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Old 07-11-2017, 07:32 PM
roxicus roxicus is offline
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James Gurney's Gouache Journey

1. Anybody tried this (advice from article on James Gurney' site)?

"4. On a hot, dry day the paint dries instantly.
--Use a priming with a sealed surface, such as gesso or casein. That will reduce absorbency.
--Shade the painting and palette with an umbrella or diffuser.
--Move to Seattle."

Anybody ever tried priming their surface? Does it actually permit longer drying times for mixing and blending on paper?

2. Are there mediums that work with gouache as retarders to slow drying times? Such things exist for other media but haven't come across anything like that for gouache.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:39 PM
RobD RobD is offline
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Re: James Gurney's Gouache Journey

I paint on paper, and usually tone the paper using acrylic before painting. I don't notice any difference in how fast gouache dries, but it does make the first layers a lot easier to apply (keeps it from soaking in too much).
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:38 PM
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Kosmon Kosmon is offline
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Re: James Gurney's Gouache Journey

1. - Sealing the surface of the paper will keep the water with the paint instead of soaking into the paper (as Rob said above). It also means you can use a lesser quality of paper. It's a different kind of surface. One of my favorite threads on WetCanvas is this one by Maggie Latham about using Art Spectrum Colourfix as a surface for gouache (though her use of it had nothing to do with extending the drying time):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=492870

2. - I've seen mention of using Winsor & Newton Watercolour Blending Medium with gouache to extend the working time. I've never tried this, so don't know how it would affect the gouache-iness of the paint. (I just tried and failed to find the blog I got this from - sorry!).

etc. - A spritzer and a Stay-Wet palette, of course (file under "you-probably-already-know-this");

I have mostly M Graham gouache, and a couple tubes of Da Vinci; the M Graham starts and stays wetter longer, so the brand you use might make at least a little bit of difference;

A 3-lefts-to-turn-right idea - if you mix a little of a very wet watercolor like M Graham into some gouache on the palette, it might stay wet longer (check pigments and try to add like to like). It will probably affect the gouache-iness of the paint of course, and any extended drying time will probably be outweighed by time spent fiddling around with tubes.

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Old 07-13-2017, 03:42 PM
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Re: James Gurney's Gouache Journey

Seems the arrival of my first response will be delayed a bit; in the meantime, I found the site I couldn't remember in that response.

It's not very informative, but does mention using W&N Watercolour Blending Medium to slow gouache drying time:

http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...ution-is-near!

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Old 07-14-2017, 09:47 PM
roxicus roxicus is offline
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Re: James Gurney's Gouache Journey

Hi, Kosmon. I'll try my acrylic matte medium again on a paper surface and see how it performs in terms of extending drying time.

Also thanks for the blending medium suggestion - never knew that product existed. I'll have to pick some up.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:46 PM
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Re: James Gurney's Gouache Journey

A side benefit to sealing the surface is that the sizing and quality of the paper becomes almost irrelevant - no reason to use the expensive stuff. You can also use papers like acrylic paper or canvas paper that have a linen-like surface texture for different interesting effects.

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Old 07-22-2017, 04:07 PM
DougInNC DougInNC is offline
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Re: James Gurney's Gouache Journey

I've read in many articles not to use gouache over an acrylic underpainting because it can't chemically bond. Apparently over time this will cause the gouache to flake off. I haven't been using gouache long enough to have personal experience, though.

For extending drying time, adding a couple of drops of glyerin (available wherever cosmetics are sold) does a great job and does not affect the paint at all.

Ox Gall medium is also supposed to increase the drying time slightly. Just a few drops per cup of water in your brush water is all that's needed so a small bottle will last a long time. I've just started using this with my watercolors and I can vouch for it. It also enhances the flow, which is what I was most after, by keeping the paint on the surface longer. It has made a tremendous difference in my confidence in managing washes.

Just some suggestions that I hope help.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:52 PM
BobCantPaint BobCantPaint is offline
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Re: James Gurney's Gouache Journey

New member here. Was intrigued by Doug's post about not using an acrylic underpainting for Gouache due to adherence issues. I am currently working on a painting with an acrylic underpainting, and am having exactly that issue with the gouache not adhering very well. I slapped on a coat of matte varnish and that seemed to help somewhat.

So what is a good surface preparation for the surface of a Gouache painting in your experience?

Last edited by BobCantPaint : 07-23-2017 at 03:53 PM. Reason: Typos!
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