Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gouache for Winter Plein Air Painting

Pen & Gouache sketches in 9x12 Strathmore Visual Journal for  Mixed Media
Recently I went to Curtis Prairie at the UW  Arboretum to do a couple quick sketches with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.  I chose it because it covers alot of ground fast and can make a variety of marks. The black ink is waterproof and I wanted to use gouache for color.  Gouache is basically opaque watercolor paint but it can be somewhat transparent depending on how much water is used.  It was well below freezing so painting the colors had to wait until I got home.  Marc Hanson, who used to paint in rural Minnesota and now lives in Colorado, painted great little gouache studies in his car in the winter time.  Like watercolor it needs to be above freezing to paint outdoors with it.
  Last night I watched James Gurney's excellent video "Gouache in the Wild" to learn more about using the medium for plein air painting. It covers basic information about the medium and several demos, mostly plein air and also a still life.  You can view a preview of it on his website:  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January 2016

Terrytown Barn 9x12" oil on panel by Kyle Martin
I just came across DCPAPA artist, Kyle Martin's blog  and noticed he is doing a 30 paintings in 30 day project.  Last year I tried that around the same time of year but didn't quite make it to 30.  I did well over 20, though and I felt I really learned alot.  Mine were all studio paintings and mostly still lifes.  One thing I learned was that still lifes are easier to paint than landscapes, especially plein air landscapes.  I think Kyle excels at painting en plein air.

My only recent on location paintings have been watercolor sketches in nice warm coffee shops.  I forgot how much fun and how challenging that can be.  Just a reminder that Madison also has a group called Draw: Madison that meets monthly (indoors in cold weather) for sketching and like DCPAPA is a very welcoming group.  Their events calendar can be found on their blog:

                                                   Happy New Year to DCPAPA!!!!!