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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gosh! It's Gouache!

I can only think of one thing more fun when it comes to being creative on a Sunday afternoon. That is being creative in a class with others, learning something new from a fun instructor who really knows how to motivate you!


So, when my friend Kate suggested taking Barb Hranilovich's Gouache class, I was all for it!


What is gouache (gwash) you might ask? Gouache is a water based paint that is opaque. It's much like watercolor except it's not! With gouache, I could paint something light colored over something dark and it would cover. (Well, if the paint isn't too watered down! Learned that one the hard way!) It also has a very matte, almost chalky surface.


The class wasn't a painting class in terms of learning how to paint a tree, for example, or a still life. It was technique oriented, designed to teach the properties of the gouache and the importance of color and color value and give us the opportunity to experiment with it a bit.


We made value charts with black and white mixing our colors and making a gray scale. Then we worked on mixing some of the colors.


Barb told us several ways to mix color on the page with the gouache including "physical" methods and optical methods and the difference of using a wet and dry brush with each of these.


Here's a closer look at Barb's samples.


A good demo first, then we tried it.


And then we painted. In the photo above at the right you can see a little tin bird. That was my subject.


Yes, drawing is not my strong suit, but here is my interpretation of the little bird!


Well, of course I went home and started playing. The day before I had done a mixed media page in my journal using acrylic, gesso, a napkin and dictionary page for text, papers and an ephemera girl with bird. You can see it on the right. I decided to try to duplicate it by hand in reverse on the facing page. As you can see, I took some liberties with the girl's hair (and my girl looks softer and a bit sweeter, less sophisticated). I did the painting and background in gouache with some color pencil overlay and Pitt pen India ink highlights.


It won't win prizes, but I was pretty happy with the result for a first try!

28 comments:

gigihawaii said...

I like that colorful bird.

Karen S. said...

Are you kidding me?! It wins a big, major WINNER prize in my eyes. It's also such a sweet idea (made with love) to create this as a gift for someone special!

psychelyn said...

Oh it IS a winner in my eyes and in the eyes of your readers. Drawing isn't my built at all and your bird is such a masterpiece to me.

The girls look graceful. These works are your hand's masterpieces. Keep it going...keep inspiring. Happy first March!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Beautiful! I think you do not give yourself enough credit, Jeanie! You are so talented and I am so glad you share these works of art with us as it's so fun to see what you are able to create with your own two hands! I think it's cool that you have found so many classes to take over the years. I didn't even realize that classes like this existed, honestly! But you are always finding new things to expand your horizons, which is awesome!

Mae Travels said...

No blue & black dress? (Just kidding.)

anno said...

Honestly, Jeanie. Your drawing skills are least equal to those of Chagall or Klee, and at least as expressive, too. Time to work on the marketing...

Barb said...

You needed this to brighten your spirits! (And now you've brightened mine...) I always like to see what you're creating, Jeanie.

Janet said...

You did great! I love the little bird painting and also the journal pages. That class sounds like just what you needed.

Lorraine said...

Oh, I love your bird!! That sounds like a great class, I like classes where it's more technique-oriented. Gouache has always been a mystery to me :) but it sounds like I would like it!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Jeanie, you have done some beautiful artwork here!
blessings,
Penny

Tracy said...

What FUN, Jeanie! Gouache is VERY different from watercolors, and you share very well here how that is. Watcolor can have a shine sometimes, where is gouache is very matte--chalky is a great way to describe it! You bird is sweet, I think! And it looks like you used some blended techniques there. LOVE your mixed media play pages! Each has something unique... and I REALLY like how your "translated" the left page using the gouache. And yes, your girl looks so sweet--her expression is much more charming! I have a feeling you'll be doing more with gouache! ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh, now this is fun. I really do need someone to teach me to paint and that bird is SWEET! So many great arts to dabble into, aren't there dear Jeanie! HAVE FUN! Anita

Joanne Huffman said...

It looks like a wonderful class. I've never tried gouache and you make it look like something to learn about. Frankly, I like your girl better. I think you would win prizes. And, I love your bird.

Kitty said...

You find such wonderful classes and share them so well. I envy your talents. Your drawings are delightful. All of them.

Jennifer Richardson said...

oh wow....I love this effect!
your bird has me grinning:)
I love, too, how you keep
growing and stretching and learning new things.
Keeps you young and alive:)
-Jennifer

~*~Patty S said...

Your girl and your bird are really wonderful Jeanie!
I'd be over the moon to create something like that...your princess is prettier than the napkin page!
It's a good teacher than can inspire you to go home and create.
Lovely!!!
So glad you shared with us.
oxo

Arti said...

My Gouache, you're good! Amazing work you've done here, Jeanie, the bird and the reverse lady with a birdcage. Exquisite! I'm curious now to see other pages of your visual journal. ;)

Friko said...

Being happy with what you’re doing is the main thing.
No master ever fell out of the skies, it's practice which makes perfect.

What a lovely lot of colours. The colours alone bring happiness.

Retired English Teacher said...

It inspires when when I see you learning new things. I love the color in these pieces. I think the gouache technique sounds very interesting.

Your drawing is quite nice. It really is. Practice does make perfect. I really hate to say that art is ever done perfectly because if a person is a perfectionist in art, I fear the creativity flair may be lost. I wonder if this technique frees you to be more expressive in combining color and form? Just wondering.

Paulette Adams said...

Oh Jeannie, this is absolutely charming, I LoVe what you've created!

Relyn Lawson said...


Thank you, my friend, for your encouragement to keep blogging. I've decided to stick with it. At least for now. Trying... Glad we are doing this together - side by side. ;^)

Mary said...

I think it's wonderful, Jeanie. So colorful and fun! :)

Shelia said...

Oh, Jeanie! You've got talent, darling, and I love what you've done! I'll bet this was fun. I've never heard of this paint but how nice it looks.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

The Artful Diva said...

oh my gouache - that class sounds wonderful!

Privet and Holly said...

Jeannie, I just love
how you take the time
to play and have fun
through your art! And
look at the sweet results!

I'm so very sorry to read
in your last post about losing
a friend. It really is hard to
feel like you are consoling
from so far away, but I have
no doubt his wife has felt
lifted by your love and thoughts.

I hope your night celebrating
your other friends and their new
start was a great one. You look
very happy in the photos, so I'd
say it was : )

YES, we need to celebrate all
the small moments for the Gretels
and Bernies and many others who
live on through us.

Stay warm!

xo Suzanne

Marilyn said...

Thanks for the explanation of gouache, I always wondered what exactly it was. If I were still painting much I think I would love it. I always loved watercolors.

shoreacres said...

I've seen the word gouache, but never had a clue what it is. That's one of the reasons I like these posts. I'll never get involved with such projects myself (at least I can't imagine it) but I do like knowing about the various techniques. And of course I love seeing your latest projects. I'd be happy to have that bird singing on my railing!

susieq512.com said...

As always, I'm blown away by your talent and creativity! Beautiful creations, all of them. I love that little bird, and the girls.

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