View Full Version : Gouache Corner with a Challenge--August-September

Deborah Secor
08-01-2013, 02:52 PM
Today we start a new month and I thought what we would do is our usual thread where you can post anything painted in gouache any time, but a couple of us thought it would be fun to have a little challenge, too. So please feel free to share ANY of your artwork done in gouache here...

However, if you want a bit of a spark to your creativity, try this challenge!

Mid-August Challenge Rules

Iím posting four photos below. Iíve also uploaded higher resolution shots, so you can crop smaller. (I'll try to find them and post the links to them...)

1. Do not paint the source photos as they are. Your challenge is to recompose by cropping, playing with the color, flopping the image backwards, or whatever you want to do!

2. Choose a photo and show the compositions(s) youíve derived from it, and your resulting painting(s). The photos are compositionally rich ones, I think, so you should be able to find many different ways to play with them. Please post your cropped photo(s) and your painting(s) of it.

3. DO NOT POST ANYTHING FROM THE CHALLENGE HERE BEFORE THE DEADLINE OF AUGUST 15TH! You have 2 weeks to prepare your paintings. As soon as your ticker says August 15th, go for it. Not before! Any time after that is fine, up to the close of September. (And after that, post your painting in the most current thread so we'll all see it.)

Reflections and Foliage


Photo from our RIL by crispur2005, with thanks.

Cactus and Shadows

And just to give you a bit of a leg up, if you want/need it, here are some of my compositions taken from the last one. Feel free to paint any of them, if youíre inclined or just donít have time to crop. The photo isnít one I find very inspiring as it is, but you can sure pull some interesting paintings out of it. (I mean, if some of you want to paint a car, have at it!)








The idea here is to just be playful and experiment with gouache. No rules on composing or color or scale or sizeójust take your compositions from one of the photos.

Hope this idea is fun and inspiring to you! :wave:

Deborah Secor
08-01-2013, 02:59 PM
From our Reference Image Library:

High Res Reflections and Foliage photo (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=176775&size=big&cat=)

High res Roses photo (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=176769&size=big&cat=)

High Res people photo (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=128832&size=big&cat=)

High Res Cactus and Shadows photo (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=176781&size=big&cat=)

The bigger photos give you more opportunity to crop smaller sections.

These are all my photos except the people, but it's in our RIL, so you're free to use them. :D

08-01-2013, 04:24 PM
Looks good Deborah. :thumbsup: even I should have it right by then :lol:

08-02-2013, 01:31 AM
Thanks for the photos Deborah I ll do something:)

Hi Annie lets get good resolutions:wink2:

08-02-2013, 03:39 AM
Don't you mean make a resolution and actually DO it, Robert ? :lol:

Deborah, I have cleaned the spider webs from my workplace, layed out the materials, Husband is in my ear .... PPPAAAIIINNTT! he keeps repeating it. If he were a woman it would be called nagging. For me it is encouragement. :heart:

So sorry I have been so absent.

08-02-2013, 09:32 AM
Annie Roger asking you to paint does it mean you took out your banjo or playing fiddle:angel: :lol:
My banjo is getting dusty

Deborah Secor
08-02-2013, 01:17 PM
Good to hear, Annie. Nag--er, encouragement is so helpful! Listen to him! The next part will be letting go and posting even when it's not perfect! I just posted three drawings of the grandgirl and BOY, am I out of practice...But I posted them anyway and will use it as encouragement to keep going.

Robert, I'd love it if you join in. We always enjoy your work! :d

08-02-2013, 02:44 PM
Deb for sure I'll join Thanks for your effort


08-02-2013, 05:11 PM
This is going to be fun. A lot of times I crop just by opening the thread instead of downloading the challenge photo. I let the size of my not-full-screen browser window determine the shape and slide the scroll bar up and down to see what I want to do. As I looked at the photos I could see a variety of crops I'd want to do - this will be great.

I need to play with gouache again and you've given me the perfect challenge to fool with it. Thanks for including the links to full size versions for close crops.

Deborah Secor
08-02-2013, 05:40 PM
Glad you'll be joining us, Robert! Yes, the idea of using the scroll bar to crop is useful. Never thought of that.

08-03-2013, 03:49 AM
Robert Sloan, welcome back. :heart:

Deborah, perfection is far from my thoughts at the moment. I just have to somewhat guide husband into a relaxed retirement. The actual event of retirement was sudden and bitter so ... I'm not nagging him in any way shape or form. I'll take his nagging any old day.

Robert, If I paint my banjo will you paint yours? :lol: Actually, that's a really good idea. I may have inspired myself. Just have to get the cobwebs off. On the other hand I have a photo of dogwoods, rocking chairs and a banjo.

Don't worry Deb I am salivating over the cactus crops with light and dark and texture and have ambition these months. :thumbsup:

08-03-2013, 03:52 AM
OK Annie go for it I ll

08-03-2013, 04:43 AM

08-03-2013, 05:17 AM

08-03-2013, 05:25 AM
watch out :lol: :angel:

08-03-2013, 05:43 AM
As a gentleman I'll wait for you and I have two other projects on the stove
Do not worry Deb I ll do your challenge too

Btw Annie how are the cats here they stay under a tree all day it is too hot

Deborah Secor
08-03-2013, 10:21 AM
Have fun, whatever y'all decide to paint! The challenge is there for anyone who needs inspiration, not any kind of forced subject. :D

08-04-2013, 07:46 AM
Here it is to give some animation this is a wick sketch I did for this WDE 19 cm x 16 cm less than two hours I choosed gouache out so I can post it here:lol: all done with an 8 round brush

Annie I haven't started the banjo yet



Deborah Secor
08-04-2013, 10:52 AM
Ah, bravo! Our first one of this thread, and I love it! A little soldier, awaiting his duty, standing at attention. :wink2: Glad you used gouache for it, Robert.

08-06-2013, 01:31 AM
Thank you Deborah now ready for the challenge:)

08-06-2013, 01:32 AM
Thank you Deborah maybe I ll fix it a bit? now ready for the challenge:)

08-07-2013, 12:55 PM
Hello everyone! This is my first time to post on WC but I'm very excited that I found this site. Especially the gouache corner threads. Really impressed with the amount of info contained here. I've been painting with watercolors for the past year and just recently bought a set of W&N Designers Gouache. I'll be posting my first attempt at using them soon, but apparently I have to post at least twice before I'm allowed to post any images. So here's the first post!

08-07-2013, 12:55 PM
Annnnnddd a second post for good measure!

08-07-2013, 12:57 PM
So this is my first attempt at using gouache. Definitely gonna need some more practice but overall I'm happy with the end result. I love the opacity afforded with using gouache and the watercolor effects that you can still achieve with the medium. Hopefully I'll be able to find the time to compete in this challenge and get the chance to meet some more fellow gouache enthusiasts! This painting was done from a photo reference and is 4.5 in. x 7 in., painted on Canson cold press watercolor paper with a No. 6 round sable.

08-07-2013, 03:14 PM
Robert, great hydrant.

Doodlemaker, lovely foxglove and welcome :thumbsup:

08-08-2013, 12:49 AM
Thanks Annie does your banjo is progressing? I havent started yet there is an oil cheetah on my easelto finish first

Welcome Doodlemaker lovely first entry

Deborah Secor
08-08-2013, 12:00 PM
Glad you've joined us, Doodlebrush. I like the painting! Your color choices are great--the sunny background makes the flowers glow! Nice. Do join the challenge...

08-08-2013, 11:36 PM
Thank you all for the warm welcomes and nice comments. Robert that's a nice fire hydrant. You captured every dog's dream perfectly! I think I'm definitely in for this week's challenge. Good luck to all of those participating!

08-10-2013, 04:26 PM
Doodle I like your treatment of the foxgloves. Nice colour choices

08-11-2013, 04:44 PM
:clap: :clap:

Been a nice day here today so got the paints out and Cut a few roses from the photo changed colours slightly and made it my own .


Its gouache 6x8 arches w/N colours 140 lb

That's a computer frame around it , thought I would do that for a change.
Going to Kingston Wednesday watch my granddaughter on parade with the sea cadets she leads the parade with the mace she's 17 years old she also plays last post at all the parades that require it .

:clap: :clap:


Have a nice day


Deborah Secor
08-13-2013, 11:27 AM
Wow, I don't know why but nothing since August 10th has been showing up here until today. I hear WC is a mess... hope it's getting fixed.

Les, I'm so glad you enjoyed the challenge. Love the crop and your colors! Your grand is darling. :)

08-13-2013, 08:43 PM
It seemed as it was frozen for a few days there . Thanks Deborah. She plays trumpet in the band and its a joy to see her try to play the trumpet and trying smile at us as she marches by playing it or with swinging the Mace .

08-16-2013, 03:28 AM
Oops I posted here and it is alredy gone:eek: I couln't post on the 15th as the site was down
In France we call those cacti "Mickey's ears" so I took some liberties:angel:

Nice roses Les

here it is

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Aug-2013/[email protected]

08-17-2013, 01:46 AM
Les - Nice composition and good choice of colors!

Skappy - Great idea with the "Mickey's ears" and well done! I'll never look at a cactus the same way ever again now.

Here's my entry. I decided to save some time and just crop the roses into a composition that I liked and started painting. I'm still learning how to use gouache and finding out that the more time I spend with it the more I'm liking it. The painting is 9 in. x 12 in., painted on Canson cold-press watercolor paper, W&N gouache

08-17-2013, 03:09 AM
I see your post Les, now. :thumbsup: Your grand daughter is GRAND :heart:

Doodlebrush, just stunning!

I said before, now lost in the ether, Robert :lol:

Deborah Secor
08-19-2013, 10:04 PM
Testing one-two... Will it stay here? Hope so!

08-20-2013, 01:23 AM
Thanks Annie and Doodlebrush
Doodlebrush your bouquet is wonderful! love the details in the roses petals

Deborah Secor
08-20-2013, 10:48 AM
Okay, now that things are behaving...

Robert, I love the clever twist on Mickey ears! So often with these cactus I think of faces and ears. :D

Doodlebrush, this is a LOVELY painting! Nice placement and focal area. Well done! I'm so glad you're enjoying gouache, and obviously you're quite experienced as a painter. Keep them coming... We'd love to see anything you paint in gouache here.

Here's a crop I made:


And my painting of it, which is only 2.5" x 3.5" in size, as usual for me:

Still needs a bit more work in the water!

08-20-2013, 12:55 PM
Doodlebrush I would never had guessed you were new to gouache, that is a nice painting , so crisp and clear . What colours w/N u used .

08-20-2013, 07:24 PM
Thank you all for the nice comments! Deborah, I'm a big fan of your work and it amazes me how you can pack so much detail into such a small space. I unfortunately am not an experienced painter. I mostly do graphic design and digital art. I've dabbled with traditional painting in college but my degree is in graphic design. Les, thank you for your comments. I only have a month of experience using gouache but I definitely love it though. I used the 10 colors that came with the W&N introductory set.

08-21-2013, 03:53 AM
OKey dokely ..

I have actually spread paint. First of the challenge.

Done over photo ...

Then a crop from that ... might add a tad of black to the upper left corner ...


Excellent fun. The people are next.

08-21-2013, 09:47 AM
Annie are you saying you actually painted over the photograph ? I have never heard of that seems a strange thing to do .

Deborah Secor
08-21-2013, 11:45 AM
Good grief, Doodle! That's a marvelous painting...

Annie, yay! Love the effect and the crop. So nice you got the brushes wet. LOVE the graphic quality of the lower left-hand corner particularly!! :clap: :clap:

08-21-2013, 02:54 PM
Great job Annie glad you join in
did you start the banjo yet?

Nice river scene Deborah


08-21-2013, 03:13 PM
No Les, I did not paint over the photo. my crop is the lower two roses upside down :clear: Forgot to say its 1/8 sheet size.

Not yet Robert :angel:

Thanks Deb :)

08-22-2013, 01:41 AM
Not yet Robert :angel:

Me either I'm very busy with construction on the house shall we do a close up?:)

08-22-2013, 04:16 AM
Long time had no opportunity to take in hands my brushes and paints...
There are many beautiful works here in gouache corner. Annie, like your flowers very much, they are done in a very interesting manner.

The same flowers.



08-22-2013, 04:52 AM
Lovely brush strokes Alex, and yummy blues ! :clap:

I read somewhere in the news that your part of the planet has floods??? We only get snippets of anything here.:rolleyes:

08-22-2013, 05:21 AM
Annie, thank you.
The floods are to the north from us. But we have surplus water too this year. :)


08-22-2013, 05:58 AM
Glad you are safe.

Deborah Secor
08-22-2013, 11:15 AM
Hey, Alex, glad to see you again. Yes, I saw the information on the floods and checked to see if they were happening in Primorye. Glad you aren't under water!

I agree with Annie, nice blues! I really like the area just to the left-hand side of the top flower. Gorgeous touches there. I always like your color choices. :D

Annie, waiting to see the people....

Here's another crop and manipulation I like. I hope to paint it soon, or maybe some of the others I've been playing around with. If anyone likes it, feel free to paint it.


08-22-2013, 04:44 PM
Annie - I love the graphic way in which you've rendered your painting. That's a very unique way of changing up the composition.

Alex - I really like your loose brushstrokes and bold color choices! Sometimes I wish I could loosen up like that and keep myself from getting bogged down in all the details.

08-23-2013, 01:50 AM
Well done Alex glad you re fine

08-23-2013, 08:07 PM
Here is a recent one I've done in gouache...basically trying to salvage a watercolor failure :( Still not salvaged but anyways ;) I relearned how hard it is to work in gouache!


08-23-2013, 11:30 PM
Annie, Robert, Deborah, thank you for your kind words. :heart:

Now as I have more strength I can paint almost every day. It's my next painting.



08-24-2013, 03:44 AM
Alex, so beautiful. :thumbsup:

Roger is going on a boys own week to North Stradbroke Island soon. Fishing rods, surf and sunsets. He is the official photographer of the tour, and a vegan non alcohol consuming bloke, one of the four, is designated driver. Our German ex landscaper, ex now because he is paid and job finished to beyond our wildest dreams, and who lives over the road, planned the trip. GOOD people.

Mirizar, I don't think you have any complaints about gouache. The end product is wonderful and very pleasing to the eye.

Robert, the banjo painting is where the banjo is. Strumming the dust bunnies.:lol: Shame on me.

Doodle, you should check out Alex's previous posts.

Deborah ? Stop the temptations :lol:

Haven't got to the the people yet but a long crop across catching their heads seems to work. Two intent and one intent. For tomorrow ..

Deborah Secor
08-24-2013, 11:58 AM
Michelle, it's strongly graphic and I love the gesture of the movement. The effect of the next is excellent, too.

Alex, I want to sit and watch the sunset. Hope to catch something, too... :D Nice painting. "More strength?" Have you been sick?

Annie, I can't seem to scare up time to paint much either, but I'll keep the temptations coming. :lol: Sounds like Roger will have a blast! :)

Deborah Secor
08-24-2013, 01:37 PM
Not "next"-- it should have said "nest"! :rolleyes:

08-25-2013, 01:32 AM
Annie, Deborah, thank you.
Yes, Deborah, I had problems with my spine that involved many problems with arteries. Now I'm almost fine to paint again. :)

Another painting.



08-25-2013, 05:39 AM
Whatever ... Alex... :heart: Sounds horrible times past. Glad you are back painting. SO much talent. I love this one and the colours chosen :clap: :clap:

Deborah Secor
08-25-2013, 11:12 AM
Bravo, Alex, that you are better AND for this one... Love the brushwork, the lovely color harmony you've created, and especially the foreground bank. :clap:

08-25-2013, 12:21 PM
Did loads in gouache in July, not done so much this month. I have to get out one medium and put it away before I can start another due to limited spacve. I can only work around my chair area where I can reach.

I've had a bit of a haitus with a busy family-based month and a sort of 'brick wall' in my inspiration. Spent a little time finishing off things I'd started months ago.

So Sept, are we sticking to the same thread?

Alachua Artist
08-25-2013, 12:22 PM
Here is my contribution:


gouache triptych on handmade rice paper mounted to canvas: 12"x36" titled "Mesa Sunset"

I like the prickly pear cactus images and may use one of those as a challenge painting so that I'm following the forum "rules" :-)

08-25-2013, 12:44 PM
I did the flowers again with watercolour and posted it in the watercolour section
Here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19754868#post19754868)

08-25-2013, 12:49 PM
lovely work love the triptych Wendy

08-26-2013, 12:51 AM
Beautiful work Wendy :clap: :clap: :clap:

08-26-2013, 04:12 AM
Annie, Deborah, thank you.
Wendy, very pleasant impression from your triptych. Well done.

I badly missed my brushes and paints long time. :) The dam is broken through. :D Sorry.



08-26-2013, 05:10 AM
Light and sunshine Alex. :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

08-26-2013, 07:13 AM
Nice triptych Wendy welcome

lovely river scene Alex

Deborah Secor
08-26-2013, 02:07 PM
Wow, Wendy, it's spectacular! I love the design and the abstraction. The textural quality (at the size it's showing) makes it look almost like a batik.

Alex, the sunny flowers in gold and blue are so delightful. :D Yes, the dam is definitely broken, I think.

Lin, feel free to show anything you've done last month here... oh wait, I see your post from last month! My goodness, they are wonderful!!! Okay, I'm going to quote and post them on this thread for you. Too good not to share here!

Deborah Secor
08-26-2013, 02:08 PM
From Lin:

You asked to see my Gouache ATCs so here they are, I won't say who or where they went as a couple of folks haven't told me they've received yet.

All my references were from this year's holiday to Pembrokeshire in SW Wales with stunning coastal and clifftop views















Deborah Secor
08-26-2013, 02:10 PM
Also from Lin:

and the others...



This last one didn't want to post in the actual size format so I've had to post a raw version... It stretched the size but reducesd the pixels to an awful quality but the other one wasn't gonna play ball.


All 3.5" x 2.5" ATC size on watercolour card

LOVE these a lot Lin! They are fabulous! :heart:

08-26-2013, 05:07 PM
Wow, Wendy, it's spectacular! I love the design and the abstraction. The textural quality (at the size it's showing) makes it look almost like a batik.

Alex, the sunny flowers in gold and blue are so delightful. :D Yes, the dam is definitely broken, I think.

Lin, feel free to show anything you've done last month here... oh wait, I see your post from last month! My goodness, they are wonderful!!! Okay, I'm going to quote and post them on this thread for you. Too good not to share here!

:clap: Thank you.

08-27-2013, 06:56 AM
All good works folks.

I have been watching but unable to join in because invariably family comes and our studio becomes a dining room again. SWMBO has thought around it and we can now pursue this passion next to our computers. I did manage a CP of a narrow-boat put in the RIL by Oldrockchick, cropped and filpped. I haven't put it up as SWMBO reckons I didn't push the dark's enough. Here is one I started a long time ago in gouache - when the challenge was marine influence? Yes ages ago :lol:. Well I finished it today. It's on fibre-board which has been gessoed. It is A4 W&N designer gouache.


08-28-2013, 01:53 AM
Great ATC serie Lin bravo
Nicecly done boat Jim Imho you shoud push the shadow below it

08-28-2013, 03:12 AM



08-28-2013, 04:54 AM
Jim, ground the boat itch a shadow, as Robert says.

Alex, that not desolate. It's beautiful. :thumbsup:

Lin, thank heavens Deborah has more prescence of mind than I.Thanks Deb and Lin, they are all beautiful :clap: :clap:

08-28-2013, 12:19 PM
All good works folks.

I have been watching but unable to join in because invariably family comes and our studio becomes a dining room again. SWMBO has thought around it and we can now pursue this passion next to our computers. I did manage a CP of a narrow-boat put in the RIL by Oldrockchick, cropped and filpped. I haven't put it up as SWMBO reckons I didn't push the dark's enough. Here is one I started a long time ago in gouache - when the challenge was marine influence? Yes ages ago :lol:. Well I finished it today. It's on fibre-board which has been gessoed. It is A4 W&N designer gouache.


Love the gouache boat....great texture on the sand.

I'd love to see the Cp of the narrowboat, let me know when you do post it :D up....

08-28-2013, 12:20 PM
nice one Alex
Thank you Annie

When I was at the Anniversary Reenactment for the Battle of Bosworthm, there was an artist there called Graham Turner. He painted mediaeval battle scenes in various media, but he also used Gouache for many of them and we had a lovely chat about the wonders of gouache.


I typed gouache into the search on his site and got all these


I've seen quite a few of his gouache pieces in the exhibition.

08-30-2013, 02:33 AM
Lovely ATC's Lin. It is surprising the amount of detail possible in images that small. Thank you for the comment on my boat. I wont be putting up the CP attempt of the NB because I don't really think it's good enough for exposure here Ė that is it's not my preferred standard of work, and I can't make it so.:o

Nice triptych and site Wendy and welcome to gouache corner.

Hi Alex and the flower looks good. I am no gardener so please don't expect me to name it :lol:.
I like the 'desolate' house, and agree with Annie, it's beautiful.

Robert and Annie, thanks for the comment on the boat. There was very little shadow to speak of but I suppose I could have made some.

Deborah Secor
08-30-2013, 12:00 PM
Jim, I like the composition of your boat painting. It has nice divisions of space with the sky, water and beach, making the depth work well, in a very abstract way. The boat has some really complex shapes that make it fascinating. I like the white against the textured sand--very striking--and the addition of the black and the bright colors just pops it even more. I think this is a great finish! :clap:

Alex, 'Desolate", meaning deserted, isolated or uninhabited, doesn't quite describe your painting to me. It seems quiet and maybe a little neglected, but it's a lovely spot. I like the colors a lot. Nice piece. :)

08-31-2013, 11:37 PM
Annie, Lin, Jim, Deborah, thank you.

This is a new one:



Deborah Secor
09-01-2013, 11:01 AM
Alex, this one is your best to date...! LOVE the composition.

09-02-2013, 12:45 PM
Hi, I've been out of the loop with you guys and just had to drop in and say Aloha.

Alex, love, love this, ditto to Deborah's comment.

09-02-2013, 04:48 PM
WOW...what a GREAT group of works here; so much talent in this thread. I love them all; makes me want to dig out my gouache and have another go. ;_

09-04-2013, 03:52 AM
I agree that this really is a good piece of work Alex. A lovely image.:thumbsup:

Deborah Secor
09-04-2013, 06:06 PM
Hey, good to see you, Ral. :wave: Hope you come play with us again sometime...

You, too, Darla! :wave:

I found an hour to paint on Sunday, but didn't get the shot until today. I decided on a photo I had on hand.

Anvil, 2.5" x 3.5" on Bristol vellum

Fun ot get the brushes wet again!!!

09-04-2013, 10:49 PM
I've been wanting to try gouache for awhile now...thinking I could use it to paint in a more painterly fashion and not have to plan so much to preserve the lights as with transparent watercolor. I signed up for Leslie Saeta's (Artists Helping Artists podcast host) September Challenge to do 30 paintings in 30 days as it is a good opportunity to give gouache a go in painting some landscapes (among other things).

Here are my first four entries...I'm still on the fence about gouache. I like it, but then again, I don't. I'm persevering for 30 paintings however because my current opinion is probably based more on my unfamiliarity than anything. Darn learning curve!

This is a scene straight out of imagination (sorta inspired by video gaming environment art).
4" x 4" on hardboard


Images inspired by a recent drive on Skyline Drive in Virginia.
4" x 6" on hardboard



And finally this rhododendron, which I am least pleased with. I struggle with blending because the paint dries so fast.
6" x 4" on hardboard


So, should be interesting to see what my feelings about gouache are by the end of 30 days!

09-05-2013, 01:20 AM
Very nice painting Alex I like the low perspective
Nice sunny clors Deborah

Welcome back Ral

Carole those four are very good love how you did the rees in the third one Rhodo is beautiful too I bet you gonna be a master before the end of the month

Deborah Secor
09-05-2013, 10:49 AM
Carole, they are quite nice paintings! Glad you've joined us. I also like the foggy tree painting a lot, and the rhododendron is lovely. I see a bit of that learning curve already, in just these four, I think. :D

As to drying so fast, part of it is the use of the hardboard, which keeps all the paint on top of the surface and let's it dry quickly. In your exploration I hope you'll try different papers. I use watercolor papers, Pastelmat, Bristol vellum, even printing papers occasionally. (On my blog you can see some step-by-steps on various surfaces, if you're interested.)

Keep going! I enjoy seeing your work.

09-05-2013, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the pointers, Deborah...I will check out your blog.

Can watercolor blending medium be used with gouache? W&N's web site suggests so but I wonder how it affects the paint opacity. I'm having fun experimenting. I just gessoed several small hardboard panels using a sponge which gives the gesso a cold press like texture. Now, I realize one of the appeals of gouache is its smoothness ... but that's for the illustrators :) In more representational art that texture might offer some fun results. I'm also wondering how working on prewetted 300 lb wc paper will affect things. And last but not least, just ordered some watercolor ground and am curious to see how THAT affects stuff. With transparent watercolors, I feel somewhat compelled to stay "true" to the medium but this 30 in 30 challenge is a fun reason to dig in and try all kinds of stuff with gouache.

Deborah Secor
09-05-2013, 11:30 AM
I've never used the medium you mentioned... Anyone else??? However, you can make gouache behave pretty much just like watercolor by diluting the mixture, or make it more like acrylics by using a thick ratio of paint to water. The habit of lifting color from beneath is a mixed blessing and a curse, but you can really use it for a lot of effects. Textures can be easily achieved by using different brushwork effects, like a dry brush, stippling, that special 'crazy' brush that makes a wild stroke, etc., but also from the paper beneath. Be careful not to make the paint too thick, especially on a bendable surface, because it can crack and craze. It's not as much of risk on hardboard.

I actually like working on an absorbent paper. Pastelmat is very toothy and soft. One of the demos is on it, I think. I use Arches 300 lb a lot, as well as the hard Bristol, for very different effects. Also try black papers. I like Somerset Black Velvet a lot.

Have fun!

09-05-2013, 06:06 PM
hilex - nice & wispy and airy

Deborah - beautiful ATC looks hot. I discovered gouache is great for ATCs

Brindle - oooh you have been so busy. good solid background and contrast on the flower. The tree lined road looks really misty and ethereal and goes off into the mountain scene. The one from your imagination is like a portal to another world.

I can't wait to get my gouache out again now. I've been working on a long drawn out CP piece, I need a rest. Thing is once I get something out I have to use it for a few days as I don't have space to work in more than one medium at a time.

I've been making the most of the weather and getting out and about. i'm stocking up on refs to keep me through the winter.

We went to a huge Country estate today with a huge mansion and stable block, walled garden and roaming deer.

09-05-2013, 06:21 PM
Carole I have used 'prewetted' Hahnemule 300gsm watercolour paper and thin gouache with good effect. I used it for this....


I found it pleasant to use and it got the effect I was after.

I wetted the area I was to work on and dropped in the colour as I would watercolour.

09-06-2013, 09:25 AM
Ooooh, Lin! Between you and Deborah, I see a lot more opportunities/ways to use gouache. Thanks!

Here is a piece I did yesterday plein air while sitting in my front yard. I was trying to be a bit more painterly with my brushstrokes. Atmospheric perspective and texture scale are big challenges for me in these little paintings but practice makes perfect as they say. This rock sits across the road from my house and the foxes sometimes sit on it to survey mouse populations.

The Fox's Rock, 4" x 6" on hardboard:


09-07-2013, 02:08 AM
Deborah, another excellent landscape. :)
Carole, I like your gouaches very much. Especially the foggy road. :thumbsup:
Lin, you did an impressive painting of the mask. :clap:

Here is my next painting.



09-07-2013, 04:36 AM
Alex, a wonder.:clap: or two :thumbsup:

Deborah big sky lands are good :thumbsup:

Carole I'm gobsmacked at your art. Keep it going.

Lin, that is the BEST :clap:

Robert :wave: My Persian fluffy cat Bo with tick paralysis early this week has come back home today as a shorn Siamese with attitude. They even did his tail!!! GOOD thing.

09-07-2013, 05:16 PM
Annie, thank you. :heart:


09-08-2013, 12:56 PM
So nice to see all the work here, after our summer 'holiday'!

Alex, great that you are back, and in very good form, too!

Nice to see your work again, Deborah, are you all settled in? :)

And I am enjoying your adventures with gouache, Carole, I am sure you will get there very quickly, it is certainly a different animal to handle than transparent watercolour which you are so expert at.

Loved your tiny paintings, Lin from your holiday!

I like your boat, Jim and it gave me some ideas for an image that I took many years ago....thanks!

I hope you don't mind that I am sort of hijacking the topic for this month, but I thought you might be interested. I have been taking Ken Vloothuis' online course using the Zorn palette, and have been working in gouache. Although it handles differently than the oils he is using, I have learned a lot, mentally at least, doesn't often come out at the end of the brush! The first one I did was not too difficult, as no blues or greens were required, being small I did not do all the detail that Ken got in.

Zorn palette, ivory black, titanium white, vermillion, yellow ochre light, 7x8.5 inches, the basilica in Venice.


The next two were landscapes, and I had a miserable time, couldn't mix well and just tore them up!

Here's the one from yesterday. It is not really finished, yet I really like it at this stage, and hesitate to mess it up with detail.

Modified Zorn palette, ivory black, titanium white, vermillion, yellow ochre light, with viridian, lemon yellow and a blue (Prussian) to expand the basic four. The sky is showing more blue than it should, we scumbled with white over the blended pastel colours. Many of the greens are just ivory black and yellow ochre pale. 5.5x8.5 inches.


His thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1326029)has the submissions from many students over the last 4 weeks if you are interested in seeing more.

09-08-2013, 01:16 PM
Alex: LOVE those warm colors and that purple shadow contrasting against the orange red on that one leaf!

Lyn: That "unfinished" landscape looks fantastic to me; I wouldn't touch it!

I'm getting a better feel for using light as an accent and not overdoing it, as well as painting in a more impressionistic way which is really what I'm after. I think my 7th painting for the 30 in 30 challenge demonstrates this; it's my favorite so far.

"Morning Crepes"
4" x 6" on hardboard


09-09-2013, 04:18 AM
Lyn, thank you. I'm impressed with your using zorn palette. I always wonder how he could convey all colors by four paints. Your basilica is very nice. :heart:

Carole, thank you. I like your "Morning Crepes". Particularly dark pink-purple touches on the flowers. Well done. :heart:

A new painting:



09-09-2013, 04:45 AM
salt elegantly spilled Alex.

Lynn, I agree with Carole. Your landscape is dreamy and I wouldn't touch it again.

Carole, all I can say is AHHHH :heart:

09-09-2013, 11:04 AM
Thanks, Carole, Alex and Annie. After looking at it for a day I think I will add just a couple more hard edges to direct the eye, but that's all. Doing this has opened my eyes to a different way of working :D

Yes, better light effects Carole, and clear colour, excellent!

I like the salt cellar Alex, did you throw some over your shoulder? ;) I was amazed at some of the paintings the other students got out of the Zorn palette, this one (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=19751310&postcount=40)especially was impressive. There are some pretty experienced artists in this course. She just did that for practice :eek:

09-09-2013, 11:06 AM
Love all the paintings , Lynn,Looking good so far --- are we going to see the finished version?

Alex you seem to be settling in with gouache quite comfortably these days .

Carole I really like your last painting of flowers very much

09-09-2013, 11:38 AM
Thanks, Les, definitely, if I change it I'll post again. It has given me new ideas about painting landscape, and I want to work on my own images.

09-09-2013, 03:06 PM
thanks for comments re my mask painting...and Lynn re the ATCs

Brindle - I like your plein air - well done, the photo isn't too clear but I get the general idea. Lovely movement in the flowers

Alex - Lovely use of orange in the flowers. It is good to see orange, it is much underused. Love the salt & pepper.

Doppler - poor :cat: gone bald. My cat's brother is called Bo. Haven't seen him for ages he's got long black hair. My cat Dave had a bad allergic reaction to some sort of superflea and kept pulling all his hair out. We had to take him to the vets for anti-histamine jabs and antibiotics where he'd made himself sore.

Lynn - IT is good to experiment and using a limited palette is a good challenge. The building was certainly a push too. Well done. I knew about the ivory black/yellows = green. It is the lack of blue that I find hard with the Zorn.

Deborah Secor
09-10-2013, 01:08 PM
Gosh, get busy for a few days and WHAM! Lookit this explosion of artwork!! I'm so glad to see these paintings.

Carole, The Fox's Rock is good! Isn't it fun to paint what you see everyday? I like the slope you created and those touches of blue in the rock are great.

Alex, the orange leaves are just gorgeous. Such a bright glow! :thumbsup:

Lynn, glad you're here! The Zorn palette paintings are interesting. I like the buildings--very graphic and decorative. The landscape is sweet! I'm settled now, and painting a little, though I have a lot of writing deadlines these days (happily.)

Carole, love the title of this one, "Morning Crepes"! :lol: Nice painting, too. The strong contrasting light is stunning, and the colors are a delight. :D

Alex, you're on a painting roll! The glasssiness of the salt shaker is particularly terrific and I love your background colors.

Annie, I sputtered my morning coffee over your description of your cat. I'd literally run from a Siamese with attitude...

Ah, that's what I love about this corner of WC: Zorn palettes and shorn Persians. (I want to see a painting of that, Annie!)

09-10-2013, 02:02 PM
Thanks, Lin and Deborah, I certainly learned a lot, sort of in spite of how frustrated I got, or perhaps because of!

That's good, about the deadlines, Deborah, will certainly keep you out of trouble :)

It did depend on which brand of ivory black, though, Lin, some people had an even more frustrating time than I did, as they simply couldn't get the right mix. Ken was using Winsor Newton in oil, and I was too, in the gouache.

09-11-2013, 12:05 PM
Wow, I've only had time to quickly peek in here lately but I see I've missed a lot of fabulous work!

I haven't even had the paints out until just recently as I've been so busy with other matters. However, I did paint this poinsettia very quickly the other day and thought I'd post just to show I'm still interested in gouache! It's on 140# wc paper.

Brindle, I have used the Golden absorbent ground on hardboard with gouache and like it ok but think regular gesso is about the same. I'm told the Daniel Smith watercolor ground is better but I haven't tried it. Which were you thinking of using? If you try it, please let us know how you like it.


09-11-2013, 12:32 PM
Good to see you here ABA and your lovely poinsettia.

I used a Daniel Smith ground sort of accidentally. I'm working on another of my mask pieces. I bought a Trial set of Golden Grounds. The one that most attracted me was the crackle gel. I thought this would be great for my mask and after it crackled I could go over with a wash and fill up the cracks. So I opened the pot and the contents were rock solid. Like set plaster of paris. I stuck in a palette knife and it stood up straight. So I thought, maybe it could be 'revived' with some water. So I added a little and stirred it in. It went like tile grout. I couldn't paint it on with a brush. I used a knife to apply and then went over with a wet brush to flatten it, then waited for it to dry..... and waited......and waited...... and waited some more..... It was dry, but nothing happened whatsoever. I'd applied it in varied thicknesses as it said on the pack to add thickly for large cracks and thinly for small ones so I added to suit the form I wanted. I just got a surface that felt slightly rough, a little like colourfix pastel ground...not a crack in sight!

So having spread it onto my piece, I didn't want to throw away my painting so continued. As I wet the area to apply the layers of gouache I got a quite odd reaction. It spread out in little sharp areas as if I was painting with very thin watercolour on coarse sand paper. I had to apply several glazes and did get a very good blending and loved the way the colours worked into each other although the whites needed top coats as they seemed to 'sink in'.
So I'm thinking a label mix up? In which case, what happens if I'm trying to use a pastel or watercolour ground and end up with crackle gel. So.... any ideas.....Was it defective crackle gel or a label mix up? Any one used any that could advise? Is it supposed to be solid? Was I wrong to add water?

Here it is - The bit that I applied the crackle to is the face inc the nose but no lips (not eye mask or feathers)


09-11-2013, 12:53 PM
I have some watercolor ground (which is recommended to be applied over gesso) to try; haven't done it yet.

Lin: I had some crackle medium for acrylics...it is a fairly thin syrup consistency. It is designed to be painted on top of an existing layer of dry paint, then you paint another color over and that causes the medium to contract to produce the crackling effect. It worked pretty well. I'm thinking you got a very old/compromised, or wrongly labeled product.

09-11-2013, 06:45 PM
Thanks Brindle - this certainly was nothing like that! I applied it over a light coat of watercolour. I then applied colours on top - more than one layer.
Definatley said crackle paste on the tub. i'm wondering what on earth are in the other tubs now. Guess I'll have to try them all before using them.

09-14-2013, 03:50 AM
ABA, nice plant. :thumbsup:

A new painting:



09-14-2013, 08:58 AM
Lovely poinsettia, ABA!

You had a very frustrating time with that, Lin, must have been some sort of mix up with the mediums.

Lovely shapes there, Alex, and nice colour too!

09-15-2013, 01:25 AM
Lynn, thank you. :heart:

A new one:



09-15-2013, 02:46 AM
Back after losing my subscription to this thread :rolleyes:

There are some wonderful gouache works being posted these days.

Alex - you go from strength to strength, soon be time for those marvellous winter tones.

Beautiful Poinsettia ABA.

Is that you Lin?


09-15-2013, 02:50 AM
Thank you, Doug. Yep, looking forward to paint snow landscapes. :)


09-15-2013, 09:48 AM
Lin, your mask paintings are super & I can't wait to see the finish on this one. Too bad your medium wasn't as expected.
Alex, Alex, Alex! You are so prolific yet each painting is just wonderful. Would really like to see how you paint your snow as it seems so difficult in gouache.
Have gotten busy with things other than art again - hate how they just creep in and take over but will try to make time for more painting.


Shirl Parker
09-16-2013, 09:45 AM
ABA, nice plant. :thumbsup:

A new painting:


You've done a wonderful job of giving this painting dimension. It's almost 3d.

09-16-2013, 04:37 PM
Thank you, ABA and Shirl.


09-16-2013, 06:04 PM
Back after losing my subscription to this thread :rolleyes:

There are some wonderful gouache works being posted these days.

Alex - you go from strength to strength, soon be time for those marvellous winter tones.

Beautiful Poinsettia ABA.

Is that you Lin?


Is what me Doug? The mask ? No that's a full face mask. I do have some half masks that I've modelled for future works. I wore the half mask and draped scarves over my face. I plan to do something with those eventually.
I've not been too well so unable to paint the last few days. I couldn't do anything. I spent last night just sharpening pencils. Then today I could barely more my arm. Hoping to get mask done soon.

09-16-2013, 06:07 PM
Hope you re feeling better soon Lin :heart:


09-19-2013, 03:12 AM
A new painting:



09-19-2013, 03:42 AM
Wonderful! :clap:

The yellow just vibrates against that background Alex.


09-19-2013, 03:45 AM
Doug, thank you.


09-19-2013, 04:36 AM
Doug is repeating himself Alex. :lol:

I really love this one. LOTS of movement and colour. Your pots and ? Sunflowers or Jerusalem artichokes, were totally brilliant too.

Lin, your mask is great.

My talking heads needs attention this weekend.

Deborah Secor
09-19-2013, 11:08 AM
Totally tied in knots over articles I have to finish, plus two jobs...I'm watching the thread :clap: :clap: but hardly have time to think right now! Forgive my absence. Deadlines await me...gotta run!

09-19-2013, 11:21 AM
Thanks Doug. Alas recovery is not on the cards, just management. The weather and seasonal changes affect me, but the sun has promised to come out this weekend! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Alex lovely and cheerful flowers.

Have paused my maks ask I'm needing to order some Quin gold (or similar)

09-19-2013, 04:23 PM
I love your yellow flowers, Alex, so cheerful here as the days start to get longer. The blue-grey background in the second is just perfect for those beauties!

Sound like you have taken on a lot, Deborah :)

Sun is good, Lin, I need it too!

09-21-2013, 10:16 PM
Annie, Lin, Lynn, thank you.

A fall theme:



09-22-2013, 04:33 AM
great berries Alex.:thumbsup:

No attention paid to the paint today. digging holes.

09-22-2013, 02:05 PM
are those rose hips Alex
Lovely rendition.

09-22-2013, 05:00 PM
Annie, thank you.
Lin, yes, exactly. Thank you.


09-22-2013, 05:02 PM
Pretty good rose hips Alex.

09-23-2013, 02:35 AM
Thank you, Les.

Another painting. "Warm petals".



09-23-2013, 10:04 AM
:clap: :clap:

Man Alex you are a going concern you are just churning them out and all beautifully done which makes me feel ashamed but I seem to be going through a period where am not doing enough painting to get in the groove as it were . Been away on holiday but it turned cold so came back . The trees are just starting to change for the Autumn to the nice rich reds and yellows , and probably in a couple of weeks it will be full blown colours by then. At present the browns are rusty browns and the yellows are a pale green , of coarse the evergreens are their usual dark greens which stand out . Quite few Hawks are flying around looking for food although I did see one eagle hanging around. I will take a picture later later today to show the colours .

Les :wave: :wave:

09-23-2013, 01:42 PM
I have not been here for a few month as I was experimenting with different media
Recently I finished two paintings of New Foundlanddogs on a wooden shoe
As I am a Dutch woman I wanted to use a typical Dutch wooden shoe
I have made the paintings using watercolors as colorbasis and gouache to make it opaque
After the painting was done I put a few layers of outside colorless varnish on the shoe as you can see by the mild shining on the wooden shoe with the brown Newfy

Meet my Newfy's

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2013/965243-Newfy_bruinkklein.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2013/965243-Newfy_zwartklein.jpg

09-23-2013, 04:29 PM
Love the autumn flowers Alex.

The sabots look really good Margareth, very creative.


09-24-2013, 03:49 AM
SO good Margareth :lol: :lol: :lol: :thumbsup: If they were here I'd buy them, so long as one foot had a cat and the other a dog. Good excuse for falling :heart:

09-24-2013, 05:14 AM
Les, everything is not so simple :D You are poetically pushing forth all that you see around you. I'm looking forward to see all this made with paints on paper. :)

Doug, thank you.

Margareth, very nice shoes. It's always been interesting to me how cosy they should be? :)

Returning to landscapes:



09-24-2013, 05:51 AM
Ah! Montana!, that's lovely Alex.


09-24-2013, 06:12 AM
Thank you, Doug


Deborah Secor
09-24-2013, 01:52 PM
I'm way too far behind to catch up now, but it's fun seeing all the new work here.

Alex, you're prolific! Love them all. It's looking like the Alex show around here. Thanks!

The shoes are fun, Magareth.

Is that the end of the month I see up ahead? Yikes!

09-24-2013, 04:09 PM
Thank you, Deborah. Sometimes I feel myself confused about this "looking like". I'd prefer to see other's paintings more. :D


09-24-2013, 07:05 PM
Thanks Doug, Annie, Alex and Deborah

Alex, There are a lot of people who still wear them, especially in the garden but they wear socks to make it comfortable. I don't like to wear them because I like my shoes to be more flexible

09-25-2013, 02:34 AM
Margareth, thank you for the explanation. It was very interesting.


Deborah Secor
09-25-2013, 11:12 AM
Alex, I think it's wonderful to have you post all your lovely paintings here. It's inspiring to see the variety of your work!

09-26-2013, 04:18 AM
Alex, you are doing beautiful and prolific work.

Next month I shall be hosting the Corner, and must put my spectacular nonproductiveness behind.

Any ideas? Photos are welcome. :thumbsup: Otherwise it is a my lottery :angel: :lol::eek: :)

09-26-2013, 04:21 AM
See my art class picture for today in Palette Talk Annie. I might get into gouache again.


09-26-2013, 01:26 PM
what a great idea Margareth. I love clogs too. I have a pair, but mine are leather.

Alex gosh you busy bee. A lovely landscape too. So 'airy'

09-26-2013, 01:43 PM
Alex, it's so good to see your wonderful paintings.

Margareth, the shoes look great - I'm not sure I could walk in them though. Who would want to mess up those lovely paintings anyway!

Go for whatever trips your trigger for next month, Annie. Life has been a whirlwind but I'll try to get some gouache painting in!