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Old 12-31-2009, 04:56 PM
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maggie latham maggie latham is offline
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2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread

After the Challenge of Gouache we start the new year with a new theme.

To kick off 2010 and for the months of January, February and March the theme for this gouache painting challenge is:

‘Trees In The Landscape ~ variations on a theme’

I thought this would be a good subject as this time of year in many parts of the world trees are barren of foliage, which is a really nice time to study tree limbs and structure. I personally love trees in the winter months and think they have so much character. WC however is a global community so trees from any part of the world will be great to study.

This challenge will be broken into three parts:

January we will focus on studying trees and their relationship to the landscape using value, tone and small studies in monochrome or a limited palette. My examples will be in gouache, a mixture of watercolour and white gouache, pencil, pen & ink and gouache wash.

February we will develop our studies into paintings, focusing on the best way to use brush strokes and colour to create convincing foliage, atmosphere and distance.

March we will add a twist to the mix and pick one of our original value compositions and use that to create several variations on a theme. I will explain more about this in future posts.

Maggie L

Last edited by Yorky : 12-31-2009 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:04 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

‘Trees In The Landscape ~ variations on a theme’

January:
The best way to really learn about how trees relate to your particular landscape is to go outside and study tree formations first hand. This may be a little unrealistic in several parts of the world where it is cold and wet…. but my advice would be to go out and observe… If you find it too cold to paint, why not make quick on-location pencil sketches as well as sketching or painting from your window? Also remember to take photos to jog your memory when you are back in the warm.

We will focus on tree shapes as they appear in the landscape, and you will find that every tree has a different personality. At this stage we don’t really want too much detail, but will concentrate on value masses and tree structure shapes. You can create mini landscape paintings or just isolate tree shapes in an abstract way…. or both…it’s up to you.

Gouache
For this exercise in January, we will use one gouache colour such as Burnt Umber, Indigo, or lamp Black and white gouache. With the addition of water a good range of values can be mixed, although sticking to three or four values is usually easiest to begin with.

Value and Tone
For those of you new to painting, value (or tone as it is known in the UK) is the relative lightness or darkness of a colour. For instance a value scale would consist of black being the darkest value and white the lightest value and various shades of grey fall in between. A good exercise in understanding how to mix values is to paint a value scale starting with black and creating ten values with the addition of white or water or both.

How to Begin
So, to start our challenge off, we will be painting small studies of trees in value. A watercolour sketchbook is ideal for these little tonal studies and I would suggest doing as many as you can. Marking off small areas in masking tape on stretched watercolour paper or a watercolour block is another way to go. Thick craft paper or mat board would also make good surfaces for gouache. Really it’s whatever you feel comfortable with and have to hand.

Making A Mess!
Don’t worry if to begin with some of your studies look like a mess!.....as the point of this exercise is to start learning how to ‘see’ past colour and focus on value masses in the landscape. Gouache is a perfect medium for this as it has a lovely creamy consistency and you don’t have to worry about saving the white of the paper for the lightest value.
Once you feel proficient in using just a few values, add more values to the mix and bring in some detail to suggest foliage and compositional elements. You may also wish to paint a little larger for these compositional studies. I often work on stretched paper and then cut and re-mount my plein air studies into my workbooks or spiral bound sketchbooks.

Viewing Your Progress
Another tip is to either tape or pin your studies together onto a notice board or large drawing board so you can view them all at once. This is a valuable tool in understanding visually which compositions work and those that don’t. It will also encourage you and inspire you to develop your little studies into paintings.

So, once again....
Begin by looking at trees in the landscape close to where you live, and start by making either small sketches or value studies in pencil or paint focusing first on value masses and then tree shapes.

Working from your first impressions of the landscape (your sketches or value studies) develop some of these into slightly larger compositions using one gouache colour and white plus water. Do as many of these as you can over the next four weeks.

When you are ready to post your studies, please include the initial photo, sketches or whatever it was that inspired you in the first place along with your value paintings. At the top of your post(s) in this thread give your user name and post #...for example for my first post I would use:
Maggie Latham value studies#1 for my second post Maggie Latham value studies #2 and so forth…… this way it will be easier over the next three months for everyone to follow your progression over the weeks rather than just searching through random postings.

Feel free to ask questions about gouache, value, trees etc within the thread as normal, and comment on each other’s work as usual. I would suggest that any postings of other artists work for inspiration should be limited to trees in the landscape in either gouache or watercolour.

This thread will be a fun and interesting way to discover how to use gouache in different ways, and to re-learn how to view trees in the landscape.


Here are the links to previous gouache challenge threads, which includes a great deal of nice work and information about gouache:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=580943
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=574819
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...73#post8190673

This link explains about Notan (quick value mass studies for working out compositional elements) by Richard McKinley, a fabulous pastel artist:
http://pastelpointersblog.artistsnet...+Of+Notan.aspx

Here are some fantastic gouache landscape and tree paintings by Marius Breuil (1850-1932). On this website click on the Uk flag, then on ‘work’, then on aquarelles et gouaches……these paintings are a just wonderful.
http://www.marius-breuil.com/

Have a very creative New Year and happy gouache painting…

Maggie L

Last edited by maggie latham : 12-31-2009 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:22 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

Hello everyone,

Below is a quick value chart I painted today as an example of mixing values for those not familiar with it. I used a plastic sheet to mix on, using tube gouache...... and just added white and/or water to create different values.

You can also see some IMAGINARY small value paint sketches just to use up some of my left over colours. I will be going out over the weekend to paint some plein air tree studies and will post them then. I may also take some fat black and grey markers with me to make quick Notan type thumbnails (value mass studies in three values).....














Now I have posted my first 'messes'.....don't be shy about posting your first efforts!!!!!

Maggie L

Last edited by maggie latham : 12-31-2009 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:56 AM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

Hello Everyone,

Here is one of Marius Breuil’s landscape paintings that I have taken the liberty to change in Photoshop as an example of illustrating ‘seeing value'.

Hope this example will help you to understand and be inspired by the idea of creating value sketches and paintings of trees in the landscape from life.




This is has been changed into monochrome from the original colour painting.....



This one has more distinct values



This one shows only two values~just black and white~ (similar to an initial Notan study which might have three value masses)



This is the original colour painting by BREUIL


Maggie L

Last edited by maggie latham : 01-01-2010 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:30 AM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

I'm going to make time to try this Maggie. I will try not to be as up tight as I usually am.

It's worth looking at some of Larry Seiller's demos for trees and landscape techniques, I love how he adds sky holes which is something possible in gouache but not in watercolours.

Doug
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:49 AM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

This is a great challenge, Maggie. I look forward to participating. Thanks for the hints and examples.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:00 AM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

I would like to join you in this challenge. I am VERY new to gouache but have been playing around with it and love what it can do.

Last edited by TeriC : 01-01-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:20 AM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

I have gouache paint that I have used 1 time. I very much like what you have set up Maggie and plan to join in on this challenge.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

Me too, resolved to paint more this year, this is a wonderful way to start. Thanks, Maggie!
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:59 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

I love trees Maggie and I might also give this one a try. Thanks, Lenore
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:17 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

Great ideas here, Maggie, and I'll be in the mix as soon as I escape this cold that ended 2009 with a snuffle and a cough.

I'll most likely use photos of trees to paint from, rather than my imagination, as you have. I often find that for me it's easier to start with reality and then depart than vice versa. The monochrome idea to start with helps me to think Notan, reducing to values and shapes.

Thanks for all the wonderful research and your examples! If I feel up to it later I may dabble.

Deborah
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:21 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

Here's a thread posted by Larry Seiler over in the gouache forum that shows process shots of his painting of some trees: WIP...a mile from my home...gouache

Deborah
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:55 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

This does look interesting. I have used watercolour and acrylic..but never gouche. I do not know the difference between gouche and watercolour. I will deffinately join in. Thanks
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:06 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

This looks GREAT. I got some gouache just before Christmas but haven't played with it yet ... in fact I "froze" at the thought of even undoing the tubes. This should be very instructive!
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:22 PM
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Re: 2010 Gouache Corner Challenge Thread~JAN~FEB~MARCH

Hello Doug, Looking forward to seeing some of your tree gouache paintings. Deborah has posted a link to one of Larry’s gouache landscape demos. Thanks for the heads up

Hello Judy, I think Deborah is going to post some interesting ideas on painting trees…..Start with your value studies of trees form photos or life whenever you have time.

Hello Teri, this thread is for everyone, experienced or new to gouache…. welcome! It’s a great medium as you can mix just white with your regular watercolor paints or use pure gouache.

Hello Lin, Look forward to seeing your gouache value studies of trees.

Hello Lynn, Looking forward to having you along…

Hello Lenore, I love trees too…. they really do have individual personalities.

Hello Deborah, Hope you will feel better soon. I was hoping you would like to participate. You are right about painting form life first before imagination. I had lots of paint left from painting the value chart as an example……so could not help myself!!!!
The weather is so awful at the moment that I may have to start with photos too. Notan is one of those things that many artist talk about, but quite often overlook. This year I want to get back to basic principles and see if I can create better compositions for my paintings….and I think Notan and value studies will help everyone when painting the landscape.
The link to Larry’s thread is fantastic. What a great landscape. …and on green mat board….

Peg, Please join in. Gouache is an opaque watercolour (not transparent). Because it is opaque, you don’t have to save the white of the paper as you do when using trans watercolor. It is denser and dries flat. Just buy a few tubes of W&N designer gouache to see if you like it. Don’t forget to buy a tube of permanent white and you can use this with your regular watercolors also.

Annie, Get them out!!! You will have fun and the only way to learn a new painting medium is to just…well….start painting. If you make a mess, don’t worry, turn it over and start over again.

Maggie L

Last edited by maggie latham : 01-02-2010 at 04:25 PM.
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