Monday, June 8, 2015

Gouache Video Coming June 22

I'm excited to announce that the new gouache video is finished and in the pipeline to be released two weeks from today, June 22. 

The video is 72 minutes long and has six different chapters, each focusing on a different approach to painting on location in opaque watercolor. 

The subjects include a neon sign, a snowy landscape at dusk, a convenience store, a swamp, some antique character toys, and a Formula 1 race car. Some of the studies are precise and controlled, and others are bold and painterly. 

The video will put you close to the action, giving you a "driver's seat" perspective. You'll see each of the steps, and I'll explain why I made each decision. The edit is brisk and entertaining without sacrificing any of the informational content. The video will be available both as a DVD and a download that you can own. 

Painting a view out the window of a diner in black and white gouache
Gouache presents its own unique virtues and limitations, so I made sure to include plenty of practical painting tips for both the beginner and the advanced painter. For example, painting in black and white is a good way to get accustomed to the medium—or to paint in tight quarters, like a concert hall or a restaurant.

Gouache Week Starts June 22
During the week starting June 22, we'll focus totally on gouache. I'll share little-known information about the formulation of gouache that I learned from writing to six different manufacturers, and I'll present lots of video clips and painting tips.  

There will be discounts, prizes, and live painting demos. If you've been thinking about getting into gouache, getting back into it, or going further with it, be sure to stay tuned to GurneyJourney.


Wendy said...

I can't wait!

gyrusdentus said...

In the picture of the gas-station: Did you use gouache transparently to get the blue shadow or did you use it opaquely and worked in a blue square from the beginning?

PS: i did not know if you give away any tips. But i figured i ask you.

Goauche is a great medium. It is only because of you, i started using it about one year ago and it serves as a good training medium for oil in my opinion.
It is simply cheaper.

James Gurney said...

Gyrus, I've been painting in oil, and on the side with gouache, all along for 40 years, and I agree that it's a good training medium for oil, or a good super-portable option for oil painters who want to paint in unlikely places. Glad to hear you've been trying it out. I keep on experimenting with it and trying new things.

The blue shadow started semi-transparently, with a big shape painted with a large flat brush. As the painting went along, I painted back into it and gradually built up the opaques.

gyrusdentus said...

Interesting. You basically use it like oil then.
Building up semitransparently and getting more opaque.

I am from Europe and there are countless people rediscovering gouache. Caseine is hard to get here but it is possible. Much of the gouache-craze is due to your blog.
By the way: It is so impressive that you post daily. Your love for art is undebateable.

Krystal said...

Nice, Nice, Nice, James !
You could release one of those DVD every month, we would still be impatient each time like the first one ! Your video are soooo intersting and you are so giving...Thank you so much !

Unknown said...


Susan Sorger said...

I have has always thought that a combination of transparent watercolour and opaque gouache would provide some wonderful effects. there is NO Opaque Sky that come close to the luminous nature of a transparent watercolour sky. On the other hand buildings don't tend to look "solid" in transparent watercolour.

I see someone asked you a related question up above. Have created work with both transparent passages and opaque?

Unknown said...

So glad to hear that you have done a dvd on gouache! I think there is a real lack of information on this medium and I'm sure you will do a great job.

Daniel Potvin said...

Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy!

Dave Lebow said...

I can't wait for your new video as well. I finally made an outdoor painting rig basing it on your design that you show in detail on your blog. I've been using it sporadically but hope to use it a lot on a family trip we are going on soon. I hope I'll be able to view the video if I purchase it on my IPAd while we are traveling!

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody. Susan, you said it! Transparent watercolor and gouache each have advantages and disadvantages for portraying certain effects, and they combine beautifully. Certain pigments in some brands of gouache have opacifiers in the mixture which make them less satisfying when used thinly. With other brands like M. Graham and Holbein, the gouache formulations are pigment-rich with no opacifiers, so as long as you don't use white, you can use them very nicely transparently before building up opaques. And of course you can always lay in a painting with your regular watercolors, then use gouache selectively.

Dave, sounds like you've got a fun trip coming up. Lauren, yes, I always wondered why there aren't more books and videos on gouache, because it's such a versatile and time-honored medium.

Gyrus, yes, I've heard that it's hard to find casein in Europe, but gouache and casein have a lot in common.

Krystal, you're welcome. Glad you're enjoying them. Dairo, yeah, Hype!, but now I have to live up to it. Thanks, Wendy and Daniel.

HNK said...

I cannot wait for gouache video and WEEK to come! You are fantastic! I will totally buy your video and wait for gouache week to come! Thank you for inspiring work!

Mari Brown and Colourblob said...

Looking forward to this, I have always had a distance relationship with gouache... Find it hard to get in to painting with it, so I'm looking forward to see how you work with it and hopefully get me in to better spot working with gouache.

Mari Brown and Colourblob said...

Looking forward to this, I have always had a distance relationship with gouache... Find it hard to get in to painting with it, so I'm looking forward to see how you work with it and hopefully get me in to better spot working with gouache.

Mari Brown and Colourblob said...

Looking forward to this, I have always had a distance relationship with gouache... Find it hard to get in to painting with it, so I'm looking forward to see how you work with it and hopefully get me in to better spot working with gouache.

gyrusdentus said...

Would you guys say that gouache is easier than oil?
Loomis once said that watercolor is the most difficult medium.

Btw: I remember the brittle approach that Loomis talks about and that gouache is perfect for that brittle approach, which basically means laying layers over another but not in the sense of glazes but more opaquely, i think.

Glenn Tait said...

Looking forward to your Gouache in the Wild video as well, I learned so much from Watercolor in the Wild.

I recently ran across a "hybrid" watercolour/gouache on Jackson's UK website from a company called ShinHan.

It states that:
"ShinHan Pass allows both transparent and opaque techniques to be realised within a single tube. ShinHan Pass is hybrid of premium watercolour and gouache. The low amount of gum arabic and glycerin in this paint makes brush strokes more free and colours appear more saturated."

Have you seen this or a similar product before? Would not regular gouache give you the same effect as what they are describing in terms of washes to opaque? Or would it be more along the lines of the pigment rich paints with out opacifiers that you mentioned?

Jackson's Link:

ShinHan's brochure link:

arturoquimico said...

Looking forward to purchase the vid and following gouache week. I was at a painting class a few years ago and I asked a lady what she was painting with as she had no solvent and appeared to be using water... I'm hard of hearing and I thought she said, "Hogwash"as a joke but I learned it was gouache and then I bought some, but did not use it much until I started following this blog... It has really helped my painting skills without having to breathe solvents... also, I have heard that the new gouache is better and the pigments are not fugitive... Thanks...

Anonymous said...

That's the very day I start teaching summer school. This will be an awesome diversion that night.

Vladimir Venkov said...

Great. Can't wait...

Amanda said...

I expect I'll miss out on the "discounts, prizes, and live painting demos" - wrong time zone and too far away - but I am still really looking forward to the gouache video! I have your other videos and both books and learned a lot from them. Thankyou. Gouache is something else - there's not much written or said about it - I've been playing with it myself and so looking forward to seeing what you can make it do.

Jayson said...

I can't wait for this! I had a lot of frustrations with gouache and I hope this can get me over the hump. The Watercolor Video got me thinking painterly but I like the look and opacity of gouache far more. How do I preorder?

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Jayson, I'm just getting out the word about it, but I'll give the ordering options on the eve of the launch. You can also sign up to follow me on either the blog or Gumroad, and that way you won't miss any updates.

Arturo--"Hogwash!" that's hilarious!

Micah, good timing. Thanks, Vladimir.

Glenn, I haven't tried ShinHan, but it fits the description of any of the leading gouache lines, which are pigment-rich without agents to make them opaque. They'll make nice transparent tints if you don't add white, but they may not disperse as readily. But in general, gouache can certainly be used thinly as well as opaquely.

Gyrus, I find every paint has its benefits. Gouache is easier in the sense you can overlap strokes without picking up wet paint. But it takes a certain light touch. We'll get deep into it in a couple weeks!

gyrusdentus said...

Isn ´t overlapping strokes "easier" in oils if you let it dry?
I thought that the reactivating nature of gouache makes it likely to unintentionally rewet lower layers if you are not really displaying outstanding motorskills?

Whereas you let oil dry and usually do not rewet it in top layers. (Loomis brittle approach)?

Unknown said...

I'm absolutely thrilled! Thank you and can't wait!

Ryowazza said...

Hi James and hello guys.
I would like to take advantage from this discussion and ask you a question.
What do you think would be a better choice for a beginner between buying gouache tubes or buying watercolor tubes + titanium white?
Considering that I am already a watercolorist I'd like to start working with gouache, and as far as i know watercolor tubes compared to gouache ones contains more pigment but still I'm wondering if buying gouache is more easy to handle than having to add white everytime.
Hoping that I didn't ask a stupid question, thanks for your time!

Regards from Italy
Angelo S.

James Gurney said...

Angelo, good question. You can definitely start with just a tube of white and your regular tube watercolors. That way you can mix in the white as you need the opacity. Artist's gouache doesn't use opacifiers in their formulations anyway. You can also use the watercolor transparently in combination with the opaque passages. Pan watercolors can work, too, but the white will get into them and pollute them, and it's hard to get enough pigment out of pan watercolors. As you get into gouache more, it's worth buying at least a small set of warm and cool colors of real gouache because then you can get plenty of paint of the right consistency when you really need it.

Gyrus, I'll get more into the question you're asking as we get into "Gouache Week" starting this coming Monday.