Despite the title I managed to do a couple of watercolours this week – with a little gesso help.
I had little time to do much sketching or painting on Wednesday as I was busy baking for a birthday dinner. I’m not really much of a cook but I can make a mean pavlova. It beats a store bought one any time. A quick recipe sketch with ink and watercolour.
I needed to gesso the next page to cover the ink bleed through so I thought I’d do the double spread for a watercolour landscape of one of my favourite local beaches. The water is an amazing turquoise colour, and the sand is so fine and white at this beach it actually squeaks when you walk on it.
Sometimes I spend a bit of time messing around on different paper. I like the effect of gouache on kraft paper so I used a Pentel brush pen and gouache to sketch our dinner, and cut and pasted the sketch and recipe so I can find it again.
The Pentel brush pen is a little hard to control but fun to use. I did a little more messing around with it on a scrap of kraft paper. Pity I haven’t got a journal with this paper …… yet : ) I can see lots of possibilities with this technique. I had fun with this, painting on a piece of throw away paper over other scribbles.
I thought I’d explore the same portrait with pen and gouache in the little journal. It’s one of my favourite actors but I didn’t quite get her.
The calligraphy and the heavier pen lines on the portrait were done with a 2mm Artline calligraphy marker. It doesn’t seem to bleed through as much as some others.
Next is a sketch from the 2 hour weekend challenge on Wetcanvas from a photo by Nickel.
I used a Micron liner pen and gouache for the sketch and Pitt artist brush pen for the lettering.
The colouring of this cat reminded me of my dear departed wee Jock. I loved my little Scottish Fold. He was such a character, sitting on his haunches like a frog, sometimes going to sleep in that position. Unfortunately he was the result of bad breeding and sadly we only had him for 4 years. But he left his big footprints on my heart. I still miss that little guy.
A few have asked about gouache so I thought I’d share my process, such as it is. I’m no Roz Stendahl or James Gurney, both gouache gurus. For some reason I can’t link their blogs but if you google them you’ll find them. James Gurney also has an excellent downloadable video called Gouache in the Wild.
I just muddle my way through in my own fashion.
First step is a scratchy fine liner sketch with the darker areas indicated with thinned gouache.
I like to do the eyes next, a few different colours, yellow ochre, raw sienna and a touch of green. A thin wash of grey for the fur and a little blue shading.
Building up the layers with thicker gouache added to the next layer and some highlights on the fur.
The beauty of gouache is that you can start with fairly transparent washes before building up to thicker layers of paint. You can go back with a damp brush and blend areas to soften the lines, and dry brush over areas as well. And still use watercolour pencils and pen on top if you want to.
Gouache IS fun!