Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gouache It!

Gouache on Paper
Jan Gibson

Photo reference compliments of Daisyree Bakker, used with permission.

My granddaughter returned to Maine this past Saturday and I'm back playing with the gouache I bought. It works a whole lot differently on paper than on canvas and I'm trying to decide whether I like the difference or not. Of course, I'm using a cheap acrylic paper instead of the good Arches watercolor paper, but I wouldn't think the paper would make all that much difference. I've used watercolors on this paper with good results.

This rooster went quickly and more easily than the previously posted tulip. It may be that I'm a tad more used to working with gouache now but I really think it's the paper along with the fact that there weren't that many subtle color transitions in this rooster. I did notice that layering went better on the paper than on the canvas but the same can be said of regular watercolor. Both will lift more easily from the canvas than from the paper.

Right now, I don't see a lot of difference between watercolor and gouache except for the transparency. Since I'm a bit heavy-handed with watercolor, and have such a hard time with it, the gouache may be more my style. I'll just keep playing with it and see how it goes!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sadie Memorial W.I.P - Final

Sadie - Complete
Pastel on Velour
Jan Gibson

I think I've completed the portrait of Sadie but am letting it "marinate" a bit to be sure. I haven't sent a proof to the owner yet either but will do so in just a little while. She will know for sure if I've gotten sweet Sadie right.

Now that Sadie is complete, I feel as if I have unfettered time to spend with my granddaughter before she leaves to go back home. I also want to practice more with the gouache as well - I'd like to try an animal instead of a flower the next time. I'd like to learn to paint animals in gouache as it's easier to correct mistakes with it than correcting them in watercolor. And, with my heavy hand, I think gouache may be more suited to me than watercolor. We'll just have to see how it all goes after a few practice sessions.

So many mediums, so many supports and so little time! lol

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tulip Photographs

Here are a couple of photos of the tulips in our yard. We're almost too warm for them and many people around here treat them as an annual instead of a perennial bulb.

The bottom photo is the one I used for the reference for the painting. I've tweaked it a bit more but am still unhappy with it. I know it's not good and keep telling myself that Rome wasn't built in a day and I didn't learn to paint with any other medium in one try either. Still, it's a little disheartening. The bright spot is that the canvas can be washed & I can use it for something else!

Hope everyone had a great Easter. My granddaughter arrived from Maine and we had a great visit yesterday. She's not staying with us but is only about 30 miles or so away so I hope to see her a lot before she has to go back home.

Unfortunately, I probably won't be painting nor posting a lot here until she's gone but I'll see you here again as soon as I can!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Red Tulip - Final

Red Tulip - final
gouache on canvas panel
Jan Gibson

I'm calling it quits on this as I think it's about the best I can do until I learn more about this medium. I can tell you that I probably made a mistake by using canvas instead of paper for my first real try at gouache. I thought it would be easier as mistakes just wipe off but, the paint came off way too easily. I need to learn how to control the lay-down of the paint and when to leave it alone and when to go back into it. I just couldn't get the subtle color gradations even though there is more variation in color on the original than show in the posted version.

I want to finish Sadie then experiment some more with this gouache! It's a fun medium and I think I'll like it once I learn which paper, panel or other support best works for me with it. The tulip above may be a less than stellar result but it was nice to play with a new medium and I plan to practice, practice, practice with it!

Although most of the world doesn't acknowledge Him nor use this day to remember His sacrifice, I want to remind you that He Is Risen!

Happy Easter to all of you!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Red Tulip in Gouache

"Red Tulip"
Gouache on Canvas
Jan Gibson

I'm still working on Sadie but decided to show you a little practice piece I'm working on. In my last mail order of art supplies, I got some gouache just because I wanted to try it. It's kinda fun to play with - much like watercolor except it's not transparent and I would say that it works much like acrylic but can be lifted like watercolor.

The tulip above is from our yard and isn't finished yet. I'm slowly working on it learning about gouache as I go. One thing I've found is that you pretty much have to put down the color/hue/tone that you want the first time as the paint will lift and mix with any layer applied on the top of another one. However, that can work to an advantage as blending becomes a breeze if care is taken when applying the second layer.

I don't know if gouache will become a medium I use a lot, but so far I do like it.

Just wanted you all to see my struggles with this - will keep you posted.

Have a great Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Memorial W.I.P. - Update

pastel on velour
Jan Gibson

I've only done a small amount more to the portrait of Sadie but it's beginning to take shape. Still working on the darks which are the basis for the pale topcoat. Sadie was definitely a beautiful champagne blonde!

Well, I think my OH may have peeked into my blog and the secret is out that I wanted to go to Jerry's ArtaRama! So, I'll just tell you (& probably him too, lol!) that a friend and I did go today. Gosh, I'll bet we spent over an hour wandering up and down the aisles looking at the all the art supplies! I was very good and only bought a couple of pieces of Ampersand PastelBord and some ColourFix primer for making my own boards. I'm told ColourFix can be sanded so it's not quite so rough when you prime it yourself. The primer wasn't outrageously expensive so it's worth a try.

I think I did very well driving in Raleigh. I freely admit to being a real country bumpkin when it comes to driving in big cities but at least I knew pretty much where we were going and how to get there and we made it just fine. But my friend wanted to stop by JoAnne's craft store on the way home and we did get lost leaving that shopping center! However, it was just a few blocks out of our way and we ended up where we needed to go without getting creamed!

I'm soooo glad we live in the boonies! It may take an hours drive to get anywhere with any shopping or amenities at all but mail order works just fine in my book! Shopping convenience just isn't worth the frustration and stop and go wear and tear on my car!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Memorial Portrait W.I.P.

pastel on velour
Jan Gibson

This is a portrait I started a few days ago and I figured I ought to post a wip (work in progress) while I was at it since I haven't posted here in a while. So far it's going well but all I'm doing right now is laying down the base colors and I don't know how long it will take to finish. I'm trying to work all over the portrait to make sure to get the shading/tones right as a whole instead of working a section at a time.

The light has been awful since we've had rain for what seems forever here! It's not been so much rain as it's been drizzly and overcast and really kind of depressing!

I'm kind of excited as next week a friend and I may go to Raleigh to Jerry's Artarama (retail store) and that should be a really fun trip. It's not that I need any art supplies but just getting to go look is a real treat. So much of the time, I mail order my supplies and don't know exactly what I'm getting until it arrives. I even mail order from Jerry's as the store doesn't carry all of what they have in their catalog. But, even being fairly well-stocked right now, I'll bet I'll find something I just have to have. What do you think? lol