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And We’re Back!

June 14, 2018

Me and gouache, that is.  The little children’s picture book is done for now. I uploaded it to the publisher and now we’re waiting for a review copy. If it looks good, then we’ll set up for publication. We should have it in about a week.

Meanwhile, I pulled out some paint tubes and a Canson Mixed Media sketchbook and got reacquainted with gouache.

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Smithy, 5×7, gouache


“Smithy” was the first thing I worked on yesterday. It’s a real departure from my typical subject matter, but hey, why not start with a challenge, right? There are a number of issues with this little piece.  The drawing is off in places and some of the edges need to be softened, but the idea was to sort out which brushes to use and getting the paint consistency where I wanted it. I liked this scene from Old Bedford Village in Bedford, PA and have wanted to attempt it for several years.  Now that I’ve done it once, I may do it again, work a bit on the composition and take a little more time with it.

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Little Barn, 5×7, gouache

“Little Barn” was today’s effort and I felt better about what I was doing.  I should note that instead of working on cold press illustration board, I am working in a Canson Mixed Media sketchbook (the blue spiral one).   Thus, the surface is a bit different from what I’m used to.  But I decided it had been so long since I painted with gouache that it wouldn’t matter what the surface was, and besides, not knowing how this was going to go, I chose to use an inexpensive sketchbook rather than buy illustration board.  I think it was a good choice.  Once I started getting the consistency I wanted, the paper took the gouache beautifully.  I won’t varnish these. I think they will work better matted under glass when and if that time comes.

I discovered a Facebook group called Gouache Sketchers that some of you might be interested in. It appears that many/most of the members are plein air gouache users, but they’ve accepted my studio work, so I don’t think it matters. There are some folks in the group who are doing some beautiful gouache work.

I’m working at the dining table rather than one of the easels, so I’m not putting undue stress on my shoulder and elbow. I started out painting that way, so it’s not a big deal.  The shoulder/arm is improving as long as I do the exercises the physical therapist gave me.  I’m not the most conscientious about that, so while I’m thinking about it, I suppose I should go do them before starting another gouache piece.



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