Painting A Wren in Gouache (2)

Expanding Your Artistic Horizons Series

Painting Session 2
Date: 07/15/2017
Subject: Wren on A Dogwood Branch
Medium: Gouache on Illustration Board
Colors Used In This Session:  Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Sepia, Zinc White, Indian Yellow, Grendine
Links to painting sessions: Session 1

Wren on Dogwood in Gouache Session 2
Wren on Dogwood in Gouache Session 2
In the previous post on this subject I mentioned, I had never painted in Gouache and the only watercolor painting I have ever done was a few watercolor sketches. I did do some quick small sketches with Gouache before starting this session. I wanted to see how the paint flowed on illustration board and how easy the paint reactivated with water. I did some research on line to see how other artists painted with gouache and the techniques they use. 

There is a good article about the use of Gouache titled  "Painting With Gouache"   from the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators website.  As With all medium, there seems to be multiple techniques and methods used by artists. Some use a tiling technique to block out values and color. Others, gradually build up from a light wash of gouache to a thicker consistency until they achieve the desired amount of opaqueness.

Since the latter is closer to the method I use for painting in oils, I decided that method would be a good for my first Gouache painting. I spent time looking at photographs of House Wrens to learn about the color and markings on their feathers. I also practiced mixing paint, testing on a scrap of illustration board to get a close representation of their feathers. I could not fully reproduce a realistic color representation due to the limited amount of gouache colors. Hopefully, it will be close enough to resemble a Wren.

I started out with basic transparent layers and continued to build up layers of color, trying not to reactive the lower layer unless I wanted the colors to blend more. The challenge is to get an even layer of color but for now, I am not worried about it because I want my final painting to be opaque. I like the opaqueness and matte finish gouache provides. In the next session, I will continue to add layers and more details to the Wren, Flowers, and Leaves.

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