Saturday, March 24, 2018

Painting a Street Scene with Gradated Color

You can paint a scene with an overall color system that gradates from warm to cool.

(Link to YouTube) Shifting from one color family to another suggests the change of mood from sad to happy or from winter to spring.

I'm using a mixed technique, with Gouache over a Casein underpainting, with NuPastel sticks to finish up. (Links take you to Amazon pages).

Golden Hat on YouTube asks: I am unfamiliar with casein paint and was wondering why you use that to seal the paper surface as opposed to acrylic?
Gurney: I use casein because once it's dry, it won't pick up if you put a wash over it. Acrylic would do the same. You could also use Acryla Gouache (Holbein), which is a matte, opaque version of gouache with an acrylic binder. Or you could tint some gesso with acrylic, or anything like that as long as it's not too shiny. If the priming is glossy, the gouache will bead up and not stick right.
More on gouache painting in my Gumroad tutorial "Gouache in the Wild"
The music at the end is by Matthew Schreiber. Check out his new album at his website.


Krystal said...

so inspiring...
Every time I watch you paint this outdoor sketches, it gives me the urge to go out and do the same!

Crooner Dean said...

Hi James. Just what I needed today. Spring is in the air, just barely, here in St. Paul, Minnesota. And this tip is perfect. Thanks!

Steve said...

The Z Dimension. New term for me, and a helpful one. Did you coin it? Thanks!

James Gurney said...

Steve, I think Jeanette and I first heard it from James Blinn in about 1980, doing the first computer 3D modeling. Borrowing from Cartesian coordinates, X and Y are oriented on the two dimensional surface, and Z is perpendicular to it.

El Hedonista said...

Hi James, love your art.
Regarding the pastel sticks, what do you use to seal the drawing? if you appled pastels to a watercolor what would you use?
thank you.

James Gurney said...

E.H. No need to seal it. The gouache (or watercolor) surface is matte and accepts the pastel. You could spray it down beforehand or later with fixative, but it's not really necessary in a sketchbook. Try it out on a scrap and see how it works for you.

Matt Dicke said...

Hi James as usual this is another very informative and inspiring video. I liked the use of pastel to shift the color so cool in spots ( might have to borrow that idea ;-) I had a question about gouache brands. After your gouache in the wild video it seems like you still are trying lots of different brands ( like in this video no tube is the same brand) are you finding differences at all? are there any you prefer or is any artist grade about the same. Also have you ever tried the Caran D'Ach pan gouache? Might be good topic for a future video? Thanks. ( I posted this on facebook but I think it is better asked here so it is not lost)

James Gurney said...

Matt, Yes, I have a whole lot of different brands of gouache, and I choose them more by pigment than by brand. The only outlier was the Shinhan Pass, which is a bit watery compared to the others. M. Graham is one of the best of the ones I've used. I haven't tried the pan gouache yet.