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.

Apples from Donna’s Trees

Apples from Donna’s trees, (sketching apples on Apple (iPad) with Apple (pencil) in Procreate.
Apples from Donna’s trees, in Procreate on iPad

These apples came from my amazing friend Donna who is a hospice nurse, fosters dogs (and cares for a pack of her own), raises chickens, rescues feral kitties, and has turned her urban property into a virtual farm, with a huge garden, fruit trees and a giant chicken pen she built herself that I call chicken world. She’s funny and smart and beautiful. And on top of all that she is an amazing carpenter, tiler, sheet rock hanger, landscaper, gardener, and does almost all of her own remodeling and home maintenance.

I can’t do any of those things so I drew pictures of her apples.

More Apples from Donna’s trees in Procreate
More Apples from Donna’s trees in Procreate

Going Bananas (and Peachy)

Sunny morning “Donut” Peaches with Bananas. Procreate on the iPad.
Sunny morning “Donut” Peaches with Bananas. Procreate on the iPad.

After being immersed in a failed oil painting portrait and a major home construction project it was wonderful to return to sketching despite feeling rusty. The funny flat peaches in the drawing above are called “Donut” peaches. They’re just as yummy as the round ones and way better for you than donuts. Below are more banana and peaches sketches.

Foreshortened bananas, Procreate on iPad.
Foreshortened bananas, Procreate on iPad.
More Foreshortened Bananas with peaches.
More Foreshortened Bananas with peaches.

In the foreshortened banana sketch above I was experimenting with the “Flatting” brush in Procreate.

Lumpy Lemons

Lumpy Lemons in color, Procreate on ipad
Lumpy Lemons in color, Procreate on ipad

Which do you like better, the colored version above or the one in blue “pencil” below? These are lumpy lemons from the interior of my lemon tree where they’ve been growing unnoticed to nearly the size of oranges, plus other random stuff on the table as I found it.

Below is the original “pencil” sketch in blue. I accidentally drew this with Procreate’s hard airbrush instead of my usual favorite sketching pencil, the Brush Up Ultimate Pencil (didn’t check what brush it was set on until it was too late).

Lumpy Lemons drawn with "hard airbrush" in Procreate on iPad
Lumpy Lemons drawn with “hard airbrush” in Procreate on iPad

Tea Cup Cozy, Garlic and Other Random Stuff

Colored sketch of random stuff on the table. Procreate on the iPad.
Colored sketch of random stuff on the table. Procreate on the iPad.

It’s fun drawing random stuff that ends up on the table. This time it is old bottles used as vases that held hydrangeas, a bottle cap, silicone tea cozy, emory board and garlic.

Usually when I draw in Procreate on the iPad I start with a “pencil” sketch and then color it by using the selection tool to draw a shape, then fill the selection using the eye dropper/paint bucket tool. Above is the colored sketch and below is the digital pencil sketch I colored.

Sketch of random stuff on the table. Procreate on the iPad.
Sketch of random stuff on the table. Procreate on the iPad.
Bonus sketch of garlic in procreate
Bonus sketch of garlic in procreate

Hydrangeas with Post-It Note

Hydrangeas with Post-it Note, oil on Gessobord panel, 10x8" Available
Hydrangeas with Post-it Note, oil on Gessobord panel, 10×8″

My hydrangea plant lives just outside my kitchen window and each year I enjoy painting it. This time I was going for a more abstracted feel with soft, soothing beautiful colors and just the tease of a bent post-it note.

I hope all the rain we’ve had this winter will help it continue to produce fabulous blooms! This painting is available in my DPW gallery.

I love the way the petals range from pink to blue to lavender from the soft yellow when they first sprout. Below is a photo of the setup.

Photo of set up

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
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