their innovative product into art-enthusiasts' hands worldwide, as they continue spreading their mission to share the joy of being able to paint anytime and without the mess.
Today, Viviva is selling their colorsheets to artists and art-lovers all over the world via their website, as well as through art stores in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Singapore, Honk Kong, Australia and more.
Viviva currently offers four different sets:
Find out more about their products by visiting their website.
Viviva Watercolor Swatches
The very first thing I did after receiving my colorsheets, was work on swatches for their 16 colors. As you'll see in the video, I also made sure to test out some techniques that I frequently use in my watercolor painting.
As I explain in my blog post/YouTube video titled How to Swatch Watercolor and Why It's Important, making time to test out colors before using them in an actual painting will not only give us a feel for the usability of the new set on hand, but will also help us avoid surprises when we're laying down our colors and creating our different color mixtures.
Many colors in regular watercolor sets often look very different while in the pan/tube when compared to how they look when they're placed on paper and Viviva's colorsheets are no different (specific colors like Violet, Peacock Blue and Viridian are especially surprising!).
Swatching colors out also allows us to have a better understanding of the color range offered.
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The 16 colors included in Viviva's Colorsheets are:
You'll notice that, in this video included above, I also share my initial thoughts on how these paints compare to regular watercolor pans and tubes.
In many ways, these paints act more like dyes than regular watercolors and it's important to take this into account when you start painting with them.
This said, I've come across pieces created by different artists using these colorsheets that look like they were painted with regular watercolors.
Because of this, I refused to change the way I work and just simplified my method. I came up with something that works similarly to my usual techniques and that I like the look of.
As with many art supplies, there's a learning curve involved, for sure. Especially if you already have a specific way of working as well as a style you're trying to achieve.
As you'll see in the pieces I share here, I've have managed to use these colorsheets to successfully create beautiful wet-on-wet effects, muted out color mixtures and even a variety of values using layering to provide a bit more realism.
Trying out these colorsheets has been a great experience and the product didn't disappoint. I'd recommend it to artists who are looking for convenience/portability and love creating quick paintings or sketches using watercolor, especially those who love bright color and do minimal color mixing.
Viviva's colorsheets are the smallest, most lightweight, portable set that I've ever used, which make them perfect for art on-the-go. Any artist who enjoys creating quick sketches outdoors, in different settings or while traveling, should definitely give these a go!
Though it definitely took me a bit to get used to them in order to produce the results I was after, I think the challenge has expanded my horizons and has made me a better artist.
Thank you for reading!
*Follow Viviva Colors on social media to see inspiring artwork created with their colorsheets, as well as the latest news from them:
Viviva Colors on Instagram
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