Monday, June 24, 2019

Gouache is Hard!

I have wanted to explore painting with gouache for quite some time, despite not knowing a whole lot about it. Upon research, I learned that it is often used by illustrators and it's properties fall somewhere in between watercolor and acrylic. After swatching my paints, I dove right in. I decided to start with a familiar pattern, ginkgo leaves. In the past I have painted them in both watercolor and acrylics. This should be easy, right? Ugh. Epic fail. I took a break and watched a few youtube videos and came to the realization that my ginkgo leaves probably cannot be saved. To fix them, I will have to add too many layers of paint. Since gouache is chalky, it may crack off the paper. Better to start over. I will save this hideous piece, and perhaps come back to it later. OR... since it looks like Christmas ginkgo leaves, I can finish the background and turn it into a holiday card! Better yet, I could sacrifice it the next time we need to burn brush in the yard.
That's probably the best idea.
This weekend I put the gouache paints away and went back to watercolors. I am trying to not be discouraged. Perhaps one night this week I will give it another go.


  1. I admire you for trying new things, even if they don't always turn out as you hope.

  2. I haven't ever tried gouache doesn't have the transparent properties like watercolor, I've heard, nor like those alcohol inks you used lately. But have you painted with acrylics or oils? Maybe think like them. And then you can do impasto too (is that the name where you use wax?) Keep exploring!

    1. Unfortunately I was thinking like acrylics when I painted the ginkgo leaves. You can't layer them. I have painted a bit with acrylics, oils I haven't used since I was in my 20's. I don't think I will be getting into oils. I don't like have to clean brushes with anything other than water.

  3. interesting information on your new adventures.

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