Painting A Wren in Gouache (1)

Expanding Your Artistic Horizons Series

Painting Session 1
Date: 07/03/2017
Subject: Wren on Dogwood Branch
Medium: Gouache on Illustration Board

Several things have inspired me to paint in Gouache.  One is James Gurney who is the creator of the Dinotopia Series of Books. I found his blog when I was searching the internet about watercolor sketching. You can spend hours reading through his blog and watching him work magic with Gouache in his sketchbook. James posts videos of his sketching in Gouache, Watercolor, and Casein.

The second inspiration to paint in Gouache came when I visited the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Florida Art in Daytona Beach, FL. Within that museum, there were paintings by artist and illustrator Walter Weber.  Walter Weber was born in 1906 and attended the University of Chicago and the Art Institute if Chicago. He was a mammalogist and is well known for his role as the  Chief Nature Artist for National Geographic Society. I have been to a lot of Museums but don't recall seeing very many Gouache paintings.  Walter's paintings caught my eye because of the vibrant colors, wildlife scenes, and the matte finish which prompted me to walk across the room to see what medium was written on the card. I thought to myself it would be nice to be able to try painting in that medium.

So I decided as part of my Expanding My Artistic Horizons I would give gouache a try. I have never painted in Gouache and have no experience in watercolors other than the few watercolor sketches I have done in my sketchbook which is also part of Expanding My Horizons as an artist.

I like to paint on smooth surfaces so I decided to try my first Gouache painting on Illustration Board. Since I liked Walter's Bird paintings I decided to try to paint a Wren on a Dogwood Branch. I drew a quick sketch and transferred it to the board. As a note, the board is pure white, due to lighting I could not get the photo below to reproduce the correct lighting. I am looking forward to the next session to start painting and will write more about my experience.



© Michael A. Burns and Michael Burns Art 2017.

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