View Full Version : Weekly Gouache/Casein/Tempera sketch

maggie latham
06-24-2007, 08:02 AM

This is the format of the weekly pastel sketch in pastel talk where I hang out and post most of the time. Is any one interested in doing a thread like this (or hosting it) every week in the gouache forum? What do the gouache moderators think? This is copied form the pastel sketch forum:

The Weekly Pastel Sketch thread is for ALL pastelists who use soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, or pastel pencils. This thread is for ALL skill levels.

The idea is to fit some sketching time into your week by completing a sketch in one hour or less. You can sketch anything, whether it be from life or photos. I have personaly found it useful to use a kitchen timer.

You can sketch for 5 minutes, or up to an hour, it’s up to you. It's a good idea to time your sketch, keeping it within 60 minutes. You know how time flies when you’re creating! So, get your pastels out, set a timer, and when your time is up, please post your sketches here and share your efforts with us!

Any one want to get this going?:angel:

06-24-2007, 11:19 PM
Hi Maggie, thanks for your idea.

My first response was "how could I?" Because of my health, I only have an hour or two to paint, and lying down at that. So I think I should focus on my goals. Plus I'm afraid of showing how bad I can be.

Then in the afternoon, I did a color/brush/paper study for my very first dog portrait commission. It took an hour. It was messy and fast and I mostly learned what I don't like and what doesn't work. Sometimes I want to give up on gouache and stick with the transparent watercolors. But more than anything, I want to learn and make it work.

So I'm going to be the first to post my sketch!


around 8x10 gouache


maggie latham
06-25-2007, 07:12 AM
:wave: Hello,
Can one of the moderators (or somebody who knows how) move seleeni’s work to a new thread for the start of our weekly gouache/casein/tempera sketch thread, please?
Can any one tell me how we (I don’t mind if no one else wants to do it) can host this every week, and what is required, please?

maggie latham
06-25-2007, 07:16 AM
OOPS! did not mean to send that three times....

06-25-2007, 08:28 AM
Maggie, great idea! I'm all for it. I think this would be a great way for everyone to learn, because like Selene said, we're all a bit afraid of showing how bad we can be. ;)

What better way to learn than to see what you can do in an hour, and get honest feedback on it? This will be awesome.

I like the idea that one person is the person who starts the thread each week. We could post whatever we sketched that week... and/or we could all submit ref photos to the person in charge, who would pick two or three photos for us to choose from for that week.

Selene, thanks for posting. It's neat to see how you use shape and value to prepare for a painting. I can't see the dog in it yet, but it works well as an abstract by itself!


Old Tex
06-25-2007, 01:31 PM
Well, there are not very many of us, so it might get some "lurkers" to take a shot. I'm afraid I won't commit to hosting, but I'm willing to spend the hour a week. I don't think any one person needs to start it each week, because everybody's schedules are different. If it could just be an open, ongoing thing that we just post to once a week, I'd take a shot at it. I'm not into formality here, so if we can keep it casual, I'm willing.

maggie latham
06-26-2007, 10:12 AM
Hello everyone,

After realizing that the guides and moderaters were away on this site, I think it would be polite to wait at least until Jane gets back to set this weekly sketch/paint thread up properly. As Selene has already posted something, I am going ahead with something of mine. By the way Selene…good for you to do something in an hour and posting it first, even when at first you didn't think you could. I love the colors and think the composition would be great developed further into a more detailed painting. Go for It!

I used a lot of water, white, peacock blue, sky blue, and brilliant violet, bengal rose. All gouache, on 140lb Arches paper. The washes take more time to dry than to paint, so I ended up a little over an hour, and used a hairdryer!



The top one is still on the pad, the second cropped.

Mary Woodul
06-26-2007, 10:24 AM
This is really very beautiful! It makes me want to try out this technique.

maggie latham
06-26-2007, 02:45 PM
Hi Mary,
Thank you for your nice comment. Maybe one of these days I’ll post a work in progress of one of these. Usually I would have put some more washes on and muted the colors down a bit…they are a bit too fluorescent for me like this, but I guess that is the whole objective about keeping to one hour, so that we don’t fall into familiar traps. I only used these colors because they were left out from before and I was too lazy to root around for different ones!

Old Tex
06-27-2007, 09:06 AM
Really nice, Maggie! I may wait until the weekend to do one. I've got a couple of landscapes that I'm struggling with at the moment. I actually really like the strong colors in this.

06-27-2007, 07:53 PM
Beautiful colors, Maggie! Great composition, too.

I'll try to do one this weekend.

06-29-2007, 12:22 PM
Thanks for plunging in Maggi. I can see a little more here the different passages of transparent vs. opaque effects. Beautiful. I'm learning a lot from you.

I'll try another 1 hour painting in the next week.


Old Tex
06-30-2007, 10:40 AM
I'm not sure this was a full hour, but it's close. I did it between 5:30 and 6:30 this morning (fell asleep early last night and was wide awake at 4am... one of the evils of age is the inability to sleep in anymore.) Made coffee, did a little studying, then worked for awhile on an 11x14 that I'm struggling with. Found myself casting about for something else to do, and decided to just throw some paint on some board. This is the better of two.

I believe I owe Maggie a big "thank you" for suggesting this. I'm so eager to produce paintings that I forget I have to walk before I can run. And I think there is often more to be learned from quick studies than from laboring over a "complete" painting. Since I tend to work slowly, and agonize over every move, this may be a good way to get past that. In fact, I may go get some more board today, forget about "finished" work, and just spend the weekend doing quickies. On the Landscape Forum, I'm being encouraged to use more color, so this may be the time to just experiment. Besides, it's supposed to rain more here in the Dallas area (we're starting to mildew here), so it's a good weekend for it.

Gouache 8x10
Here's closeup for anyone who's interested:

Palette: sap green, primary yellow, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, ultramarine, permanent white
And my favorite brush: a really cheap #6 flat bristle

maggie latham
07-01-2007, 06:31 AM
Good for you for doing something loose and quick. I do think that these help us in the long run, and it is fun, isn’t it? When I do these and they don’t look like anything that I would want to keep, I stop thinking of them as precious, and sometimes throw them away! Radical, I know, but it works for me….
Little ones that I like, I double side tape into a Canson watercolor spiral sketch book, and keep as a scrapbook with color notations.
I love the earthy greens in your piece, the colors so remind me of home in England.
Have you ever tried mixing sap green with sepia to get a really strong dark? I always remember reading somewhere that with out strong darks, the lights don’t have a chance to pop! The other thing I do is tape off little squares or oblongs (for landscapes) with either masking tape or artists tape on a large sheet of stretched watercolor paper or board, and do mini color sketches (paintings) in these. This is a good opportunity to loosen up and to work allover the board in one color at one time. I usually vary the scene, and the paint application, and if I really feel inspired make little color notes about application methods in the margins. I once saw this demonstrated by an artist teaching acrylic techniques and have adopted it ever since. For me if I think it is going to be a ‘study’ it is less daunting than thinking of it as a finished painting.
I’ll try to do something in an hour today…

07-01-2007, 01:49 PM
Thanks Ralph for posting. It's inspiring to see what you can do in an hour. I can relate to your belaboring each painting so this will be a good exercise for me too. I like the brushwork in the close-up.


07-02-2007, 08:49 AM
Good one, Ralph! You do an excellent job with the shadows, sky, and atmosphere even in a quick sketch.

I can't wait to try one. It seems these help us figure out what we pay the most attention to in a painting (i.e. what we remember to focus on) and the things we neglect. A great learning tool.

Old Tex
07-02-2007, 09:07 AM
One of the biggest problems I deal with is composition. I did several quick ones over the weekend, just trying to focus on comp. Most of them were throwaways, but it's a good exercise to make me think before I start.