Gouache Friends

Hey guys! Hope your week is off to a great start! The leaves are turning colors, the snow is starting to sprinkle every once and a while, and oh, I’ve just finished up my gouache painting! Yay!

So as many of you might or might not remember, I had to start work on a gouache painting for a project in class. I was not looking forward to it, as gouache was not a medium I was not very good at. I couldn’t mix the paint well with the water, and had trouble painting with it as it was very inconsistent in terms of opacity.

After some time with playing with it, I’m happy to announce that gouache and I have solved our differences. In our class we began by just playing around with color mixing. On either side of the page we would have a primary color, and then in the center we would have the secondary color that would come from them being mixed. In between those steps we also included even closer steps.

Color studies

This part was really helpful because it helped me learn to play and relax with the paint. I learned how to mix the paint with water appropriately, and how to get the results I desired. I also learned how to experiment with it even further, by adding matte medium on top or colored pencil to help it pop.

Prismacolor color pencils

As for the project itself we were working on creating movement. I began my piece by studying Ruben’s The Three Muses painting, but then taking one of the muses and making her my own. I used transparency and multiple limbs to create the effect I wanted. Painting this, I actually ended up having a lot of fun!

finished gouache painting

So if anyone is ever interested in using gouache, here are some tips I learned to help me!

1. Less water is better! Using too much leaves the paint looking watering and streaky (Unless that is your intended result)

2. Practice on a different paper first before going straight into your final piece. It helps you learn how the paint will mix and dry. Sometimes the colors pay be different when they dry!

3. Don’t be afraid to explore. I found out that colored pencils look AMAZING when paired up with gouache. It adds a great pop of color, as well as texture, to the smooth surface the paint creates!

4. Always be careful where placing your gouache pieces. The paint can be easily reactivated with water and unless you’re looking to repaint it, it can bleed out and about and smudge your hard work!

In the end, I’m very happy with the results, and I’m super excited to use these paints outside of class in my own illustration projects. Until next week, keep on creating!

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