Like a lot of artists, when I don’t paint for a while, I get a bit rusty. I’ve focused on drawing and sketching a lot lately, and was beginning to feel out of touch with the paint and brushes. This is the second painting I’ve done in the past few days (the first one wasn’t bad, but we’ll call it a warmup).
I took my time with this one. As most of you know by now, my “studio” space is tiny. My easel stays broken down and tucked away when I’m not painting. I decided to leave it stored and paint the way I did in the very beginning, with the board lying almost flat on my workspace table top. It was actually kind of a relaxed way of working. The palette for this painting included Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Red, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Medium, Hansa Yellow Light, Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna. As always, the greens were a challenge.
For more about how I paint and what I’ve learned while working with gouache, you might be interested in my book Painting The Wold My Way ~ The Gouache Book. You can see a preview and order the book at:
This is a sketchbook piece, done from imagination and a bit of memory. While exploring in Maine a few years ago, we spotted an interesting building that, as I recall, had a sign out front indicating it was – or had been – a library. I did some sketches later from photographs. I was doing some sketching the other day, and remembered this place. Rather than look up the image in my files, I decided to just conjure it up out of my head.
You can see the pencil sketch under the watercolor washes. I used gouache for the sky, mixing up a combination of ultramarine blue, burnt umber and white, and applying it a bit more opaquely. This is fun stuff.
You’ll find more ideas and inspiration for your own experiments in my book Painting The World My Way ~ The Gouache Book. It can be ordered at:
I don’t use a palette knife very often with gouache, but it can produce some nice results. It works well for skies, especially, using gray and blue mixtures and touches of pure white. Grassy fields are fun as well, using a variety of yellows, golds, ochres and greens.
I’ve been spending some time the last few days just playing around with small gouache sketches. These are 4″x 6″ sketchbook studies.
These are both from photos taken in Ohio.
Sometimes an artist comes along that deals with the subjects you love, and does it in a way that makes you think maybe getting that novel published would have been easier than trying to be an artist. Although Dean Mitchell has been producing his beautiful watercolors for a long time, his work is a fairly recent discovery for me. He doesn’t just paint beautifully, his compositions are masterful and his subjects touch you emotionally. His paintings are a reminder that, aside from knowledge and skill, the glue that holds it all together and makes it work is creativity.
Watercolor, Dean Mitchell, title and size unknown
From a reference photo taken on our Ohio trip this past November. There are spots in this that could use a bit more work, but I think I’ll leave it alone for now.