The above painting is a view of my yard. After I took it as far as I could in the time I had the first day, I decided it "needed something." Considering the convenience of the location, I was able to return to the same spot the next day to complete it. I have to consider these pieces sketches. They don't feel complete to me the way the acrylics do.
Somehow, all this difficulty seems to have turned me away from acrylics for awhile and towards gouache. Why gouache? Somehow, for awhile using gouache seemed more friendly, more like playing, than using the acrylics. I was able to take them out on 30 minutes of my lunch hour and make sketches (that I will show you) in the park.
Still, why, I had to ask myself, was the gouache seeming friendlier, more doable in a short stint on a lunch hour? I had pretty much given up on painting at lunchtime when I was using acrylics.
I finally figured out that using gouache is less of a "production" than using acrylics in that they are more water soluble and they are not going to get sticky on me. I can get far more done in a short period of time because they clean off the brush faster than acrylics. So, I can change color mixes far faster with the goauche. That is why I can get so much more done.
However, I don't like the results with the gouache nearly as much as with the acrylics. They seem blurrier and and have less "punch." At least mine do. If you want to see some dynamic gouache work, check out Larry Seiler's site by clicking the link to the right. He is supposed to have an on-line gouache class one of these days that I am very much looking forward to.
For now, I have to consider these to be just sketches. I am thinking of using the one of the man in the chair as a reference for an acrylic painting. I have a photo of the scene, too. I think that the gouache sketch reminds me of how it felt to be at the scene far more than the photo does, even though the colors are far from accurate and are in fact somewhat goofy! (I am not nearly as familiar with mixing colors with gouache as I am with my beloved acrylics!)
My very first gouache sketch was the duck below. The duck was about 2 feet from me. I had just started blocking him in when he turned 180 degrees, bogggling my mind as I tried to do everything mirror image from what I was seeing. Then he left, of course before I was finished. No chance to paint the shadows. Then, suddenly a man and young girl (2 to 3 years old) were at my elbow, having just climbed the hill I was sitting on at the park. The little girl pointed to my painting and said, "Duck." Phew! Validated by a 3 year old. I was thrilled, nevertheless....Aren't I lucky to have a park 3 minutes from work?
And finally, I did the below from a photograph. I was not at all happy with it after my first pass. It completely lacked any oomph. So, I decided to try to enhance it with colored pencils. Colored pencils have a tendency to make you work tight and detailed, which you can see happened here. Thus, this painting is NOT how I want my paintings to look, but I am going thru some kind of phase..... There is a prize for the person who recognizes this scene as being part of their very own house (hint: the prize is a delivery of cat probiotics).
Long post, so thanks for hanging in. I expect I will be back to my acrylics soon, but I think I will continue to do gouache sketches when I am limited in time. What a great discovery!!