I had a chance to sit in on a long pose session at Atelier de Bresoles last night. I was originally planning to go to another group – but I couldn’t’ pass up the long pose over the usual gestures.

So – one of the things you can do with Gouache that you can’t with watercolor – is *remove* paint. Most of the high chroma Watercolors are staining pigments that penetrate the paper – whereas the gouache of sits on the surface like a nasty balky chalky melty lump. (Yes, this isn’t entirely true – many heavy earth pigmented w/c’s like Van Dyke Brown wipe out quite well – but speaking in general terms, the gouache, she is much more flexible).

Gouache often gives me overly hard edged marks, or will dry to be much lighter than  intended. Fairly frustrating over all. BUT – it’s pretty neat to be able to push back a section, like you might do in oil painting. You don’t lose the entire drawing – a ghost of it remains. So you can restate over top with a thicker, opaque passage.

In the figure drawing here, it allowed me to ‘un-overwork’ the torso – and  let me focus the eye with the sharper edges in the lit areas.

Neither of these are world class drawings – especially the portrait – but it was fun to see how a fairly hard edged drawing could be instantly softened with a well placed swipe.  Takes a lack of attachment to the individual drawing though – it’s a bit of high-risk, high return painting.

4 thoughts on “Wipeout!

  1. As much as I adore your paintings, I can’t help but notice how beautiful the underlying linework is! In a way, that in itself catches the essence of the model better than working on rendering her over a period of time.

    There’s just something about the deceptively simplistic lines that is so appealing to the eye. I’d love to see more of these. :)

    However, you did a fantastic work on the paintings as ever, Marc!

  2. After it dries – gouache is never really waterproof – you can always re wet it. Which can be frustrating at first – hard to control till you get the hang of it.

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