Gouache Lesson, sketchbook, DMannion
Jane's First Gouache lesson
After painting outside in the heat Sunday morning, Jane and I set up a still life in the cool studio. It was her first time painting with gouache. Told her she could do a lousy underpainting in transparent watercolor and then everything could be covered with opaque gouache. Unlike watercolor, changes are easy to make.
But gouache isn't easy the first time… takes practice and patience! Jane must have enjoyed the lesson because I couldn't get her to stop!
She tried a few different brushes, from Winsor Newton Series 7 sable for watercolor (one of my illustrator brushes), an old travel synthetic flat (one of my favorites), and a water brush, the type with water in the handle. All that's needed to get started with gouache is one tube of white gouache and a watercolor box.
Can do a transparent underpainting and gradually build it up. If working opaque, mix a good pile of the color. Stroke it on and LEAVE IT! NO PETTING!!! Edges can be softened later.
What Jane used, along with plenty of paper towels and water.
I worked on the painting above in a Pentalic watercolor sketchbook. Had painted orange acrylic over an old figure drawing that I didn't like (good way to salvage pages in pricey sketchbook!). Acrylic allows the gouache to stay on top and not sink into the paper.
My gouache box and Pentalic sketchbook, great for travel! Limited palette here of a rose color, orange, yellow, ultramarine, turquoise, sepia, and white. Sepia and turquoise is not really needed.
I use gouache, pastels, or oils with my Strada easel. Flattered that Strada Easel posted my easel hack on Instagram yesterday! Had John drill holes in a side panel for holding brushes.
I also paint gouache on the easel by putting tube paint on a wet paper towel which keeps it moist. Almost like working with oils!