Tag Archives: paintings

In Which I Try Out Gouache Part 5

Back in October/November I took an online class at a local art center to try out the medium of gouache. In a few posts I’ll show you the work I did and tell you what I learned. I’ve got a selection of paintings to show you and I can’t remember in what order I did them, so I will arrange them by topic or by the information learned. In other words, I’ll be skipping around! Take a look and see what you think.

I’m going to wrap up my gouache experience with little images I made with the extra color in my palette. These two are just swishes of color, vaguely landscapish, with no plan but enjoying the colors.

This little picture is another quick sketch with the extra paint but drawing on my immense imaginary population of odd people doing odd things.

I have to say these are among my favorite images from the class.

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Now I’ll tell you what I came out with from this class. I looked over my list of goals that I set out in the first post and I think they were all met, maybe in ways I did not expect.

As background, during this time I had been strugggling with some vision issues. Several conditions converged to give me trouble and the variety of doctors I had to visit, specialists covering the cornea, eyelid, and interior of my eye, could not pin down what exactly was causing my problem of double vision in my left eye only, after an infection and a cyst removed from my eyelid by surgery. I was fearful, distracted, and…not seeing well. I had not yet begun to accept what had happened to me and that the outcome was unknown.

And, I didn’t feel much of a connection with the teacher and my fellow students. You might say, well, it was an online class, that is why, but I have taken a lot of online classes and found them rewarding in terms of how the students and teacher made a cohesive group. I do feel my vision issues affected my ability and willingness to participate as well, so maybe my attitude was not as open as it could have been. Whatever it was, sometimes you just don’t find the people you are working with to be a good fit. It’s no one’s fault.

So, these feelings affected the class time and my work. I took that into account in evaluating gouache. I like the chalky bright colors you can achieve. I also like that it works so well on paper.

However, I dislike the feel of the paints as they go on – sticky. I paint in layers, and gouache is not as friendly to that technique as are acrylics. I don’t like the re-wettability of the painted surface, because for me that makes it hard to use with other mediums or in collage. I think gouache requires a different thought process in planning out and handling a picture – and I don’t much like planning, I prefer to make it up as I go.

I’ve come to the conclusion that while I might take it up again later, there are a lot of other mediums I like a whole lot more. In the past, I might have said, Oh, I should give it more time, but my vision problems and well, just the way things have been the last couple of years, now I say, Life is too short to be doing things because you think you should…

So I plan to set aside my gouache paints, but I won’t let them go, and if the urge strikes me, I can get them out and get to work. But they won’t be my first choice to work with, most likely.

I’m glad I did the class and found this out for myself.

Thank you for following along with me on this journey!

In Which I Try Out Gouache Part 4

Back in October/November I took an online class at a local art center to try out the medium of gouache. In a few posts I’ll show you the work I did and tell you what I learned.
I’ve got a selection of paintings to show you and I can’t remember in what order I did them, so I will arrange them by topic or by the information learned. In other words, I’ll be skipping around! Take a look and see what you think.

Here is a selection of pictures of outdoor scenes and buildings. Once again, I love depicting buildings and it was natural for me to choose them as subjects.

This first one is a house in Allentown, PA. I am happy with how it turned out. Especially in comparison with the first house I did in class (which I think is kind of vague and unfocused) I feel I caught a good feel of the building without overworking it.

As a reminder, here is the first house I mentioned. See what I mean? Vague.

Moving on. Here is a picture from a street in Bryn Mawr, PA. I did this one at home one afternoon. I was impatient and the picture shows it.

This next picture is of a small house near where I live. I’ve done a collage of it back in the distant past (with some color alterations and before the trees grew so big):

My heart was not into this painting, as I decided only when it was halfway done. My vision issues also played into it in getting the angles of the street right, but I can’t fully blame my eyes, I was just careless.

The latter two paintings were done during a particularly difficult time when I was not adjusting well to the altered view of the world my eyes were giving me, and I was distracted in everything I did. The first painting is better because I was more patient and took the time with it; it was done earlier in the class sessions than the other two, by which time I was struggling with eye treatments and feeling angry and fearful.

Lesson learned: If you are hasty or hurried, or distracted, it will show in the work. And even more so when you are new to the medium and not practiced at handling the materials. This lesson is of course not restricted to the medium of gouache.

In Which I Try Out Gouache Part 3

Back in October/November I took an online class at a local art center to try out the medium of gouache. In a few posts I’ll show you the work I did and tell you what I learned. I’ve got a selection of paintings to show you and I can’t remember in what order I did them, so I will arrange them by topic or by the information learned. In other words, I’ll be skipping around! Take a look and see what you think.

I did several paintings of interior scenes (photos from inside my own house, how handy!)

I’m happy with how these came out. I did not overwork them.

In fact, I think the furniture enjoyed having its portraits painted.

I believe these paintings were more successful because I began to get the paint to a consistency that was thick enough for good color but not sticky or dragging on the paper.

I also was able to get the effects I wanted on the first try (or maybe a second) rather than working over the same area – hence avoiding muddiness. To do this I had to think through the steps of the painting I wanted to make in advance.

I also did not try to layer paints. Once I put on a level, I left it at that.

Here are the paintings.

In Which I Try Out Gouache Part 2

Back in October/November I took an online class at a local art center to try out the medium of gouache. In a few posts I’ll show you the work I did and tell you what I learned.
I’ve got a selection of paintings to show you and I can’t remember in what order I did them, so I will arrange them by topic or by the information learned. In other words, I’ll be skipping around! Take a look and see what you think.

Following one of my stated goals I did several images of people that I came across in daily activities or events.

In approaching a picture in general, I don’t draw out anything in pencil. I just start in. You may remember in the very first image I did in this class (me at the beach) I did use pencil. After that, I reverted to my usual MO and started directly in paint.

In this image, done from a photo taken at the Bryn Mawr (PA) farmers’ market, it worked out well. I was able to capture the scene without going over and over the colors. I did this picture on black paper.

In this picture, of an art event at the Allentown Art Museum, things didn’t go so well. Some parts are fine, but some are caked with paint and overdone. That’s a result of me using my technique of putting paint on the paper until I get what I like. Acrylics are much more forgiving of this than gouache. I like fussing around with the paint, so this is a point to the negative of gouache for me.

I disliked this picture so much that I tore it out of my notebook and cut out various elements to use for collage, throwing the rest away.

This picture is another one from the farmers’ market. It went some better. A lighter and more sure approach made a difference.

This lady is shopping at the farmers’ market. I don’t like this picture at all – I could not get things right in the beginning and I continued to paint more layers. The image is muddy and caked up as a result. I may need to pull this picture out of my notebook and turn its elements into collage.

Lesson learned: I like to layer paint and scrub into the layers hard with my brush. It’s disconcerting to me when those layers combine and decide to come up with their own color. To keep colors clear and bright I need to think ahead rather than forge ahead and see what develops.

Classwork: Painting #11

I took an online class in abstract painting during November/December 2020. For more info, see the introduction in this post featuring the first painting I did in the class.

The class was structured with a short lecture at the beginning of class covering an abstract painter’s work and using it as a springboard to discuss abstract art principles. Then we students painted at our individual studios.

Thank you to my fellow students and my teacher, Kassem Amoudi.

Here is the next painting. It is called “Tulips” and is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics on canvas.

As you may remember, we communicated our images with the instructor and the other students by sending the instructor an email; he then put our paintings on the screen for the class to see as he gave advice and help. So I have images of WIP to show you. Here are the stages of “Tulip” that I recorded.

Classwork: Painting #10

I took an online class in abstract painting during November/December 2020. For more info, see the introduction in this post featuring the first painting I did in the class.

The class was structured with a short lecture at the beginning of class covering an abstract painter’s work and using it as a springboard to discuss abstract art principles. Then we students painted at our individual studios.

Thank you to my fellow students and my teacher, Kassem Amoudi.

Here’s my next painting to show you. It is called “At the Summer House” and it’s 20″ x 16″ in acrylics on canvas.

Here are some progress views of the painting’s creation.

Classwork: Painting #8

I took an online class in abstract painting during November/December 2020. For more info, see the introduction in this post featuring the first painting I did in the class.

The class was structured with a short lecture at the beginning of class covering an abstract painter’s work and using it as a springboard to discuss abstract art principles. Then we students painted at our individual studios.

Thank you to my fellow students and my teacher, Kassem Amoudi.

Another painting. This one is called “When I Came Home”. It is 20″ x 16″ and done in acrylics.

Here are its WIP stages that I recorded.

Classwork: Painting #7

I took an online class in abstract painting during November/December 2020. For more info, see the introduction in this post featuring the first painting I did in the class.

The class was structured with a short lecture at the beginning of class covering an abstract painter’s work and using it as a springboard to discuss abstract art principles. Then we students painted at our individual studios.

Thank you to my fellow students and my teacher, Kassem Amoudi.

The next painting is called “Unanswered Questions”. It is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics.

And here it is as a WIP. I only had one photo of WIP – this painting was finished very quickly, and I didn’t make many photos.

Classwork: Painting #6

I took an online class in abstract painting during November/December 2020. For more info, see the introduction in this post featuring the first painting I did in the class.

The class was structured with a short lecture at the beginning of class covering an abstract painter’s work and using it as a springboard to discuss abstract art principles. Then we students painted at our individual studios.

Thank you to my fellow students and my teacher, Kassem Amoudi.

Here is the next painting. It’s called “Reunion”, and it is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics.

As I have said, we communicate our progress to our instructor by photographing the painting in its various stages and then emailing it. Then we can discuss it by Zoom. So, I have a collection of WIP photos for these paintings. Here is “Reunion” in progress.

The painting got more detailed as time went on. The needs of the painting as a whole meant I had to get rid of or amend some areas that I really liked, but did not fit as the composition progressed. It is so hard to do this!

Small Paintings I Almost Forgot

These little guys (6″ x 6″) have been waiting for their chance to shine. They were painted in September 2020 in acrylics on masonite.

I keep forgetting about them. I think? I apologize if I have shown them before and forgotten that, too. So, without further ado, here they are.