Dreams Faces Gouache Painting Sketchbook Pages

Dreaming in Color of Beautiful Birds

Woodpecker Dream, Gouache & Ink
Woodpecker Dream, Gouache & Ink

Do you dream in full color? I dreamt I spotted the most beautiful woodpecker, and in my dream I noted that it was in gorgeous golds, ochres and siennas. The woodpecker, aside from it’s unique coloroing, looked just like the California Stellar Jays I see in my neighborhood, complete with peanut in mouth and nothing like a woodpecker. (Not that I’ve ever seen a woodpecker, although I have heard them).

Lime Mohawk Bird, Goauche
Lime Mohawk Bird, Goauche

Then I spotted another beautiful bird with, as I noted in the dream, a lime-colored Mohawk. Actually, in the dream I think I called it a “faux-hawk” because there’s something about the way”faux-hawk” sounds that pleases me.  This bird made horrible Peacock noises.

Mermaid Hair, Gouache
Mermaid Hair, Gouache

The next dream carried on with the odd colored top-knot theme. The long, black, silky, beautiful, Latina hair of the girl next door had been bleached white and then died mint green so she’d look more like the Disney mermaid princesses she seems to like so much.

These were all done with gouache in the large Moleskine watercolor notebook.

Art supplies Flower Art Glass Gouache Sketchbook Pages Still Life

Experimenting with Gouache & Rotring Art Pen

Last roses, ink and gouache
Last roses, ink and gouache

I  saved two rose buds to paint when I pruned my roses last week (in case winter ever comes to the San Francisco Bay Area—it’s been ridiculously hot and sunny). By the time I could get back in the studio, one bud had opened and my order of M. Graham and Schmincke gouache arrived. Although I planned to test the new gouache by making color charts first, I knew the roses wouldn’t hold up much longer. Also included in my art supply order was a new Rotring Art Pen.

I tried out the gouache and pen in the sketch above. I also wrote a quickie review of the Rotring Art Pen and offer some technical information about gouache by experts on the subject. If you’d like to know more about gouache or the pen, please click the “Continue reading” link below.

Drawing Flower Art Gouache Painting Still Life

Playing with my flowers


White ink, gouache on black Canford paper 10″x8″ (larger)

I got home from work just as my painting group was arriving for our weekly painting session in my studio. I grabbed a quick bowl of shredded wheat for dinner, fed the cats and plopped this little vase of white flowers on my drawing table.

I looked at the dainty, delicate white flowers, and feeling a little rebellious decided to draw them with white ink (using my favorite white ink pen, a Uni-ball Signo) on black paper, with no idea what I’d do after that. This was a “let’s try this and that and see what happens” sort of thing.

Once I had the drawing I decided to fool around with adding a little gouache. Just for fun I stopped before I’d covered all the petals, leaving some random black spots.

What I discovered is how much fun it is to paint with gouache on a dark background, which I’d never done before. It reminded me of those cool coloring books I always wanted (but rarely got) when I was a kid where you painted with water and the painting appeared magically.

It might have been a “better” painting if I’d paid attention to value, composition, light, etc. but tonight I just felt like playing like a kid, not trying to make a good painting.

Here’s the drawing without the gouache:

Which do you like better?

Gouache Painting Sketchbook Pages Still Life

Vegetable Medley to Celebrate: Taxes Done!

Vegetable medley

Gouache on hot-pressed Arches paper, 7×5” (larger)

To celebrate E-filing my taxes tonight I wanted to paint something bright, cheery (and low calorie to make up for all the chocolate I ate while preparing the return). For years I fueled my tax preparation with a big bag of Mother’s Iced Circus Cookies that I stuck in the freezer and munched on until my taxes were done. I needed all that sugar to be able to do the math, understand the forms, and reward myself for doing such an unpleasant task.

This year I skipped the toxic cookies (loaded with artificial color, flavor and hydrogenated fats but oh so yummy)…and bought organic, fair trade chocolate at my neighborhood health food store, El Cerrito Natural. I waited a week to let the tax returns “simmer on the back burner” to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. Then tonight I reviewed everything and clicked “Submit.”

It’s much easier to do taxes these days: Turbotax does the math and I just have to gather and enter all the information. But I still experience all the same old fear and loathing plus resentment at where my tax money goes. But it’s done for another year! Woohoo!