Viviva Color Sheets

Product Review

I took the Viviva Colorsheets Original Set on a recent plein air outing in Pacific Grove.  This product started as a crowd funded project on the Indiegogo website.  I originally heard of it during a product co-promotion run by Etchr.

As advertised, this 3”x5”  thin booklet of colors is probably the most convenient set of 16 watercolors you could carry.  They are poured 2 to a sheet with each pair separated from the next by additional water resistant sheets.  

These colors have many great features:  

  • 16 colors in a useful array of hues
  • Extremely “juicy”.  A slight touch with a water brush can pick up loads of color
  • Extremely vibrant color.  Viviva Colorsheets involve a unique method of affixing concentrated dye to paper.  This uses much less binder resulting in more pigment and brighter color.  I almost found them too bright.
  • Handy Mixing Palette.  A water resistant card is included that works surprisingly well for mixing colors.
  • Color-coded labeling.  Each sheet is tabbed with the colors on that particular sheet.  This helps you recognize the colors when dry and helps you jump to the color you want right away
  • Half-pans in a flat format.  The makers claim the color is as much as a half-pan which is a bit hard to believe since each color is extremely thin.
  • Socially conscious.  Eco-friendly and hand-made by local community members.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend them for plein air painting.  By Viviva’s own admission, you should wait for a color to dry before closing the booklet.  This makes it difficult to move on to a different color while you are working on a painting.  But the real problem for me was the wind.  It was almost comical trying to juggle this lightweight little booklet in the breeze which is almost always present on the western seashore.  I will need to reserve use of the Viviva Colorsheets to a more still or indoors location.

Viviva also sells the Easy Sketch product that has their take on mirror-aided sketching.  See for more info.