gouache

The Struggle

Long time no post! I don’t regularly update this, I think the last time I honest to god regularly updated a “blog” was when I had a tumblr, and even then I don’t think it really counted as a blog at all. I never really know what to post but I love the idea of blogs and I personally enjoy reading them a lot. I don’t think anyone will personally enjoy reading mine but it makes me happy I have one!

I had a long list of goals I wanted to achieve this year and one of them was to 1) be part of a group gallery show and 2) learn how to make/edit youtube videos. I’ve always loved watching art process videos on youtube and I think I just really wanted to make some of my own. I tried to do so with this piece but my big head ended up blocking the view and it’s really just a montage of me singing and eating chips while spilling chip crumbs on the painting every couple of minutes and then silently saying “what the fuck” whenever I realize I’ve been painting on the remains of cape cod chips. I even had a whole voiceover planned and the perfect ambient lo-fi chillhop soundtrack that would be softly playing in the background of the video. Since all the footage was largely a fail, I did the next best thing and I tried to take photos of the process, which I’ve included below! (why do I read like an overly formal email I’m so sorry everyone)

I usually don’t start off with a detailed sketch for any of my pieces at all, but since I hadn’t worked traditionally in a really long time I was really scared of making a mistake and wasting my paint, since I had gone through the effort of buying nice watercolor paper and buying new gouache which was not cheap by any means whatsoever lol. So I tried to make the sketch as detailed and as clear as possible, so I wouldn’t have to do any guesswork when I was rendering the piece in gouache. I usually do a messy wash with watercolor and this is mostly so I can get an idea of what kind of colours i want to use. In this case I changed up my initial color scheme that I had in mind completely, and I wanted the background to be dark and her hair light so I painted over those parts entirely with gouache. I’m honestly quite bad at using watercolors but I enjoy the spontaneous and textured effects that you can get with it, which is why I kind of use it for the initial stages of planning and filling in larger areas of the painting. I render the details of the face/body with colored pencils, but other than that everything is just rendered with gouache and a small brush. I should really use a larger brush for time’s sake.

Sometimes I get asked what materials I use, so I’m gonna list it below for the 3 people that might read this —

  • Arches Watercolor Paper 180gsm

  • Prismacolor col-erase pencil for sketching

  • Sakura Koi 24 Pan Watercolor Set

  • Holbein Acryla Gouache

  • Prismacolor watercolor colored pencils

For brushes, I don’t really know the name of the brand because I stole them from a craft workshop that was going on at my workplace at the time so they’re really cheap. It is life changing though to actually have a nice brush, especially for gouache in my opinion. For gouache I look for taklon white synthetic brushes or any white synthetic brush that is typically used for acrylic. I can’t really say I’ve experimented a lot with different brush types though but that’s what I’ve found works best for me in getting the fine lines and details.