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Monday, December 03, 2012

Trying Gouache for the First Time!

'Dance of the Coneflowers'      5x5     gouache        ©Karen Margulis
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My students will appreciate this....the prednisone had kicked in and I am feeling better!  So I decided to try some gouache paintings today. I've done three so far and I am taking a break for my blog post.

Why gouache?  I have used it before for underpaintings for pastels and I have enjoyed it. But I never tried to do just a pure gouache painting.  But one of the things Marc Hanson shared with us at our recent workshop were his wonderful gouache paintings. They were so inspiring. Beautiful little paintings that he had in bound sketchbooks.  He shared them with us right at the end of the workshop and unfortunately I didn't have my notebook handy so I have no notes at all on his materials or process and he ran out of time for a gouache demo. But what little I did see inspired me to give it a try.

Marc had coverstock bound into spiral books and painted his small gouache paintings in the book. I love this idea! The books were beautiful reminders of his travels as he had written in pencil the date and location of each painting.  He had his supplies pared down to fit in a small bag. What a great portable way to paint on the go.  I really want to do some of these field studies in gouache both on my upcoming cruise and my Southwest trip the Summer of 2013 but first I have to practice!

So today I am experimenting with the supplies I have on hand. I found a set of Holbein gouache tubes that I got at the last IAPS convention. I have a small stay-wet palette and some brushes. I am trying out different surfaces. The coneflowers are done on a piece of matte board. So far I am really enjoying the gouache and can definitely see how they will be a part of my travel kit!

So....all of you gouache painters out there...do you have any tips or resources to share?  I really wish I had my notebook when Marc was sharing!

I did come across a great blog and post on gouache by Ralph Parker. There is some great information on his site.

2 comments:

Abbe Nelson said...

What is it exactly. Is it water soluabe? I always thought of it as a opaque water color. What do you compare it too?

Karen said...

Abbe, it is like opaque water color kind of chalky like pastels. You mix colors like any paint but they stay workable when dry. You just need to rewet them. Have a look at the blog post link by Ralph Parker, he goes into a lot of detail. I like them because it is portable and neat!