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!

Gouache Self Portrait and Sktchy Portrait

Gouache selfie sketch in Strathmore Mixed Media journal, 8.5 x 11 inches
Gouache selfie sketch in Strathmore Mixed Media journal, 8.5 x 11 inches

It cracks me up how selfies end up making noses even more prominent than in real life, including the one above of me. I’m still finding my way with gouache but enjoying the immediacy of it and the easy clean up. It doesn’t allow for reworking forever the way oil painting does, which is helping me to focus more on getting it as close to right as I can with each brush stroke and color mixture.

Below is a gouache sketch from a photo in the Sktchy app of Farah W.’s mother.

Gouache painting of Farah W.’s mom from Sktchy in 8.5 x 11 inches
Gouache painting of Farah W.’s mom from Sktchy in 8.5 x 11 inches

Gouache Painting Practice

Apple Still life in gouache on Stonehenge Kraft colored paper, 10 x 12 inches
Apple Still life in gouache on Stonehenge Kraft colored paper, 10 x 12 inches

Gouache is a water-based paint similar to watercolor in some ways, but opaque and more like oil paint in other ways. Like any art form, it takes practice to build knowledge and experience and eventually be able to just paint. I was pretty happy with the painting above, done from life.

The paintings below were earlier experiments.

My New Kitchen, gouache on Arches watercolor paper, 12 x 9 inches
My New Kitchen, gouache on Arches watercolor paper, 12 x 9 inches

I made an attempt to paint my tiny but comfy galley kitchen in response to James Gurney’s “Paint A Kitchen” challenge. My kitchen is so small I had to set up my easel in the pantry and look through a doorway. The colors are really weird, thanks to being completely unfamiliar with gouache.

Onions, garlic and shallot. Gouache sketch in Strathmore Mixed Media journal, 8.5 x 8.5 inches
Onions, garlic and shallot. Gouache in Strathmore Mixed Media journal, 8.5 x 8.5 inches

I thought the onions and shallots were pretty and wanted to try painting them but had lots of problems with getting chalky colors and trying to paint too many layers until the paint got too thick and yucky.

Fruity Still life, Gouache in Strathmore Mixed Media Journal, 8.5 x 11 inches
Fruity Still life, Gouache in Strathmore Mixed Media Journal, 8.5 x 11 inches

More gouache practice, trying to get the hang of the medium. It seems like the Strathmore Mixed Media Journal maybe isn’t the best paper for gouache if it’s going to be layered as it is a little too thin and smooth.

Bunny Girl 3 Ways: Gouache, Pencil and Digital

Painting of Hildur and her bunny from in gouache, 8.5 x 11”.
Painting of Hildur and her bunny from in gouache, 8.5 x 11”.

I drew and painted Hildur from Sktchy App with her bunny three different ways. First I sketched her in pencil on paper then painted her in gouache and then did a digital rendition in Procreate. Which do you like better?

Hildur and her bunny, graphite on paper 8.5 x 11 inches
Hildur and her bunny, graphite on paper 8.5 x 11 inches
Hildur and her bunny, Procreate on iPad
Hildur and her bunny, Procreate on iPad

I was simplifying shapes in Procreate and decided to leave off her facial features.

Found Animal Bone and Daffodils in Gouache

“Animal Bone and Daffodils,” gouache on watercolor paper, 11 x 8.5 inches

“Animal Bone and Daffodils,” gouache on watercolor paper, 11 x 8.5 inches

“Animal Bone and Daffodils,” gouache on watercolor paper, 11 x 8.5 inches

My dog found this animal bone on the trail in Wildcat Canyon. I don’t know what critter it was from but I assume possibly a deer that a bobcat, mountain lion or coyotes left behind. It was well-gnawed and growing moss.

I’m enjoying learning how to paint with gouache. It’s a lot of fun but definitely has its challenges!

Photo of setup I was painting from
Photo of setup I was painting from

Sunset on Pt. Isabel in Gouache

Point Isabel at Sunset, Gouache on Arches Watercolor paper, 9x12

Point Isabel at Sunset, Gouache on Arches Watercolor paper, 9×12″

Continuing my gouache experiments, I was pretty happy with the way this one turned out. I gave it to my daughter-in-law when she told me how much she liked it and would love to hang it on her wall. Now she can. That’s one of the best by-products of a passion for painting…being able to share my vision with others.

Photo that didn't at all capture the vibrancy of what I was seeing in real life!

Photo that didn’t at all capture the vibrancy of what I was seeing in real life!

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