I have a tendency to become tight the more I work. It is just one of those inevitable things. So I often have to change mediums and styles and experiment in other ways to loosen up again. I have notice with my sketching that I have become tight again. Normally I would change to oils and go do some plein air which helps, but with the bad weather, I had to divert to other options. As I was watching the horses walking all over our well the other day, I saw a contrast of grey sky and a line of white lace flowers and the green fields and it stirred the desire to put that onto paper by using the opaque gouache, a medium I quite like, exactly for its “experimental” qualities. It opens up possibilities to take it further into oils.
The following gouache experiments were all done in sketchbooks
After sitting outside, I moved in, bringing in some of the woildflowers now in seaspon and trying to create the broad bands of colour..the greens, the blues and of course the shapes, not worrying too much about authenticity. It was all just about colour and application with a loose wrist and finally some line squiggles, which I always love. For the dark lines I initially used inks, but it didn’t work too well on top of the gouche, so I used a dark mixture(which I alwyas use in oils for black) of Burnt unber, alizarin crimson and french ultramarine which always gives a rich dark black.
with this experiment, I used the gouache much more diluted to get more “wispy” horizons as a back drop for the lace flowers. Well, I don’t know what those funny linework at the bottom is all about, but at the time I felt in the mood for it.
This was a lot of fun and really something I will explore deeper, maybe on much lager scale with oils..and added animals…Many options in fact.
My very late postcard to Bridget consisted of geraniums, done way back when it was still summer.
-pen and watercolour on watercolour paper-
..summer geraniums in gouache and pen, on handmade paper..
Our post card exchange has now come to an end, sadly, but maybe we have something new in the pipeline.
I sent Desiree horse sketches ..she and her family had horses at an earlier stage. Our two Comtois horses were my models and the sketch on the envelope I did from one of those sketches.
gouache and pen on envelope
Gaitchi and Gubi
done with pitt artist pens in sketchbook
For my postcard to Pat, I was in Vayrac, handing in all my old linen to be washed and went for a coffee. Afterwards I looked over the rooftops and realized I haven’t done such a postcard yet. So there. The rooftops of Vayrac for Pat.
..rooftops of Vayrac(envelope)..
done in gouache and pen
..rooftops of Vayrac..
done in pen and watercolor on Daler and Rowney watercolor paper CP, 25,4×17,8cm
My August postcard to Charlene – 1150 words was done on walk around Coin Perdu. At the moment the berries are plentiful and the birds are having a ball.
I chose to do the drawing of berries for Charlene on some papyrus. I love old papers, old scripts, old books, old letters …it has a charm that we don’t find anymore in our contemporary life. The papyrus is definitely not easy to write or draw on and I have a renewed respect for the patience and dedication , not forgetting the love someone puts into a beautiful writing. I’m thinking here of my friend Dana…drop by Ginger parasol to see the beautiful cards she designs and writes!
..watercolor and pen on papyrus…
…some berry sketches of previous posts…
Busy with my people’s project, I just wanted to do something different. Something completely free and unrestrained. Taking large formats of paper and canvas, I put down the brushes and used only my hands and rolled towel paper. even though it feels a bit like first grade finger painting, there is a liberating feeling that results from “playful” and experimenting occasions like these.
1.Tilleul tree in gouache on paper. For the first tree, I shaped the thick trunk with a large brush and for the leaves, added gouache pigment with my fingers, sometimes very wet so the color runs and sometimes I dotted only dry splotches. Not a very significant result, but it did loosen me up, like all these free, expressive exercises always do. this one really looks like a first grader “picture”!
1…tilleul tree in gouache on paper, 65x50cm…
2. Prune tree in oil on canvas. For the second tree, I used a large canvas, primed it with a layer of thin gesso, “shaped” the tree trunks and branches with modelling paste and painting knifes, and finished off with a last coat of thinned gesso. After leaving it to dry overnight, I built up the tree trunk with layers of oil pigment, using a rag to wipe and build up up the layers. The leaves were all added with crumpled toweling paper and lastly spatters of oil pigment with a large brush.
2…prune tree in oil on linen, 92x73cm…
3…apple tree in charcoal on paper, 65x50cml…
To do excercises like this:
- Use large sheets of paper or canvas or cartons. Off cuts from boxes can work as well
- Wear old clothes.
- Work where you have enough room/space…even outside on the lawn, or go to the park.
- Choose something around you like large shrubs, trees, flowerbeds.
- Use only big tools…big brushes, pieces of rag, knifes, twigs, and of course, hands(You can treat them afterwards with some good creams!)
- Work on the WHOLE paper, even if you run off the page.
- Stand back, up often and look at your creation from a distance. Don’t consider right or wrong or any painting rules.
- Consider only marks, color, texture, shapes.
- When finished with one, put it aside and immediately start another…with another bush another scene.. don’t go back to a previous painting, rather start another one.
- Don’t think, just do.
I have been working a bit more in gouache and oil in the fields…doing the few hay balls still lying around in the fields here and there. The following pieces are only exercises done on site in plein air. I’m working hard at just interpreting, not rendering the reality, but only the essentials.
Close-up two was done using only fench ultramarine, white an a touch of black. I’m quite happy with this one…
I am finding that I enjoy gouache more and more. I like the touch of it on the paper’s surface and it is creamy enough for me and I can work thick with it or thin in washes. I also particularly like its “flat” two dimensional appearance, which looks very “painterly” to me.
…Bales of hay in gouache…
These two gouaches were done on a large sheet of light grey laminated paper/carton paper (65x50cm..25.6×19.7″)
I did a small oil as well.. I have to regain my confidence in oil as I lost it completely during an experience a few weeks ago. I’m hesitant, I don’t really know what to do and where to go to on the canvas. But maybe it is a good thing too…maybe something new can be born from this. I hope so.
…bales of hay in oil…
oil on linen, 33×24.5cm (13×9.7″)