View Full Version : Rose-breasted Grosbeak-Newbee

04-27-2007, 08:41 PM
Hi, Finally spent all day playing with this little guy. This is my second attempt and I love this medium. I have so much to learn and thanks to this group I've already received alot of help on my last thread.

Since I am just learning this medium and have been painting for less then a year with acrylics I would like your opion on this painting. Please do not be gentle. The only way one can learn is through someone else eyes and their learning experiences.

Thanks so very much.


04-28-2007, 02:37 PM
Hi, this is Scottjr again. Another way to work with guoache is to use it in a way like egg tempera, using a hatching technique. This requires a very good konlinsky sable watercolor brush which has a full belly and holds a fine point. Given your subject matter, this way might be useful.

04-28-2007, 02:59 PM
Hi Scott,

Is their any information on this "like egg tempera, using a hatching technique." that I could read about? I know what hatching is but never heared of a brush by that name before. Thanks, Yvette

Old Tex
04-28-2007, 08:56 PM
Well, Yvette, I think you're going to do fine. The fact that you've been painting already will be a big help. It's just a case of working with the medium and learning what you can do with it. This is a great start!

04-28-2007, 09:37 PM
Thank you Old Tex for the encouragement. Maybe you could give me advice on what I may have done differently on this piece. I think I handled it too much like acrylic.

Thanks for your respond.


Old Tex
04-28-2007, 10:29 PM
My suggestion would be not to try to work with too much detail on a subject like this, especially as you feel out the medium. A suggestion of feathers on the breast would have been sufficient, and focus more on the shading of the form itself. I'd say the same for the branches. It's not necessary to render every inch of each branch, and the light wouldn't be exactly the same the entire length. Simplification is something I struggle with in my own paintings, so I'm definitely no expert here. One other thing that does bother me is that little twig behind the bird. It sort of appears to be coming out of his backside rather than off the branch.

04-29-2007, 08:21 AM
Hi Old Tex,

I think that I will try to render him again in the next few days with your suggestions. I went back and looked at him and your right about that branch seems to be coming out of his back. I have a feeling that gouache is more about shadows and lighting that details. I'll put him on when I'm done trying your suggestions. Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it. Its the only way that I am going to learn this. I love the look and softness of gouache. The color's are beautiful. I wish their were more books written on the subject.

Thank you,


04-30-2007, 08:18 AM

I think this is very well done for one of your first tries at gouache. You do well with texture - I like the lighter areas (they look blue) in the black feathers, and the texture of the branch. Gouache is well suited for texture, and like Scott says, cross-hatching is a useful tool in this medium. Ironically, I just blogged about cross-hatching in gouache - see the link to my blog in my signature. I show a couple examples.

I agree with Ralph about focusing on form rather than detail, but I find that hard to do myself. I think gouache takes more planning than the more common mediums, because of the "mud" factor in reworking. That fact makes it hard for me to focus on form and get enough detail without a lot of planning.

Perhaps you could try a more "impressionistic" approach, with less detail? It's something I've been meaning to try. I think gouache would be well suited to that.

Anyway, good job, and welcome, and I can't wait to see your next painting!


04-30-2007, 11:12 AM
Hi Meg,

Thank you for liking texture on this painting. I've been trying to soften my skills. What you see in the black is a dark blue underpaint. I like the softness of gouache and have used it in the past over acrylic to add a brighter color on my birds. I'm working at it with gouache and want to learn. Its too bad that there isn't much writen on gouache.

Anyway, thanks for your input and I love the way that you paint.