Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Local Pond

Local Pond, 4x4" gouache plein air, Diane Mannion

Gosh, More Gouache!

Spent a few minutes sketching at a nearby pond.  Still pushing the gouache around and finding it a delightful medium for sketchbook work.  This one was done in a gray sketchbook I purchased to do value thumbnail sketches.  Unfortunately, the paper is quite thin and watercolor and gouache tend to buckle the paper.  
 Two tiny thumbnails from the gray sketchbook.
On left, thumbnail sketch in three values (black, white, and gray of paper for mid-tone).  And on right, a quick gouache color study.  A friend sent me a snapshot taken right after a rainstorm, may do a larger painting from these... one of these days.  But notice how the opaque gouache covers the gray paper completely.

  • Use heavy watercolor paper or illustration board.
  • Work small, great for thumbnails and sketchbooks with heavy paper. 
  • Gouache may crack if used too thick.
  • Light colors dry darker and dark colors dry lighter.
  • Can be used thin like watercolor or thick (almost) like oils.
  • Unlike acrylic,  gouache can be rewet and reworked.
  • Can be varnished (but experiment first) or framed under glass.
  • Gouache dried on the palette can be rewet and used again.
  • Gouache can be squeezed from tube onto wet paper towels to keep it wet longer.
  • Handy to have a spray bottle of water to refresh palette if needed.
  • Gouache can be painted over transparent watercolors.
  • Only buy good, artist quality gouache!
  • Lighten colors with white, opposite of watercolor which uses white of paper.
  • Experiment with different types of brushes from soft to bristle.
  • Have lots of patience... takes awhile to get used to this or any new medium.
  • James Gurney has tons of useful gouache information! 
  • Just received beautiful Pentalic sketchbook like Gurney's... will report later.
  • And check out Nathan Fowkes... land sketches in gouache, brilliant!

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