Gouache

January 25, 2010



There are definate ups and downs to being an entirely self-taught artist. One definate down is being clueless when it comes to new mediums.

Two days ago, Mom emerged from the garage carrying a box (which she had gone in to get) and a smaller box of paints. "I forgot about these," she said. "I meant to give them to you for Christmas-- I don't know what they are but they were cheap. Gooou...ache? Do you know what that is?"

Of course I knew! ...a bit. I knew that Grandma used white gouache (pronouced gwash, like squash) for some spots on her watercolors. I headed over to handy Google and Wikipedia and discovered that gouache is a chalk-pigment, water-based paint that is essentially an opague watercolor. Apparently it is favored by illustrators and animators from way back when movies were animated by hand-drawn cels.

That is all I could find, so I set off to ease my itching fingers and experiment. :) My first attempt is shown above. It is a scene from The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. It is supposed to be when Polly and Digory are in the Wood Between the Worlds and are peering into the pool that leads to Narnia. I tried basing it off of the various illustrations by Pauline B. (forget her name...). In that picture, I used the guoache like watercolors. It didn't turn out very well because 1) I stink at anything watercolor-related and 2) I didn't think to do a real underlying sketch so Polly and Digory look strange.

This was my second attempt.



The angle I shot the picture from is a little weird. :P Gouache is really interesting, because I can make the background look like watercolor, the foreground look like chalk, and the subject like acyrlic. I can't quite make it out... it feels funny on the brush, but that is what experimenting is for!

And... terrible... horrible... *groans*.... But I did tell myself I would chronicle my first attempts at gouache... Well, it just goes to show that all experimenting doesn't work out. :)

This was my third, and most recent painting. I had no underlying sketch, hence the terrible proportions. And I had to improvise color wise, because I rely heavily on raw umber when painting a person with acyrlics. My gouache set had no raw umber, so I mixed burnt seinna, black, an orangey yellow, and red. Anywho. Prepare to die from my Medusa-like painting. :(


It's a new medium, what can I say?

But I think I will grow to like it. :)

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2 COMMENTS

  1. haha, I would just like to point out that as soon as I saw the scene from The Magician's Nephew, I immediately knew what it was from before reading the description! Those books are awesome (:

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  2. Hey it is really just amazing and interesting photography. The nature scene are just so gorgeous. I love to see all. Thanks...
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