View Full Version : Gouache Grandpa

01-03-2007, 08:39 PM
Hi everyone, just got back from delivering this to my grandma. It's a portrait of my grandpa, who passed away about 5 years ago.


This is my first color portrait, and it sure taught me some lessons about using gouache. I already have a list of things I'd do differently, but all C&C welcome!


01-04-2007, 02:22 PM
Ooooh, :thumbsup:
I bet your grandma was pleased to receive such a lovely painting!

So tell us (or me :D ), what did you learn about working with gouache and what would you do differently the next time? *curious minds want to know*

01-04-2007, 03:00 PM
What a marvellous painting and a such a wonderful gift. Yes please, more details, size, support, technique etc.

01-04-2007, 06:05 PM
Thank you both for looking! I love sharing tips and tricks with other people in this forum, since there is so little information about gouache techniques out there.

The details: it's on Crescent illo board, 15x20", on a fairly thin backing. It curled up when I applied the background wash. :rolleyes: The technique I tried was a mix of what I've learned about portraiture color choices and opaque tiling. A few things I would do differently: make the forehead a better color (it's an unpleasant yellow), make the shadow-to-light transition on the forehead smoother, and soften a lot of the tiles. I attempted to soften the tiles with a damp brush after they were dry, but I just kept lifting paint, so everything looks sort of paint-by-numbers.

I have a step-by-step process on my blog (link (http://kolyma.blogspot.com/)) that I'm still working on. I took photos of each step along the way that I'll post to the blog this weekend.

I'd be happy to answer any questions... and I'd love to hear suggestions from anyone!


Richard Saylor
01-04-2007, 11:14 PM
Good one, Meg! There's a lot of personality in that face.


01-05-2007, 12:38 PM
I've not heard of "opaque tiling" - would be interested to learn more.

01-05-2007, 05:24 PM
Richard - thanks! I had a great subject.

Sonia - the little I know about tiling I found on a ConceptArt.org post by "fredflickstone," who does amazing things with gouache. It wasn't much info, but essentially it means breaking the painting up in to clean-edged areas of opaque color. I suppose it could be called paint-by-numbers, except you get to decide where the edges are and how many different colors to use. I did this in the face, with absolutely no blending on the paper. It's a different style, but I sort of like it. Not sure Grandma likes it, though. ;)


01-07-2007, 06:55 PM
Thanks for the link Meg. I think I get the gist of it now.