Yesterday I determined that I was getting much too detailed with this painting and I wasn’t focusing on the simple shapes. So, the best way to force me to simplify was to do a Gouache study of the painting before continuing work on the oil painting.

A few weeks back I exclaimed how I hated gouache. Of course, I determined this after purchasing over $100 worth of Holbein paints. I have to say that I think I really jumped to an incorrect conclusion there. After doing this quick study of the male figure in gouache I’m having a better outlook on how to work with gouache, and I may even take it to life drawing this weekend.

Male Figure Painting: Session 7, With Gouache Study
Gouache Study

So the study went well, even though the drawing is off. The drawing wasn’t the purpose, I wanted to focus on the planes of the form, their color, value and above all, I wanted to keep it simple then use that simplicity on the oil painting.

Male Figure Painting: Session 7, With Gouache Study
Gouache Setup

I worked only on the torso and arms of the figure. You can see from the comparison of the previous state above and after today’s session below that the changes were quite drastic. Was it an improvement? I’m not sure…

Male Figure Painting: Session 7, With Gouache Study
Oil Setup

The goal is not to make a wonderful painting, although that would be a great outcome, but to learn how to model form in space with simple strokes. I’ll continue this painting with another session but I’m feeling as though I’ve spent too much time on it already, if that is even possible.


  • Session: 1370
  • Work: 1171
  • Width: 11"
  • Height: 15"
  • Medium:
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 2
  • Creative Time:



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Chris Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."