There were a lot of smiles at this class! I think we all had fun and the gals learned a lot about what gouache will (and won't) do. We spread out at my little table and messed around.
I did a demo using two different papers, Arches 300 lb. cold press and white Pastelmat, just to show how differently these papers behave. Here's the demo in progress:
I think you can see some of the obvious textural differences in them just from this shot. The Pastelmat, on the bottom, is a much more absorptive paper and allows the paint to bloom, while the Arches is crisp, giving nice edges. Both have their uses, of course.
We talked about:
- paint brands and what constitutes gouache (pigment, gum arabic, fillers)
- papers and how the paint behaves (I did a little show of work)
- brushes to use (I choose synthetics)
- different strokes and means of blending colors (get a blender brush!)
- color shift as gouache dries (most colors darken)
- adding color, as you depend on the gouache to lift (gouache is never 'dry'--meaning it re-wets)
- how to paint details (a lot of it is illusion)
Here's the top demo painting, on the Arches, after another hour of finishing work:
Those of you who know me will be amazed to hear that both the demos are 5" x 7" in size! That's pretty huge when you're used to 2.5" x 3.5"--one-quarter the size of this sheet. I also painted upright on my easel, which is a bit challenging, but it worked out well in the end. (**And I used a wonderful photograph courtesy of David Patterson for the resource. Thanks, David.)
I hope the women who attended this class will end up enjoying gouache and using it now that they've experimented. It's a dandy medium, that's for sure.
Keep going, gang!