View Full Version : Belle the Beagle - gouache

02-28-2007, 04:41 PM
Ralph tagged me... so here's my latest gouache endeavor. ;)

It's a quick one I did this weekend. Our family dog was put to sleep a couple weeks ago. My dad liked her a whole lot, and his birthday is coming up, so this will be his present.


It's my first work on Arches cotton cold-press, 9x12". I think this paper is wonderful for gouache... I toned it several months ago, and the paper held the toning very well while I was working over the top. I didn't do much scrubbing, but where I did, the paper handled it fine. It did warp, but then again, I didn't stretch it. :D

I'm happy with how it turned out, since it's the first painting I've done without drawing first - just laid down the paint. I'd been afraid to do that with gouache since it doesn't rework too well. I don't like the composition much, but I had a crappy photo to work from, and didn't do any planning. Please let me know what I could do to improve!


Old Tex
02-28-2007, 05:08 PM
What a great picture! The expression in those eyes is perfect. I like the color and the lighting. I've never used much blue (have no idea why), so I'm trying to learn to use it in shadow areas, and to show form, like you have here. And I don't know why you keep worrying about streaks. This background looks really soft, which is perfect for this lovable old girl. I really like it.

You're dad is going to love it!

02-28-2007, 08:49 PM
that's really nice. Makes me all teary eyed.

02-28-2007, 09:10 PM
Meg, what a sweet face! I'm sure your dad will love it. I also love gouache on watercolor paper, and paint on watercolor blocks quite a bit. You may want to mount and mat it to stop it from flexing, since gouache is a brittle medium and can crack on paper if the paper gets bent a little now and then.


03-01-2007, 10:30 AM
Thanks so much, everyone.

Ralph - I knew if I got the eyes right, the rest wouldn't matter so much. :rolleyes: I love blue, so I use it all the time. Probably too much. My gouache palette includes 2 colors of each hue... and 5 tubes of different blues. As for streaks - you're right, this one isn't too bad. I think the toning helped.

andymathis - Thanks so much for your comment. It's touching to know her sweet old face can evoke emotion even in people that didn't know her. :heart:

Jamie - Thank you! I've never stretched paper, but I really should start. I was planning to stuff this between pieces of cardboard and mail it to my dad like that, and let him pick a frame. I think he'll have it matted at least. The paper's already as hard as a rock, though... and looks like the surface of a stormy ocean. :o


03-01-2007, 12:22 PM
You've achieved such a telling expression on her face. If you're still not happy with the composition, you could close crop to the face. Either way, I'm sure your dad will love it.