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Art supplies Art theory Drawing Faces Gouache People Product Review Sketchbook Pages

Painting with Gouache: Color Charts, Zorn Palette, Brush Tests

Zorn Palette color chart in gouache, 10x8 inches in A4 Moleskine
Zorn Palette color chart in gouache, 10×8 inches in A4 Moleskine

In trying to learn more about gouache I made a few color charts. I’m using mostly M. Graham gouache which I like much better than the Winsor & Newton and Schmincke I used before. The Graham gouache is creamy and brilliant, rewets well and doesn’t smell (like the W&N). I found that using fresh-squeezed gouache is more fun to work with than rewetting dried paint, but frugality keeps me trying to reuse dried. The best solution is to set up a palette for each session, squeezing out tiny blobs, adding more as needed.

Above is an exploration of the Zorn palette in gouache, a limited palette using only Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, White, and Black. The black paint, when mixed with white, is meant to serve as blue since it is a cool color that can look blue next to warm colors. Next I want to try using it in an actual painting.

M. Graham Gouache paint chart, gouache in A4 Moleskine, 10x4 inches
M. Graham Gouache paint chart, gouache in A4 Moleskine, 10×4 inches

Above is a chart of my gouache colors straight from the tube and mixed with white and each other. Sadly when I removed the masking tape it pulled off some of the paper from the extra large Moleskine watercolor notebook that is my current journal. I don’t recall previous Moleskine WC notebooks having that problem but I’ve switched to low-tack tape now.

Before ordering any new brushes specifically for gouache I wanted to see how the brushes I already had might work so did the test below. I found a few that I liked and ordered a couple of others. I’ll do another post about my gouache palette and brushes I’ve settled on soon.

Old brushes-testing for gouache
Old brushes-testing for gouache
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Art supplies Faces Flower Art Gouache People Portrait Sketchbook Pages

Portrait of Kathleen for JKPP and Bonus Azalea

JKPP Gouche sketch of Kathleen, 7.5x5.5 inches
JKPP Gouche sketch of Kathleen, 7.5×5.5 inches

I painted Kathleen (from the Julia Kay Portrait Party) side by side with the flower below but decided to post them as separate images. I’m loving gouache but really struggling with the way light colors turn so much darker when it dries. I actually lightened the sketch above in Photoshop so that it wouldn’t look so scary.

Azalea in Gouache, 7x5 x 5.5 inches
Azalea in Gouache, 7×5 x 5.5 inches

I found this flower (I think it’s an azalea) growing along the sidewalk in the neighborhood and picked off a blossom to paint. The flower is too dark because of my lack of experience with gouache, but I had fun painting it. Gouache is so much fun and I’m especially loving M. Graham Gouache. Now to just learn to mix colors about 4 shades lighter than they look! I mastered doing the opposite with watercolor so I’m (almost) sure I can do it with gouache too.

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Art supplies Found Oil Painting Still Life

Christmas Balls in Red Cup

Christmas Balls in Red Cup, oil on panel, 8x8 inches
Christmas Balls in Red Cup, oil on panel, 8×8 inches

Happy Holidays! As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” That’s especially true of this painting because the reflections, ridges and facets kept changing appearance as I moved or the light changed, and I could have worked on it forever. I’d planned to post it before Christmas but just couldn’t “finish” in time.

This is another painting (available here) in my “Found and Free” series: both the cup and ornaments were found on walks in “free” boxes set out on the curb.

You’ll see in the steps below that I was experimenting with using Panpastels and Sofft Tools to do the initial drawing on my panel. They are amazing: the pastels go on smoothly like paint but are completely erasable with any eraser and disappear into the oil paint so there’s no fixative required.

Below are photos of the work in progress.

Categories
Art supplies Lighting Oil Painting Still Life

Montessori Pink Tower and Turnips (plus great new studio lights)

Montessori Pink Tower and Turnips, oil on linen panel, 10x10 inches
Montessori Pink Tower and Turnips, oil on linen panel, 10×10 inches

This painting was inspired by my neighbor’s childhood Montessori Pink Tower blocks arranged like a little cityscape on his coffee table. I found the blocks irresistible and had to paint them. The turnips I’d bought to cook for dinner seemed like a perfect addition (I know, I’m weird, right?) The painting is available on my Daily Paintworks gallery here.

If you’d like to see my full notes with goals and outcomes for each painting session, you can open this small PDF file.  Life intervened between sessions which made painting from life difficult as you can see in the photos below taken at the beginning and end of the painting process: the turnips had started to sprout and wrinkle.

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Art supplies Oil Painting Painting Still Life

Found or Free: Apples and Candlestick

Found on the Street #1, Candlestick and Apples, oil painting on panel, 8x8" (<a href="http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/jana-bouc/candlestick-and-apples-found-on-the-street-1/253915">$110 at my DPW Gallery: click here</a>) (Click image to enlarge)
Found on the Street #1, Candlestick and Apples, oil painting on panel, 8×8″ (Click image to enlarge)

This is one in a series of paintings of free stuff and things found on the street during my walks in the Berkeley, California area. The little apples had fallen from a neighbor’s tree and the candlestick was in a free box on the curb. Below are photos of some steps in the work in progress of this painting (which is available to purchase from my Daily Paintworks gallery here) and a couple of cool studio tips too.