Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Portable Boiler

We spent Monday morning at the South Park City historical museum in Fairplay, Colorado, a place where Jeanette and I sketched over 30 years ago.

I liked the Steampunk spirit of rust, rivets, and spokes of this portable boiler, used by 19th century miners to operate the rock crushing machines.

I painted the study in gouache, with a few accents of colored pencil and fountain pen. Gouache is well suited to this sort of detailed study of a machine, because of the way you can paint light details over dark.

The dried paint surface of gouache also accepts touches from the water-soluble colored pencils, where casein doesn't so well.

10 comments:

Excessit said...

Awesome study. When is it, on a general basis, that you choose gouache over watercolor right from the start?

James Gurney said...

Good question. With this one there were a lot of small, light-against-dark details that had to be pretty accurate, and painting around them would have been tricky. Especially the spokes and the rivets and the long wire. Also, gouache gave me more control of value than I could get in transparent watercolor. Casein doesn't do as well as gouache with detail.

Excessit said...

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

Vladimir Venkov said...

Wow. I can feel the rust.

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Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

Fabulous work. I wonder how much different this would have looked if the sun was out?

jeff jordan said...

So are you able to get the watercolor pencil work wet over the dried gouache? Hit it with a small brush or water brush? Or is it strictly Dry?

Nice painting, by the way!

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody. Jeff, strictly dry in this case because I didn't want to pick up underlayers. But I can imagine wanting to blend the watercolor pencils and smoosh it with the gouache.

L Dawson said...

Hi James, I see you're in Colorado a lot. I'm not sure if you've ever been to the Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs, but if you haven't I think you would love it. It has an amazing art collection. lots of huge Maxfield Parrishes, lots of Remingtens, and Russels, Thomas Morans, and Churches, etc. All of the originals are just hanging around in the public areas for viewing.

James Gurney said...

L Dawson, thanks for letting me know. Too bad, though. We're up in the mountains and I don't think we'll be able to make it down to C.S. again. Next time!