Another experiment using colors in the background that I don't normally use. So I added pinks and blues in the background. I think it adds to the 'happiness factor' in this little painting. What do you think?
I had lunch today with a friend. We both had a delicious egg sandwich with avocado on the toast. Yum... So I painted this tonight. I used gouache and tried to convey that buttery consistency of an avocado and the shiny look of the pit. I love painting in gouache.
I experimented last night creating water. I bought a new gouache color called Marine Blue by Daler-Rowney and it begged to be used. I used several different colors of green and blue to make the water. I added the jelly fish with white gouache that was tinged with a tiny bit of blue. I can see this used in card making as well, as a background. Happy Painting!
My new gouache paints arrived and I could not be happier. I ordered a limited palette of cools and darks of each primary plus black and white to get me started. Looking for something to paint I chose an oil painting by an artist whose blog I follow, Julian Merrow-Smith. He is a British painter who lives in Provence and posts daily paintings he produces. I find copying a good painting helps me to improve my skills.
This painting so captures for me, the beauty of Provence. I learned a lot from this painting. For one, I have to get away from my mind in what I 'think' a tree looks like as my tree looks to be from the USA and not France. And my darks are not dark enough. But I am pleased with my first go round with a professional grade of gouache. All the greens had to be mixed, as my limited set contains no green.
I love gouache! I decided to give it another go. I have a very old set of cheap student grade gouache and I hunted it down. I mean cheap! I think I paid $6.00 for a set of 16! But they still worked. I am trying to remember why I originally bought them. (It will come to me at 3 am.) So I started playing. I used a reference photo from my recent Italy trip. I love them! I love that they are opaque. That you can layer. That you can lift off. That you can paint impasto or like transparent watercolor.
That in some ways they are like acrylic/oil when you paint with less water. But that once dry, you can fiddle more if you want. I think I have found my favorite medium. I have painted in transparent watercolors for many years and I usually had a tube of white gouache around to add a highlight here and there, but that was my extent of how I used it.
So I ordered a new set today. I think the set I currently have is over 12 years old and several of the tubes are dried out. But I was even able to cut open the dry tubes and re hydrate them. My new set arrives Saturday. (Don't you LOVE Amazon??) The new set is a professional grade paint and I can't wait to see how much better gouache can be.I can't wait.
I wanted to show you my very cool palette. It's an old milk glass egg holder I found on eBay. How cool is that? It it perfect for any water media. I've decided to dedicate it to my new gouache obsession.
Like most painters, I have several watercolor sets. Over the years I have found the colors I love most. This little box is my current favorite sketching palette. It's small and portable. Folds up nice and small, perfect for traveling and urban sketching. But WHAT A MESS it was! I wish I took a before picture. It was gunky and muddy and I could not see most of the colors anymore. But what was REALLY frustrating me was that the colors were in the box willy-nilly, no rhyme or reason. So tonight I took the whole thing apart and did some major housecleaning. I refilled the low ones and scrubbed it all clean. Then I made the little squares on the right to experiment with different color configurations based on how I paint. I basically use a rainbow set up, with a warm and cool for each color. The neutrals are next and then Black, white and grey. In the neutrals there is a shimmer that I like to add sometimes. Then I made the little key on the right to keep with the paints. So when they get gunky and messy again, at least this will help me 'see' the colors. It feel great to be clean and organized. YAY!! Now to get painting...
This is an experimental piece and I enjoyed the process of making it. After I finished the dragon fly, I felt the piece needed something more. So I added the ferns in the background. I wanted them to be soft and not over power the dragon fly, which is the main event. I also added a layer of shimmer on the wings using a neutral shimmer watercolor over the Brusho paint. I wish you could see the shimmer. It is magical because it is subtle and only shines in the sunlight.