Monday, September 26, 2011

Experimenting with Gouache

Since finishing Bracken, I've been experimenting with gouache again.  I really like using it in combination with watercolor but decided to try it the way I understand it's supposed to be used - like acrylic or oils.

One reason I decided to play with gouache this way was to try to learn acrylics without having to clean brushes constantly.  Because gouache is water soluble, you can leave your rinsed out brushes without doing a thorough cleaning of them.  The gouache doesn't set up in the bristles like acrylic or even oil.  I guess I have to be careful not to get into bad brush habits just because I can leave brushes when using gouache.  I don't want to carry any bad habits into my work with acrylic!

I'm not at all satisfied with this painting and may continue to work on it or I may go over it with pastel.  The gouache dries very quickly and smooth strokes and gentle transistions are very difficult for me to achieve.  I do like the basic premise of this but know it could use a lot more work.  The question is whether I want that work to be in more gouache or pastel!

Oh, this painting was done on Arches 140# hot-pressed watercolor paper with Lukas gouache.  I've taped it off so that the actual painted area is 8 x 10 inches.

As always, comments and suggestions are always welcome.


Teresa said...

Hi Jan!

May I offer a gentle suggestion? Instead of "continuing to work on it or go over it with pastel" why not leave it as it is, prop it where you can see it, and then, when you start your next piece, look carefully at what you did that you liked, what you did that you want to change and let this piece guide you as you become more acquainted with a new medium? The reason I mention this is that I did a quick watercolor study last week and it came out awful. Really. I was, frankly, amazed that I've painted this long and could turn out a piece that bad! LOL!! When I started my next piece, I had decided to keep that colossal flop in front of me.... and - thanks to the lessons learned from the colossal flop - this next painting is coming out even better than I hoped! (keeping fingers crossed but so far, so good). I realized then that it's true what they say... you learn more from the paintings you don't like than the ones you do like!

Hope you still luv me after this!
Teresa :-)

Jan/ said...

My dear Teresa, I will always love you! I really value critiques and suggestions and you should know that by now.

Still, there's not much about this painting that I do like. I keep seeing how it would look with pastel over it and don't know if I can resist trying to fix it!

It seems that I can always remember my mistakes (why are they always more memorable than the successes?)and don't need the painting in front of me to remind me! However, I won't do anything right away and will just see what I feel directed to do with it after thinking about it more.

Thanks for stopping by - you know I always value your input!

Teresa said...

You're a sweetie, Jan!

Try not to fix it. You're spending time on something you already don't like... start again, fresh, and do the same painting with the changes you'd like to see. That way it will keep a fresh quality and not be overworked (this from the "Queen of Overworked Art"... but I'm trying to abdicate the throne!).