It’s All About the Process

Today I’m sharing the process of my latest gouache spread. For once I took a few photos as I went along but I only wish I had remembered a bit earlier as I started to blend the body color of the birds.

Oh well… next time.

I started by creating a basic line drawing over a pre-painted matte acrylic background.


Even though I intended to cover my lines with opaque passages of gouache just having them there helped me feel more confident as the painting progressed.


Then there comes a time when you think you’re done but when you step back you realize you’re still not there.


What’s missing? ¬†Now it’s time to critique. In this case I had plenty of medium and dark values but almost no lights. Daley-Rowney Pro White was the perfect addition.

And then there’s color theory. Violet and Orange are both secondary colors… two of the colors in the secondary triad. The other color in the triad? ¬†Green. Eureka! I need leaves and an odd grouping of them across the spread.

A little Payne’s Gray for feather definition and I consider it done.

OMG!

G!  … as in Gouache!

I’m taking another Mary Ann Moss class… OMG!… this time it’s all about gouache, an opaque water media very similar to opaque watercolor only more so.

This first thing I learned was that it’s pronounced g’wash… rhyming with squash.

Fair warning… lots of photos ahead!

I bought a lovely selection of Schmincke gouache selected by artist, Roz Stendahl and to that I added a few tubes of M. Graham gouache. I squirted it into pans and arranged my palette.

When closed the palette latch is a little loose so I made a band out of 1.5 inch elastic. I love the turquoise!

I started playing first by adding white to get tints and then seeing if my pens would write over the matte surface.

Hmmm… I wonder what secondary mixes I can get with my selected primaries?



Ah… nice!  But what do I mix to get the brightest hues?




I’m still finding it hard to judge how much water… or rather, how little water to use. My gouache blocks on this spread have lots of streaks. I wonder once I conquer the water issue if I’ll also get rid of the streaks, but for now I rather like the wabi-sabi look.


Great practice but now what? Well. I decided to draw my Friday. My black Uni-ball Vision wrote like a dream but my white Signo?  Not so much. After a few issues with hard starts and skipping I learned to use a light hand. It’s a nice arrow to have in my art quiver.


I better get working on the next lesson or I’ll be behind my amazing classmates.

Thanks MAM… It’s my summer of gouache!

If you want to see more of Mary Ann Moss please check out her blog: Dispatch From LA.