Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Gouache Sketch

I've loved gouache for years, but never had too much enjoyment working in it. Part of the trouble is how radically the colors change when the paint dries, but that wears off after a little while, and you start just accommodating the change automatically. The biggest part of the trouble is the beautiful, expensive sable brushes one uses to paint with it. The problem isn't the brushes themselves. Far from it. Sables are wonderful, responsive brushes capable of a wide range of expression. But they have a "right" and a "wrong" way to use them: drag, don't push; work from the elbow as much as possible, etc. I find that this makes me too darn precious. I tighten up, and the work becomes utterly tense.

So, I bought a couple of inexpensive bristle brushes, sawed them off short and urethaned the ends.I figured that it would be a good way to exploit my comfort with bristles from my work with oil. It worked. I had more fun doing this little gouache than I've had in quite a long time. We went to visit a couple of friends in Westport, Mass, and I got to take a little time to sketch some of the tiger lilies in their beautiful rented garden.