View Full Version : Questions re: bronzing and black

06-25-2007, 12:01 AM

I found a word for this effect I'm seeing when I apply gouache very thickly--bronzing. It looks kindof shiny and leathery from the side. Not the nice powder effect. I thought you could apply gouache straight from the tube. Is this a problem? Am I putting it on too thick?

Another question--you know how watercolorists always say not to use black, that it deadens the painting, you should mix it from complementaries, etc. Well, in gouache anyway, I think black can look rather intense, velvety, and maybe even pop the colors??? What do you think?


Richard Saylor
06-25-2007, 12:18 AM
Some colors are more prone to bronzing than others. Sometimes mixing in a little white or other non-bronzing color may help. Watercolor can also bronze if used opaquely.

Black gouache can certainly be a useful and effective color.


06-25-2007, 08:16 AM

I was just noticing that bronzing yesterday - glad you found out what to call it. I kept going back to the painting, waiting for the "shiny" area to go away (i.e. the paint to dry) and it never did! I finally touched it and it was dry. Very weird (it was permanent white).

Don't know that it's a bad thing - unless you're looking at it from an angle with the light shining on it. I doubt it's too thick... as long as it doesn't crack! And I suppose varnishing could alleviate the problem, making the whole thing shiny.

As for black, I rarely use it. It is the only tube of gouache I have that has started to solidify (although I use others as infrequently). It's so thick that it's hard to get out of the tube. Anyone else have that problem? When I do use it, it's a straight application, like you said, to make a bold impact. I never mix it because it deadens everything. But by itself, it's a powerful pigment.


Old Tex
06-25-2007, 01:21 PM
I don't think I've run into the bronzing effect yet. I do use a lot of permanent white, and the problem I have is that it tends to dull the color down if I use too much water. Naturally, this doesn't show up until I look at all those nice, subtle colors the next day and wonder where they went. And speaking of varnish, I sprayed several pieces yesterday, and it does make it shiny, but boy, it really brings a new richness to the color.

As for black, I've never used it, so I have no experience with it at all.