Monday, July 22, 2019

Painting an Airliner in Gouache

I've got an hour before boarding, time enough for a quick portrait of this Boeing 757. (Link to YouTube) Here are some questions from Instagram:

DZ asks: "How did you do that in one hour? Doesn’t the paint need to dry between layers?
I was in the sun, and the paint dried right away.

Joshua asks: "Can you reactivate dried gouache?
Yes, you can, but I prefer to get juicy gouache from the tube.

Connor asks: "Did you strap a camera to your head?"
Held a little point-and-shoot in my left hand.

James says: "I would love to hear some tips on how to travel with tube paint on your blog if you have time!"

James, I haven't had a problem with tubed gouache and watercolor as even the large white tube is just 2 ounces, under the TSA limits. Of course I keep them in the little plastic bag going through the checkpoint and I try to keep the number of tubes to six or seven. Be sure to call them "artists' colors" instead of "paint." 


Rich said...

Great! That's some quality time you spent there waiting for your flight being called up.

I'm also thankful for your initial measuring-advice with the pencil: That's where I often go wrong with botched proportions! How cumbersome it is, having to correct such errors in the final stage of a painting;-(

The Boeing 757 in your picture has a certain resemblance to the Boeing 767:-)
And yes, whenever you go "technical" in your pictures, I'd reckon some John Berkey influence.

Bevan said...

Seeing the measurement and correction of the original shapes was useful. I also enjoyed the fact that you paint what you have around. I finally bought a copy of the artists guide to sketching, and have learned heaps. Additionally it is great to see that since the 80s you still have that great pain to paint the way you do.

Bevan said...

Great desire, not pain... Not sure how the predictive text made that typo.

K. Moody said...

Beautifully rendered! I love the suggestion of reflection on the front of the plane- even at that scale, it appears REAL-! Seems so simple when you show how you do it- Such an inspiration!! Thanks!

Ruth Squitieri said...

You are kidding! You painted this masterpiece while holding a camera in one hand? Wow. It's such a great painting!
You had inspired me to paint in little sketchbooks while traveling, and for the last 3 years I have had no problem bringing my brushes and watercolor and tubes of gouache with me on the plane to Europe.

Jim Douglas said...

Jim, what is your thinking behind which pigments are watercolor (transparent) and which ones are gouache (opaque)? I can guess why your white would be gouache (To build up the body of the highlights and other opaque passages?). Any particular reason you chose a gouache blue?

James Gurney said...

Jim, I don't even care if I'm using gouache or watercolor. The Prussian blue may be called "gouache," but it's very transparent, more transparent than a cerulean or cobalt watercolor. I did want a transparent red oxide to combine with the transparent blue in order to get those darks. Otherwise I'm just looking for pigment load and something that will look good also in tints.