Tuesday, February 23, 2016

While waiting for chicken tacos

After I put in the order for my chicken tacos, I get out the gouache. Just four colors: ultramarine blue, flame red (Daler Rowney), burnt sienna, and white.

There's a stop sign catching the full sun and a brick building in shadow just beyond it. I'm painting over a casein base layer tinted to yellow-orange, and using a dark blue colored pencil for the first lines. The horizontal line through the base of the stop sign is the eye level. 

At the end I bring in a little white Nupastel and light blue colored pencils for the lines of the bricks. Gouache presents a very receptive surface to chalk and colored pencils.
If you're ever passing through Kingston, New York, I can recommend the great homemade Oaxacan food at Just for You Mexican Restaurant


Rich said...

Once more, the limited palette looks like a big contributing factor.

Always like your cars taking up the countless environmental reflections.

Alonso said...

I have this fantasy that you're painting everything all the time. How long does a painting like this take you? And how many do you do in a day/week?

Tom Hart said...

Alonso's comment reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask: Your many sketchbooks are an amazing treasure trove, aesthetically and instructionally. Do you have any plans, or even just thoughts, about how to make most or all of the content available? Digitize? Publish facsimiles, or portions thereof? Regular readers of your blog have seen many throughout your posts, but to see them collected would be amazing.

James Gurney said...

Tom, thanks for asking. I do plan to do a book of my location drawing and painting. I'm considering various alternatives, both for publishing the book, and what approach to take to it.

Alonso, I do take my sketch bag with me, but I'm not sketching all the time. This one took me about 45 minutes, spaced before and after the meal.

Thanks, Rich. I love the limitation of leaving out colors.

Nina Khashchina aka Apple-Pine said...

Hi James;
I loved your gouache video - very useful on many levels!
Question: I am experimenting with traditional gouache and enjoy matt surface to add color pencil or ink details. How does acrylic gouache behave with color pencils an ink?
Also I am looking for a good solution to have a pre-painted water resistant background. I believe you are using casein - why not acryla gouache?

James Gurney said...

Nina, the acryla gouache should work well with colored pencils. Yes, good idea. I do use acryla gouache as a base layer instead of casein sometimes.

Unknown said...

hi James,

the idea about a book of your Location drawings/paintings is awsome!

my question this time is, when your doing you "on Location paintings" do you always measure with your pencil or the grid that was shown sometimes in your Videos?
Ist hard for me to find a starting point. and often end up with the gesture of a figure that is pretty much the same size as the tree next to it (even when this example is exaggerated).

Do you think that the methods to get accurate figure drawings (like in the loomi´s book) can also be used to get accurate cityscape/landscape drawings?

best regards

James Gurney said...

Patrick, yes, you can use some of the same methods for accuracy that you would use for figure drawing — such as holding your pencil at arm's length to measure lengths and slopes. If you check my YouTube video "Street Painting in Indiana" you can see how I do that for a street scene. I have used the grid only a few times.

Unknown said...

awsome James!! thanks a lot!

Carlos said...

Hi James,

After watching Gouache in the Wild, I'm finally going to buy some gouache tubes. I was wondering if the same colors list you posted on the Watercolor in the wild post serves as a guide to build my first set.

Thanks, Carlos.

James Gurney said...

Carlos, Those colors would serve you well. Basically a high chroma yellow, a bright red, and then earth color versions of yellow and red such as yellow ochre and burnt sienna. Then you'd want to get ultramarine and perhaps Prussian or cerulean. I also like having Viridian and a brilliant purple, mainly for limited palettes, or if for some reason I need high chroma. And of course white. And black, especially if you ever want to paint in pure black/white grisaille.