Sunday, July 26, 2015

New Painting Challenge: Outdoor Market

Eugene Galien Laloue (1854 - 1941) Paris, le marché aux fleurs 
Gouache on board, 8 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches
We had such an enthusiastic response to our last Gouache Challenge that many of you asked for another opportunity.

I hesitate to call it a "contest" because there's no entry fee and the spirit is more about cooperation, community, and camaraderie than competition. We're all at different levels of skill and experience, but we're all out there braving the elements and trying out new painting ideas.

Helen Allingham Market Stall in Venice, watercolor
The August Challenge
Paint an outdoor market on location with a limited palette of opaque water media. The limited palette is just three colors of your choice plus white.

Norman Price, Eastern European Market, gouache
What kinds of outdoor markets?
Any outdoor place where people are selling things: fruit or flower markets, farmers' markets, roadside stands, craft fairs, flea markets, yard sales, swap meets, sidewalk sales, fish markets, Chinese wet markets, Latin-American mercados, and Arab souks.

On Location
It must be painted on location and it must be a new painting done for this challenge. In addition to a scan of the final painting, your entry must include a photo of your painting in progress in front of the motif.

Alfred Glendening Parisienne Flower Market
Any of the opaque water media are acceptable: casein, gouache, Acryla-gouache, or acrylic. Sorry, for this challenge there's no oil and no dry media. You can combine with transparent watercolor and watercolor pencils as long as they're the same colors, but there should be at least some opaque passages. 

The Limited Palette
The reason for the limited palette is to keep your painting harmonious, which can be difficult with such a kaleidoscopic subject.

Here are some suggestions, giving equal time to different companies: 
Holbein gouache: Viridian, Cadmium red deep, and Yellow ochre plus white
M. Graham gouache: Ultramarine blueCadmium yellow deep, and Burnt umber plus white
Winsor and Newton gouache: Perylene maroon, Cadmium yellow, Cobalt blue plus white
Richeson casein: Cobalt blue, Light red, Golden ochre, and white
Feel free to come up with your own, you don't have to follow these suggestions.

It's free to enter. You can enter as soon as you finish the piece, but no later than the deadline: Monday, August 31 at midnight New York time. Winners will be announced on Wednesday September 2. 

Edward Seago, Moroccan souk
What and How to Enter
Just shoot two image files: 1. Your finished painting and 2. A photo of the painting on the easel in front of the subject. Your face doesn't have to be in the photo unless you want to.

Upload the images this Facebook Event page (This way I don't have to deal with email, and you get to present your images your way). If you don't have a Facebook account, please ask a friend with an account to help you. Please include in the FB post the list of the three colors you chose (plus white), and if you want, a word about your inspiration or design strategy, or an anecdote about your painting experience. 

I'll pick one Grand Prize, three Finalists, and six Honorable Mentions. Those 10 will be published on GurneyJourney. The Grand Prize winner and Finalists will receive an exclusive "Department of Art" embroidered patch. In addition, the Grand Prize winner receives a video (DVD or download) of their choice. Everybody who participates will have their work on the Facebook page, too.
Own the 72-minute feature "Gouache in the Wild"
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad $14.95
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) $14.95
• DVD at Purchase at (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) $24.50


HNK said...

I guess I am in.
By the way, thank you for recommending me the books - I will be able to find them. I love the Loomis method about drawing the head from any angle. If you want, I can not to post these stupid questions - you could just tell me. You can skip anything from right now. I have another question - I'm in your, for example, video where you draw Fernando Freitas's portrait (and also in Salem Zouaves sequence and in Nantes Poster you painted Jules Verne just with a brush), you do not construct the face with Loomis method - shape of the head, then pencil lay - in, light wash over the surface, background, adding features and details with ws-c pencils. Is there such a method or is this because you are very professional (not a lie)? Will there be portrait sequence in Pencil in the Wild? I will wait for that. How can, for example, person in Russia see your "Deluge ends Painting day" video? Where will be video about making grids and when? Will there be what's coming post and will there be YouTube (Video) week? I am waiting for all your videos, and about grey cityscape, and your CW, too. And I hope there will be more pencil portrait tutorials in the future, Thank you if you read all of that.

Jenna Berry said...
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HNK said...

Thank you, Jenna, for your generous answer.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Jenna and HNK. I think Jenna has it right. I try to keep the classical (ie Loomis, Bargue, etc.) approaches for laying a head in mind as I work from life. But often with the pressure of a sketching situation, I compress those steps. Another thought is that you can construct forms with the brush as well as you can with a pencil.

For videos of how to draw the head and features in a Loomis-esque way, I recommend the YouTube channel of Stan Prokopenko. You can see his teaching website at

I have a couple of segments finished for a portrait video, but I'll need to do more. As far as the schedule for other things, I don't plan release dates too far ahead.

Marian B said...

>For videos of how to draw the head and features in a Loomis-esque way, I recommend the YouTube channel of Stan Prokopenko. You can see his teaching website at

Stan has some great courses on Figure Drawing, Portrait Drawing and Anatomy for Artists. He also has Skelly; which is a posable art model skeleton.

Doug B

HNK said...

Thank you, James, Marian and Jenna, for your generous responds on my comment. I appreciate all your advices. By the way, for which video, James? Thank you.

HNK said...

And I guess everything is about practice, right? Could you practice doing portraits first without lay - in and other methods?

Doug B said...

Changing my account from "Marian B" to "Eric_Doug"


Doug B

Doug B said...

Ack! Correction: Changing my account from "Marian B" to "Doug B"


Doug B

James Gurney said...

Hi, Doug B,

Sorry if I've referred to you as Marian in the past, as I know you always signed your comments "Doug." No one will make that mistake again.

Doug B said...

>Sorry if I've referred to you as Marian in the past, as I know you always signed your comments "Doug." No one will make that mistake again.

Thanks, James. My own fault really for not having my own account!


Doug B

Jenna Berry said...
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Jenna Berry said...
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Jared Cullum said...

HNK- For a little bit of money, there's some great subscription-based (pay a little monthly) online schools. Gnomon Workshop and New Master's have a lot of great videos on figure and head construction.
One thing I do is use sites for warm-up like 'Humans of New York' or 'Sartorialist' to draw people quickly focusing on faces ranging in age and races.
There's also Pixellovely
which you can set a timer on figures, hands, animals or faces for practice of any method you are interested in trying out. I try to do about 10-20 2min figures or heads every day for warm-up.
Hope that helps some! We're all in this together :)

Kevin Mayes said...

HNK~ You may want to check out Vitruvian Studio for pencil drawing portraits, figures and hands.
They also have a Youtube channel that you might find interesting as well. David Jamieson is the founder and is very good at explaining what he is teaching. Hope this helps!

Karl Kanner said...

Hi there James! Long-time admirer of your work here. I noticed some of the examples you used in this post were done in watercolor. Watercolor is, however, prohibited in this contest? I just want to make sure.

Thanks and please keep these contests coming; they're great and I love painting with a "purpose". Also, please consider allowing oils at some point :)


James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody, for sharing all those great resources. You're helping HNK, but you're helping the rest of us, too.

Karl, yes, watercolor is OK, and so is acrylic. Any water media is good-- just ruling out pure drawing and oil.

Jenna Berry said...
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