In Which I Try Out Gouache Part 3

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.

I did several paintings of interior scenes (photos from inside my own house, how handy!)

I’m happy with how these came out. I did not overwork them.

In fact, I think the furniture enjoyed having its portraits painted.

I believe these paintings were more successful because I began to get the paint to a consistency that was thick enough for good color but not sticky or dragging on the paper.

I also was able to get the effects I wanted on the first try (or maybe a second) rather than working over the same area – hence avoiding muddiness. To do this I had to think through the steps of the painting I wanted to make in advance.

I also did not try to layer paints. Once I put on a level, I left it at that.

Here are the paintings.

14 thoughts on “In Which I Try Out Gouache Part 3

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I like the color green and when I did this picture I wondered ir maybe there could be too much of it, but the room looks like this. I enjoyed figuring out how to make it work.

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    These are great. You have captured a real sense of light with them. Some of them seem to glow with warmth. The having to plan in advance and avoidance of layering is interesting. I will keep that in mind when I next experiment with gouache.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. The more I think about it, the more I realize that my feelings about gouache relate to being not at ease with the working process. Because I was not used to it and it was out of my zone of comfort. I need to think about trying again when my overall situation is less distracting and also – enjoy the process of planning and thinking, rather than trying to make it like my other painting styles. I have learned to enjoy the processes involved in drawing for their own sake, even though they are maybe not typical of how I usually do things, and maybe gouache could be the same way.

  2. memadtwo

    These are very Van Gogh like, especially the bed, but I think that’s how he would have painted a washing machine too.
    I want to get back to gouache–I’m so used to watercolor, it will be a challenge for me as well. (K)

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I am beginning to think, with a little distance from this class, that at some time, in a better frame of mind, I will be more ready to try to meet gouache on its terms.

  3. agnesashe

    Oh very good. I can see you became more used to working with the paint. The thickness quality yet still getting a very smooth flow is what I found the most interesting. I guess it’s practice as usual to get what you want.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      The instructor said to water it down to the consistency of cream. I found I liked it a little thicker. Sometimes I used it right out of the tube (as I do with acrylics). If it was too thick or globby I gave it a little touch with a wet brush. The key is, don’t keep piling on the paint. That seems to be the thing that worked best for me.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I think in the past I thought gouache was just for school kids too, that is the only place I ever saw it mentioned. I’m not sure how I feel about the medium (as my posts show) but I have learned a lot, and one thing for sure, it can do a lot more than just kids’ artwork!

  4. Diane

    These do have a fresh look to them so I can see why you are happy with them. I particularly like the laundry room view but you know how partial I am to that topic. Did you rearrange your living room? I don’t remember the sofa being in front of the windows.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I can’t remember when you were last here but I think we had the old sofas then and they were in a different set up. Now we have two identical ones in an L shape.

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