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!
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