Back in October/November I took an online class at a local art center to try out the medium of gouache. In a few posts I’ll show you the work I did and tell you what I learned.
I’ve got a selection of paintings to show you and I can’t remember in what order I did them, so I will arrange them by topic or by the information learned. In other words, I’ll be skipping around! Take a look and see what you think.
My goals in taking this class were:
- Satisfy my curiosity about the medium and see if I would be interested in going anywhere with it
- Have a scheduled art activity
- Evaluate gouache as a means of doing art on a small scale in sketchbooks or in adding color to pen drawings
- Evaluate gouache as a means of doing some more “realistic” images in which I work from photos to record scenes from my daily life (as I like to do with my pen sketchbooks)
With these thoughts in mind plus a small set of paints I tuned into the first class. The instructor discussed the nature of gouache paint and the various ways it could be mixed and used. Then we got to work. Without any idea how to proceed, I took a photo, did a quick pencil outline, and painted.
Well, this image took about 15 minutes. I like it and I stored up the watercolory way I went about producing it in my memory files – I thought it might be nice for the aforementioned pencil sketch coloring. But I wanted something more intense from the colors.
Next, I tried this image of our car Jen McGill at the gas station. It went a bit better. I worked on black paper and did not add so much water.
Finally, here’s a view of some Philadelphia townhouses. This one I did on white paper.
Thoughts after the first class? I like painting on black paper much more than on white. The paints seem gluey and sticky to me and I was thrown off by the re-wettable nature of them.
By this I mean, what’s on the paper can be altered by the subsequent addition of anything wet, water or new paint. I’m used to acrylics and to how easily I can build layers on top of each other without changing what’s underneath. In fact, this technique is exactly how I exploit the paints to get the effects I want.
I do like the chalky look of the paint when it is dry.
All right. At the end of the class I had a better idea how things worked, and that was valuable information for the next sessions.