Testing Acryla Gouache with Figs and Daffodils

Last figs before pruning, gouache in journal
Last figs before pruning, gouache in journal

I tested the Holbein Acryla Gouache Mixing Set with the last figs from my tree before it got pruned for the winter. Working with the Acryla Gouache seems less like gouache and more like a somewhat more opaque, matte acrylic paint. I’ve been told it works well for underpainting under regular gouache or even oil paints. You can also use acryla gouache over regular gouache to correct problems, which I tried in the painting below.

Daffodils in gouache and acrylic gouache, 8.5” x 11.5” on hot press paper
Daffodils in gouache and acrylic gouache, 8.5” x 11.5” on hot press paper

I painted these daffodils in gouache on hot press paper (which I don’t think works well for gouache…not sure yet). Then I added acrylic gouache over the top to try to fix the mess I made because I had been lazy with drawing the ellipses on the glass…got a little over confident and thought I could just whip them out. But I couldn’t, hence massive corrections and then just giving up.

It’s so simple: get the drawing right first!

Rose in Mom’s Milk Glass Vase

Rose in Mom’s Milkglass Vase, oil on Dura-Lar, 12×9″

This was a fun two afternoon painting. Below are the steps in the work in progress and photo of the setup. This was painted about a year after my mother passed away. It’s poignant to be painting some of her special glassware.

Rose in Mom's Milkglass Vase, Procreate sketch on iPad.

Rose in Mom’s Milkglass Vase, Procreate sketch on iPad.

iPad on the easel with still life set up

iPad on the easel with still life set up

Photo of the set up

Photo of the set up

Irises on White Cloth

Irises on a White Cloth, oil on panel, 14x11" Available here.

Irises on a White Cloth, oil on panel, 14×11″ Available here.

I painted these from life, but first did a value sketch in Procreate to help me stay within the range of values I chose for the painting. That’s a concept I’ve been pondering: that you can design whatever value range you want for a painting, from mostly light to mostly dark, and then mix the paint colors accordingly. I printed out the Procreate value sketch and put it on my easel for reference as you can see in the work in progress photos below.

Roses in Mom’s Antique Yellow Glass Bowl

Rose in Mom's Antique Yellow Glass Bowl, 8x8" Oil on Panel

Rose in Mom’s Antique Yellow Glass Bowl, 8×8″ Oil on Panel

I’ve been working on doing Alla Prima (all at once) paintings in order to become more decisive about the paint I put down instead of noodling around. It requires getting the drawing right, understanding what I’m seeing and if it fails, starting again instead of trying to keep fixing, which usually goes badly. This was the third attempt at painting a rose in my mom’s yellow glass bowl. The previous attempts and photos of the set up (as the rose opened) are below.

Freesias in a Pill Bottle

Freesias from Brigitte, oil on panel, 8x8"

Freesias from Brigitte, oil on panel, 8×8″

This was a quick little painting from life that happened spontaneously one afternoon when my tenant came out to my studio and presented me with some freesias in a vitamin bottle.

It might have been a more interesting painting if I’d a) included the lettering on the bottle and b) taken time to do a preliminary thumbnail sketch so that the flowers weren’t almost touching the top of the panel. I was interested in looking at white in shadow and gray in light and shadow and the colors found in both from the warmish light and flower reflections.

Fresia photo reference

Photo of set up (slightly different perspective and light)

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