Friday, March 15, 2019

Gouache as a Rehearsal Medium

Here's a new teaser for the upcoming article about T. rex coming up in the April issue of Ranger Rick. (Link to YouTube)


I do two quick sketches in gouache before launching into the final oil painting. I paint them over a scan of the line drawing, greatly reduced in size, printed out on my copier, and sealed with acrylic matte medium.


These gouache sketches serve two purposes. First, they help me imagine what the final result might look like. And second, they serve as a trial run, allowing me to rehearse the painting sequence.

I'll be releasing a full length tutorial download in a couple of weeks called "Unconventional Painting Techniques in Oil," intended for all sorts of painters, not just dino-artists. The focus will be on unusual ways of applying the paint to achieve naturalistic effects.
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5 comments:

Jim Douglas said...

Jim, when you create thumbnail study sketches before beginning a final painting, do you notice if you typically prefer your first sketch (maybe because it captures some part of the initial spark for the painting)? Or if you often select your last sketch (maybe because the studies have paid off and you basically know you want to proceed)?

James Gurney said...

Jim, sometimes I prefer the first sketch and sometimes the second, and sometimes I use ideas from both of them.

But even if I like the first one, I like to do one or two more just because chance variations or spontaneous ideas will result. For example I liked the stronger gradation and the hint of greenery at the top of the second one.

Jim Douglas said...

Thanks for the additional insights. Agreed, the stronger gradation and greenery enhance the sense of depth, atmosphere, and environment beyond. It's easy to imagine the sun beating down on the water from far outside the picture in the second sketch. And while contrast often creates a stronger image, I prefer the enriched color in your second study, even though there is slightly less tonal range, particularly on the torso of the dinosaur facing us. Masterful stuff!

Fred said...

Looking forward to your next video James. I'm sure your insights on oil painting will be enlightening.

Bob said...

I like that you do more than one even though the first appears "good enough." And there can never be enough dinosaur pictures!