Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Out For Lunch": Gouache and Watercolor

Some one of my blogger friends sent me the original photo that is the inspiration for this painting (with permission to use it) I added the figures and redesigned the space some. (I am fond of umbrellas.)

This is what I worked on in Karen's class today. Watercolor and gouache.

I learned more about how to manipulate the two mediums. And why many artists prefer to work with white gouache and watercolor rather than buy gouache paint.

The answer is that the combination of the transparent paint and the opaque paint has a special quality you don't get with gouache alone (which is flatter and chalkier). AND I learned that you can do a wash with gouache over watercolor or over other colors of gouache.
Karen had us do some preliminary exercises on wet paper adding watercolor and then white gouache. Blending and allow some surprises to happen. She often then uses this as an inspiration for a painting.

She also worked on a floral in the afternoon which she drew first using both transparent watercolor and adding gouache with it both wet and dry.

I was not in the mood for a floral so I used the drawing that I brought with me for my work in the afternoon. I still have a long ways to go and with gouache you have the opportunity to re-do so many things. I am particularly unhappy with the grays in the background behind the umbrellas...I'd like some muted and softer shapes but not what is there. I need to work through the figures so they do not distract from the center of interest but lead into it. I need to resolve both the left and right sides of the painting in the same way..interesting shapes but not pulling away and not too much detail or contrast. A nice day and a great group of people. (No rain today but no sunshine either. We all have our fingers crossed for the plein air tomorrow morning!)


  1. Looking forward to seeing it finished - I always admire all of the different things you do, and am envious that you have so many painting outlets up there in WI!!!!! Hope you have a great day for plein aire!

  2. Thanks Deb..we are a mutual admiration society! I've been very lucky to find three very interesting groups of people to paint with up here!!! I am anxious to work on this piece again...maybe this evening after dinner.