View Full Version : yikes, no tracing this time

10-09-2010, 12:29 AM
This is new for me all the way around. I almost always trace or project a picture and I'm usually in watercolor. I got really serious this time and used a sharpie :eek: - no turning back! This was rather liberating! Gotta long way to go though with gouache (and the drawing). I've been playing around with a very cheap set, this is reeves on a 9 x 12 watercolor pad. How much of a difference will an upgrade in price make?
Thanks for looking!

Barbara WC
10-09-2010, 04:22 PM
Nice painting! Yes, it is liberating not to trace! I used to do that often, now I've even gotten so bold to often paint without any pencil lines!

I've only started in gouache, but like you, have come from watercolor. I jumped right into artist grade gouache paints, so can't speak for sure, but assume that the difference from student grade will be worth it- more pigment load, less fillers.

What I'm enjoying about gouache so far is that one can use it with lots of water for washes (like it looks like you did) or can use it quite thickly for a more opaque look (which is how I"ve been using it). Yipee, light over dark if you want!


10-09-2010, 06:26 PM
That looks really good Tami! :thumbsup: :clap: :clap:

Old Tex
10-09-2010, 06:32 PM
Tami, I used a projector for years for really tight pencil and pen and ink work. Since I now paint only landscapes, there's no point. And the projector went away a long time ago. If I ever decide to try more figures or portraits, I'll probably have to learn to draw again! This is really, really nice work.

10-09-2010, 08:09 PM
thanks, Barbara! I really am enjoying gouache, too, and I second that yippee on the light over dark!

yay! thank you, annie!

Ralph, I may have handicapped myself after all these years projecting everything. Landscapes seem to cripple my thinking because there are no lines to stay in!! Strange since that is what I would love to do most!

Thanks y'all! - tami

10-17-2010, 09:33 AM
Tami, good for you for letting go of tracing. This painting shows that you don't need to trace anymore. This is so lovely and loose and captures the essence of the person.

I'm also relatively new to gouache and definitely new to portraiture so I know what an accomplishment this is. Keep it up! I look forward to seeing more portraits from you.

One thing I've found is that I need to grid my drawings for portraiture. There are so many aspects of the image to keep in proportion and drawing doesn't come naturally to me, so gridding is essential. Lately I've taken to using a 1/2 inch grid. I have a grid drawn in red Sharpie on a piece of acetate which I place over my reference image. I do the drawing on tracing paper and place the tracing paper over a grid I've drawn in red pencil on sketch paper. This way I have the help of the grid without needing to erase all those lines. Using red helps me differentiate between the grid and the image without getting my eyes crossed. :) This is working well for me so I pass it along in case you'd find it helpful.

10-17-2010, 11:10 AM
A nice piece!

You asked about the differences between student grade gouache and some of the better grades. Barbara was absolutely right when she said that in the better grades there's a higher pigment load and less filler. In a practical sense, that means that the paint will seem much more dense and rich. I think the first artist grade tube of gouache I ever bought was a tube of Winsor Newton permanent white. When I tried to mix it with my Reeves colors, it just obliterated them! Way too strong! That was the biggest difference to me. Not having all of the money in the world, I usually use Turner or Lukas colors (which I find online for about $3.99 per tube), and have been very happy with those.

= M

11-06-2010, 01:45 PM
judy, thanks for sharing your technique...I've never really tried a grid more than once. It was too time consuming to me...(i have 0 patience) your technique is one I will try. thanks again.

"Barbara was absolutely right when she said that in the better grades there's a higher pigment load and less filler. In a practical sense, that means that the paint will seem much more dense and rich."

Michael, The more I play around with gouache, the more I am seeing exactly that.