Relaxing Art Day and Moon Painting in Gouache

Today I put aside my normal Nicolaides exercise and Fandom Fitness drawing for a relaxing day of art.

What I did work on was a painting that I’ve been thinking about for a week.

I had the pleasure of experiencing the moon set early one morning about a week ago and I’ve wanted to do a painting of it.

Here are the photos I took.

Originally I thought of doing this painting in oil, but after reading the next exercise in The Natural Way to Draw I knew I needed to get my Gouache paints out. The next exercise is actually with watercolor, but I don’t have any. I figure gouache would be good enough for now.

Moon Painting in Gouache

moon painting

There were two things I wanted achieve with this painting.

  • Achieve harmony in the blues similar to the photographs.
  • Extreme contrast between the moon and its reflection against the water and sky.

The harmony of the be is there, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get the intensity that I wanted in the reflection and moon. The problem could have been the low quality gouache paints I was using (Lukas set). Or, this is the limit of paint versus real light.

Daily Composition

Today was a relaxing day of art but I have committed to my daily compositions, so I got it done.

daily composition

This is the super loud mower, through my kitchen window, that was cutting the grass and preventing me from taking my afternoon nap on time. The actual window has blinds over it, I omitted those.

What went well?

Relaxing art day! Some days, it’s good to just relax and create.

What didn’t go so well?

I was having some issues with energy today, but I recognized that and adjusted my schedule accordingly.

What did I learn and/or how can I do better?

When painting in Gouache you need to be super careful with layering paint. Wait till the bottom layer drys then place the top layer of paint with subtle care.

Session Details

  • Session: 2664
  • Work: 1700
  • Width: 6"
  • Height: 4"
  • Medium: Gouache, Color Pencil
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 2
  • Creative Time:



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Christopher Beaven

Christopher 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."

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6 Responses

    1. Thank Heli! I like your blog also!
      I was going to subscribe to your blog posts but it seems to be broken for some reason… Something with I think.

  1. I’m no expert, but the painting reminds me of a Van Gogh for some reason. Must be the deep blue…

  2. Thanks for mooning me. The work reminds me of a Whistler nocturn or a Turner. I think a successful nocturn requires no only aggressive contrast but also subtle lights and translucent effects. You got a good start with gouache but watercolor, oil or acrylic would give you a wider range of techniques.

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