This was one of the most difficult paintings I did with gouache. I nearly gave up. I think it turned out fine, but multiple times I almost tore it up. It could just mean I need more practice with gouache. You might ask why I keep using gouache and not watercolor if it’s such a pain. I wonder the same, but I think I’m drawn to gouache because it’s very smooth when laying it down, it dries matte, and it’s more opaque than watercolor so I spend less time layering paint. There are probably other reasons too but these are the main ones.
I tried my hands at using gouache and I’m liking it. I like how smooth it goes on and that it dries matte. What I’m not comfortable with (yet?) is that it takes getting used to. There were a couple times I wanted to give up because what I was trying to achieve just wasn’t happening, or so I thought. Somehow, the paintings turned out okay. Gouache tests my patience. I think one of these days I will definitely just destroy an unfinished piece.
These are the paintings I made using gouache. They were for birthday cards for family.
Here are close-ups.
I typically try to practice a smaller version before attempting on larger pieces to get the hang of things. I decided to record my process to share how I do it. Since I’m new to gouache, I wanted to also share a swatching of the gouache I used. It’s the Art Philosophy brand. I chose this brand because I heard a lot of good stuff about their gouache and it wasn’t expensive. I may one day try Holbein, Winsor & Newton, and other higher ends.
I’m in the process of moving some large files over to another external drive to make room for those REF files from my camera, so while that’s moving along in the background, I thought I’d share what I was painting the last couple of days.
This was done using a reference digital painting by Larry Wilson. I decided not to make the girl an elf since I wasn’t feeling it at the time, but I do love elves! I used watercolors by Jane Davenport and Copic Markers.
I’ve been reading and writing and just haven’t been able to post a lot. I’ve also decided to return to college to finish my master’s degree. I only have 7 classes left so I figured I might as well go for it. I’ve also begun to edit other writer’s work because that’s what I’d like to focus on doing while in the process of completing my novel.
Anyhow, life’s been busy with the kid’s school and after school activities so there hasn’t been much time to post. I just did a photo session of my niece early this week so I’ll be doing post production on those photos in the next few days. I was able to slip some watercolor + mixed media in my painting journal. Drawing and coloring (painting, etc.) have always been a stress reliever for me + music. This piece was done yesterday using watercolor and charcoal.
This morning, I found this beautiful piano piece and I think it kind of matches the portrait’s expression.
“Unbreakable” by Josh Kramer (emotional epic piano)
I’m taking a free class through Jane Davenport. I believe these are sample classes to get a feel for her products and her art style. I’m liking it and find it fun and inspirational to practice my drawings using different techniques. I have a few items of Jane’s but didn’t purchase any facial stamps or inks. I have quite a few brands of inks around the study, plus, I bought a really nice set of Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus Watercolors a few months back with a 60% discount coupon at Michael’s that I really should start using. Also, instead of using Jane’s calligraphy pen, which I do have, I decided to use the Tombow Calligraphy thick liner pen. I tested the two and Jane’s pen smears under water while Tombow’s didn’t. I think I was supposed to go with the smeared look but I just didn’t want that look for now.
A year ago I came across a painting tutorial on Youtube of a couple in the rain and really wanted to attempt it but I didn’t have the resources at the time. I waited until I collected everything I needed and the courage to paint something of this size. For me, it wasn’t an easy painting and took me longer than the artist in the YT video to finish, but it was well worth it.
Here’s my steps. I used a 30×40 Artist’s Loft canvas
Finished this piece last week. You can check my steps and the YT tutorial I followed on my craft blog: A Quiet Craft Space.
Some watercolors I did through a course on Skillshare. I used the Kuretake watercolor set I posted a photo of in a previous post. I am getting a lot more comfortable with watercolor but I am still far from my own style and confidence. I’ve also learned that paper quality is very important. In the first two paintings, I used 90 lb Strathmore papers, and in the second two, I used 140 lb Strathmore papers. The difference is extreme. The 140 didn’t buckle and held on to water much better.