May art challenge

little round paintings

These tubes are little but mighty.

Today, I am starting on a new art challenge. I got these four tubes of gouache paint to play with for the month, along with a larger container of titanium white acrylic gouache. The colors of the four tubes are: hummingbird blue, peony, myosotis blue, and light ochre. This is my first time using gouache paint, and I am finding the paints to be incredible. Gouache is a water based paint, similar to watercolor, but with one big difference. Watercolor is designed to be transparent, while gouache is designed to be opaque. Gouache is used often by commercial artists and illustrators for posters, comics, and other types of design.

I am so excited about my month exploring gouache, as I love exploring different mediums and different styles of art.

Painting number one of fifteen

The paper that I am using is made by an Italian company called Magnani. This papermaker has been in business since 1404! The paper itself is 100 percent cotton, which is considered the best type of paper for watercolor painting. It’s round paper and it’s small: just four-inches (10.16 centimeters). This company makes three types of round blocks: Italia, Portofino, and Toscana. The round block that I have is Toscana. Because of the high quality of the paper, it is easy to use. I started off by sketching with a Copic Multiliner. Although it’s a type of marker, the lines are not visible after the painting is done. It’s a better choice than pencil because, if you tend to push hard with your pencils, as I do, you can cause deep grooves in the paper, which is less than desirable. Hence the marker, as it’s easier to sketch lightly with that.

I did have fun mixing the colors to get different shades, as well as this green. Unlike watercolor, gouache makes a lot of use of white paint. So I mixed colors with white to get a lighter shade, and I used white paint for accents and details. One thing that I noticed is that I need very little paint to get the desired effect. This paint is really concentrated.

I’ll be back in a few days with another painting as I explore mixing the paints to get a variety of colors. Bye for now and Happy May!!!

Seen at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, Grand Island, NY

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