Thursday, August 3, 2017

Painting a Wren in Gouache (3)

Expanding Your Artistic Horizons Series

Painting Session 3

Date: 08/03/2017
Subject: Wren on A Dogwood Branch
Medium: Gouache on Illustration Board
Colors Used In This Session:  Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Zinc White, Alizarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Lamp Black
Links to Painting Sessions: 


Wren on Dogwood Branch Session 3
End of Session 3 
I spent about four hours during this session painting all of the elements in the picture. Gouache seems difficult to get used to when most of your experience is using oils. James Gurney wrote a blog post titled "The Seven Gouache Hazards and How to Escape Them."  I would suggest anyone new to gouache read the post as it will help you better understand the properties of this medium. One of the tips from James in his article I learned first-hand today. "New layers reactivate previous layers of paint"  James suggests in his post to lay down transparent layers and build up to opaques. In the second session I laid down a more transparent layer but in this session started to build up opaques. I quickly learned it does not take much to reactivate the layers. And there is a fine line between how much water to incorporate in the paint, the more water the quicker the layers reactivate. I spent a lot of time painting the far left dogwood flower trying to get used to the paint and blend it as much as possible. That's easier said than done, from what I have read you want a slightly damp brush and slowly blend the layers, but too much water and the lower layer reactivates. Eventually, I was able to get the flower close to the way I wanted but I have work to do on the others. I am also struggling a little to get variations in values on the leaves so they look somewhat real. As for the Wren, I am slowly adding details and trying to get the colors correct. I will continue to refine the whole painting in the next session.

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