Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Atmospherics in Watercolor and Gouache

In this video demo, I use watercolor and gouache to capture the smoky atmosphere of an Irish-American street festival. (Link to video on YouTube)

Jack Richeson Watermedia Pocket Plein Air Brush Set
Pentalic Aqua Journal
How to Make a Sketch Easel
Holbein gouache
Schmincke watercolor


Biff said...

Such a great example of warm and cool. A lot to learn from here! Regarding the use of watercolor as the transparent medium in this painting, do you think you could achieve a similar result using diluted gouache instead? I have tried to use diluted gouache in place of transparent watercolor with minimal success and am not sure why I get mixed results. I can't seem to achieve the chroma of diluted gouache as I can with transparent watercolor. Maybe I need to pay more attention to my choice of colours and their respective degrees of opacity. Or maybe I'm stretching the transparent capabilities of gouache too far and should pack a few tubes of watercolor in my travel kit as well. Any suggestions? Thanks.

James Gurney said...

Biff, most gouache paints these days don't use a lot opacifiers, which is what makes them look chalky in thin mixtures. It also depends a bit on the pigment. If you use paint by M. Graham, Winsor & Newton, Holbein, ShinHan or other reputable makers, you should be OK if you use them as transparent colors. It's good to test the colors you want to use on a separate sample. Here's a previous blog post with more info: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2015/06/gouache-ingredients-info-from.html

Darny said...

How much of the time spent painting is time spent waiting for layers to dry? I keep rushing and ending up with bleeding and messy edges, and just can't seem to get the "do it quickly before the light etc changes" and the whole - this is going to take 10 mins to dry and you don't want to work on it while it's wet married up.
When I work on watercolours normally, I'll go do something else for 10 minutes between layers, but outside I feel like I should be working constantly so I get the image down. Do you stop and let things dry or do you have some methods of working that helps with this?

James Gurney said...

Damy, I don't remember having to stop to wait for layers to dry. They dry pretty fast on their own, and while they're still damp, they offer a receptive surface for soft passages. Softness is desirable, and harder to achieve than crispness.

A Colonel of Truth said...

Golf applause!