Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lunch Hour Gouache Sketches

I have been making good use of my lunch hour at work doing these gouache sketches.

I've been doing these for a while now and am far from being bored but I do need to collect more reference to paint from. I am also wondering what I can do solely from imagination or maybe a combination of reference and imagination. I must be careful not to get too ambitious because I only have that hour to work in. The more involved work I can save for home. Still I am wondering about trying different mediums or adding something more. I will think about it further.

The one thing I want this daily routine to produce is ambition to do more. Especially to do more finished pieces at home.


My set up at work

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sketching In The Leonardo App

 Leonardo is a great application that is currently only available in it's BETA version. The cost for the software is only $39. until it finally launches and then the cost will be $79. However in the BETA version you would be allowed to continually upgrade all the new features and improvements as they come out.

I really enjoy sketching in this application because of the natural look of the pencil tool as well as the what in my opinion is the best ink brush outside of Clip Studio. The above sketch was done using the pencil brush. Below is a video showing how I sketched the drawing pictured above in Leonardo.
If you are interested in purchasing the program it is available here.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Gouache Painting Surfaces, Palette's and Paints

One of the great things about gouache is that there are a variety of surfaces that you can use to paint on. Apart from watercolor paper one can paint with gouache in a sketchbook or on bristol or illustration board. There are drawing pads of heavy weight mixed media paper that are great for gouache.

I usually prefer a pad with good drawing paper like Strathmore 400 series paper. It's 80 lb. weight is probably the lightest weight I would use. Working on a toned paper can be fun too. Stonehenge makes a great Kraft paper pad that is 100% cotton and weighs about 100 lb. There is a watercolor board made by Canson that is a heavy weight board with an arches watercolor paper adhered to it. I like this board especially for larger paintings and for using casein paint with gouache. Watercolor paper is great to use as well. It can be hot or cold pressed. The only two surfaces I avoid are a very rough textured paper or a very smooth plate finished paper. Rough paper would have me fighting to cover the texture of the paper and the plate finish surface would be difficult to paint in opaque layers because the paint will keep lifting off the surface. Painting is hard enough without having to fight a difficult surface to work on.

The best palettes to use are the tin pallets. I recently purchased a folding watercolor pallet made by Meeden with 12 full pans to place paint in. This is a great portable palette and the tin surface is a lot easier to mix the gouache paint on than a plastic palette. When I paint at home I use a metal butchers tray to mix my paint.

Some very good and knowledgeable artist recommend squeezing out the amount of paint you intend to use and throwing out any remaining paint.Their preference is to work with fresh paint for every painting. I don't do this for two reasons. First, the paint can be expensive. Not as costly as oil paint but it can still run some money. I do my best to build my pallet on paints that cover well so that when I add water to reactivate the paint on my pallet it would cover just as well as fresh squeezed paint. Second, it's been my habit to do this since high school and it has always worked for me.

There are any number of quality gouache brands to paint with. Brands like Windsor and Newton, Holbein, M. Graham are all great brands. My personal preference is Turner Designer gouache because I like the way the paint covers the surface. Whatever brand I buy I make sure to check the description on each tube for the colors light fastness which is always indicated on the label.

For more on painting in Gouache I have a video on Gumroad that is available to purchase either as a download for $12. or you can stream it for $2.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Gouache Painting Video On Gumroad

I posted a new tutorial on Gumroad about painting a portrait in gouache. It is the first video I posted on that page about working in Traditional media.

I love gouache. It's a medium that combines characteristics of watercolor and oils. It is very flexible and forgiving and like watercolor very portable. I carry a tin palette of gouache with me everyday and use it practically everyday.

Most of the time I am making quick sketches spending no more than an hour painting in a sketchbook. For this gouache video I take it a step further and create a fully realized painting and show and explain the process.

Below is a YouTube video of one of the gouache paintings I did in my sketchbook during an hour break at work. It also served as notice about the gouache video on Gumroad.

The video is ready for download on Gumroad-
It is also available for my Patrons on Patreon in The Artist Helper Tier

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sketchbook Pages

It's been 9 months since I started my Patreon page.
I know that because each month I give out a 16 page digital sketchbook to my patrons and the latest one is pictured at left. Number 9. For the most part it is a collection of sketches I did on that particular month in which the sketchbook was posted. Mostly pencils with some other media thrown in here and there.

Making these sketchbooks has helped me out tremendously since I had to draw everyday to make sure there was enough work to fill the sketchbook and I also think that they have gotten better over that time.

I am posting here a few sample pages from several sketchbooks. If you would like to keep up with these sketchbooks just join my Patreon page and the sketchbook is available at any tier level. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Painting In Gouache

A very, very long time ago I purchased a book called The Studio. It featured the work of four popular comic book artist. Out of the four the only one that I was really familiar with was Barry Windsor Smith because of his work on Conan the Barbarian for Marvel Comics. When I purchased the book I became a fan of all four artist, but especially of Bernie Wrightson.

 In the book there were pictures of the studio that they shared and pictures of the materials they used. In those pictures I noticed tubes of paint called gouache. I was curious and wanted to do work similar to what I saw in the book so I purchased some tubes of paint.

Shortly after I began learning how to paint from life in an early morning painting group I attended at the High School of Art and Design. I put aside the world of comic book art and began to learn about Rembrandt, Velazquez and Sargent among others. I continued to collect comics and enjoy the works of my favorite artists but when it came to learning how to paint and draw I began to pay more attention to the Fine Arts and Illustration and after years of working solely from imagination I began to work from life drawing and painting from the model and from nature.

I mostly worked in oils and watercolors alongside other students and three instructors, Irwin Greenberg, Max Ginsberg and Irv Docktor. The last instructor worked entirely in gouache. Although I continued to work in oils and watercolor I would use gouache on and off especially in my sketchbook.

Fast forward some years when I am a dad with two young boys and decided to put aside the oils in favor of watercolor and gouache which were easier to clean up and a lot safer to have around small children. I began to use gouache more often mostly because gouache allowed me to paint in a way that was similar to oils and because I really enjoyed using the medium.

I continue to use gouache today even after my kids have grown into young adults (late teens).

Gouache has a rich history. It is a medium which is older than oil paints andwas used by some very famous artist and illustrators. Artist like Menzel, Durer and Zorn as well as illustrators like John Gannam, Edwin Austin Abbey, Stevan Dohanos and Harry Anderson.

In the world of fine art I don't see any artist using the medium although I do see artist painting in casein which is similar to gouache and can be combined with gouache. I have seen that there are illustrators who continue to work in gouache. I like the medium so I plan to continue to use it.