Sunday, May 1, 2016

Figure Study

Figure Study, 4x6.5" wc/gouache, Diane Mannion

Oh, My Gouache!

 Still messing about with gouache (gwash) and learning to love it for sketchbooks and small studies.  Gouache has a long history and great antiquity.  It was used by the Egyptians and has also been traced back 800 years as a medium used to illustrate manuscripts.  

Figure Study is from my painting, Her Beach, oil, 20x20" (Which, by the way I'm still not satisfied with and will put it through the wringer for the fourth time.)
 Her Beach, still unfinished!

*Technical note:  I use Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache.  Don't waste your time with cheap stuff... it's NOT the same.

For my gouache study, I added clothes and re-imagined the scene... happy to discover I can take a favorite figure reference and do what I want with it.  Below is the first layer painted with transparent watercolor.  Experimented with overworking and muddiness, let myself paint bad knowing the gouache would cover anything! 
Overworked and muddy watercolor underpainting in heavy paper wc sketchbook.
Finish again to compare.  Left bits of transparent wc (blouse and orange bits under knees, and here and there) for extra glow.  Happy with the way I could sculpt and make changes, and could still rewet and work again... but will let this one go. 

And don't forget to study the work of my hero, James Gurney... all you need to know about gouache and more.



2 comments:

Julie Ford Oliver said...

Great informative post.
Love the painting and especially the way you captured the light through the windswept part of her blouse.

I used WN Designers Gouache all the time when illustating but have found that Holbein has a couple of beautiful colors and are very compatible with them.
I also admire J Gurney's work very much.
Love your work too!

Diane Mannion said...

Appreciate your comment, Julie Ford Oliver! Have been working small, studying, and experimenting, preparation for new oils. If we think we know it all we're, we're finished. Summer project is absorbing James Gurney's book... COLOR AND LIGHT. Now there's an artist that knows a lot!