Return to Gouache

Managed to get in on an impromptu 4 hour painting pose this weekend…I alwasy jump at the chance to do something more sustained – to take it a bit further than the usual watercolor life drawing.

Went back to revive the gouache/watercolor mixing I’d tried out last year at Erik’s workshop. Back then he had us use black and white gouache to add body to the watercolor. This time I’m also adding in cad red and cad yellow gouache along with a selection of transparent water color (mainly sap green, ultramarine blue, yellow ocher, and alizarin crimson). This really is an awesome approach to water media. It’s like the flexibility of oils, with the convenience (and spontaneity) of watercolor.

It’s really a whole new ball game when you can work opaquely over the watercolor glazes, but still wipe back down to your first statement.

I had to really resist the urge to overwork my first drawing. Used the last hour to do a second view of the same pose. Didn’t quite take it as far with the opaque painting, but there are a few key strokes that add a lot to the hazy washes. Also, you’ll note the decision to leave out the hand under her chin. Sometimes I’ll do that – selectively editing out limbs – to make what seems like a ‘cleaner’ pose. I don’t know if that’s a good habit or not, but, there you have it.

5 thoughts on “Return to Gouache

  1. Both beautiful pieces of work in themselves! You inspired me to try watercolour for the first time at the life drawing I go, and the results were rather pleasing. I have to confess a preference for the second, only because I think the light wash and the bold linework in the shadows renders both form and subtlety of light beautifully, though I have to confess I love the more graphical approach to the shadows in her air on the first. How large are each of those?

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