Tuesday, 19 July 2011

After the Deluge

I don't know about any of you out there in blogland who aren't here in the UK but recently we seem to have been having quite a bit of weather - in fact some days you could say it's been of biblical proportions! I stopped off in town again today with the intention of getting a sketch done but it was just too wet and even if I could have sheltered from the rain, there was absolutely nowhere dry enough to sit!

To satisfy my desire to paint today, I decided to try out my latest, and probably last, addition to my gouache palette - Red Ochre. I use Light Red or Venetian Red in my watercolours quite a lot so this was one I had planned to get as soon as possible. It's a gorgeous natural red that mixes beautifully with Ultramarine to give nice atmospheric skies. My latest offering for you is the third in my series of seascape practice runs. I kept the use of  white gouache to a minimum and applied the paint quite thinly for this, so it's almost a pure transparent watercolour (well almost).

Seascape III, gouache, 6" x 8"


And here is a snippet from the previous page in my Canson HP watercolour sketchbook showing all the colours I use in the Winsor & Newton Designer's Gouache range. The Zinc White is barely visible in this scan - a bit like a polar bear in  a snowstorm I suppose LOL.  I hope you can read my engineer's scribble! Happy Tuesday :O)

My gouache palette

19 comments:

  1. Hi Michael.
    I love your Water series my friend, especially the last one, this one. Also thanks for giving us your colour scheme. Very interesting. I did have a quick bash at Gouache the other day, it was a failure. But I will really have a go soon. Thanks for the info` on Gouache Michael. All the best.
    Vic.

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  2. I love this one! It looks like a watercolour (almost)! This red ochre is a beautiful colour!
    BTW, rain here too.

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  3. This painting is beautiful Michael. The color combination is well chosen. You know well to deal with gouache. The gouache color scheme consists of basic colors. Your polar bear on the screen really camouflage. It must have been a heavy snowstorm. LOL

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  4. Hi Vic and thank you for that :) A bash at gouache eh? You're a poet and don't know it mate! Keep having a go with it Vic, I'm sure you'll get the hang of it!

    Hi Judy. Thank you for your comments. I guess you realised I was thinking about you and your love of pure watercolour when I added the (almost) :)

    Hi Renske. Thank you for your lovely comments! I use a basic palette of split primaries (far left and far right), a few 'helping' colours, a few earth colours and white of course. I may change black for another colour yet. I can mix most other colours from these. Yes, it must have been a very heavy snowstorm to hide that polar bear so well LOL!

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  5. Judy and Renske - PS. I hope the rain stops for you over there in The Netherlands too!

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  6. Lovely sketch, Michael. I'm expecting to see a full size masterpiece any day soon :)

    I like gouache, it can be used transparent as you've done, or for work so detailed as I've seen others do with birds.
    Well done on your use ! xx

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  7. Thank you Pat! It's only time that stops me from painting big I guess. I use gouache for more opaque work too - cf the second one I did of the statue in the market square. Check out Maria's blog too for some beautiful gouache illustrative work:)

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  8. Yes, as usual, just as the summer holidays arrive, so does the relentless rain! But hasn't there been some awe inspiring skies recently? The light is amazing when the sun peeps through the black clouds. I am enjoying your seascapes and your lovely skies too :0)

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  9. Michael, I live near by the coast in the North Sea and today was a very sunny day. Tomorrow we'll see. ;-)

    Today I bought some tubes of gouache. Soon I will paint something with gouache. I was just doubting what brushes you use for gouache.

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  10. Hi Sandra. Thank you - glad you like these seascapes and skies :) Yes indeed, lots of rain but lots of gorgeous skies too recently. We're off to Dorset in a week's time and we sometimes leave in rain or travel through it on the way. Just need to sort out what art gear I'm taking now :O)

    Hi Renske. Let's hope we get a break in the weather!
    I'm very pleased to hear you've got some gouache! The brushes you use really depends on the effect you want. I would say for fine work like fur and animal features you will need to use normal watercolour brushes. You will need to change your brush rinsing water more often than you do for watercolour as it goes cloudy quicker. I use two jars of water, one for diluting the paint and one for rinsing the brushes after I have removed excess pigment from the brush on some kitchen paper towel. Make sure you thoroughly clean your brushes after use with water and brush soap if you have some. I use W&N Cotman (blue handle) and Sceptre Gold II (red handle) brushes but any soft synthetic or sable synthetic will be fine. Have fun and good luck - I'm looking forward to seeing your work :O)

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  11. That sea is glorious....such a shimmer you have captured!

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  12. Thank you very much Sharon, I really appreciate your comments :O)

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  13. No rain here, but I'm home in a week so I will try to bring some sunshine with me.

    I like your use of colours in this, the indigo is atmospheric. One little thing is that your sea seems to be running downhill. Overall though it's a lovely painting.

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  14. Thank you Sue. Are you back in Colchester then? My son is at Uni there, well he's at home now of course! Yes, I do have a tendency to get sloping seas and I'm amazed that noone else has commented on them before LOL. The problem is that I paint the curved shoreline in after the sky is dry and then, in haste, forget to paint only above the horizon!

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  15. I think sloping seas are normal. Even when I use a ruler I still end up with wonky horizons.

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  16. Absolutely Sue, no amount of care will stop horizons looking a bit wonky. The eye is very good at judging angles - I always prefer to put up shelving or pictures by eye!

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  17. Thanks for your explanation Michael.

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