I will say it again, Gouache is hard. I’m continually baffled by a medium that changes its value and color a few seconds after I apply it to the board. For a while tonight while painting this gouache still life I was wondering if I purchased bad paints, or if the board I was painting on was sucking up all the pigment. It was very frustrating but, I powered through it a bit and began to try and combat the issues with this simple still life.
After two hours of painting on this gouache still life, and only finishing the apple, I pulled up some great info on Gouache from James Gourney and Jeff Watts. In the post Final Questions about Gouache James Gourney answers some questions about Gouache plus talks to the developer for Utrecht brand Gouache Joseph Gyurcsak. Here is something Gyurcsak suggested to help working with the changes in value.
“The shift is going to happen especially more when colors are opaque in gouache and acrylic. Artists develop a sense for working with various mediums and know how to mix in anticipation. Most good instructors advise a test scrap, or as we have seen in artworks from the past at museums, this testing done on borders outside the picture boundaries. I especially love seeing this, as it shows the artist thinking in color notes! Frederick Remington comes to mind.”
Seems like a good idea and something to try until I get more experience in working with Gouache.
Then I watched a Friday night workshop video with Jeff Watts where you can watch him paint in Gouache for over an hour. He is so good at the medium that he makes it look too easy, so easy in fact that it’s misleading. If you watch the brushstrokes closely you can see the color changes. The video also gives me some better ideas of how to work. Check out this other video by Jeff Watts where he describes his Gouache course for the Watts Online Atelier, it also has some great closeup of him work. I only wish I could watch him work in gouache with a still life.
This is one thing I love about the internet, so many artists sharing their ideas and work that its hard to not be inspired. Thanks to James Gourney and Jeff Watts the two hours of frustrations were quickly replaced with a new motivation to work harder tomorrow. But, I’m not sure if I will continue working on this gouache still life or start a new one. Mainly because I feel its really tedious work, and I don’t want to get burned out on these few paintings.
The Gouache Still life Setup
Well the more I look at it the setup and the comparative between it and the Gouache still life painting the more I’m happy with the way it turned out.