Rainbow Art Journal – Dapper Bigfoot

I find cryptids interesting and I enjoy drawing them. It has been a while since I drew any so I thought I would draw Bigfoot. I could have drawn the scruffy, feral Bigfoot who skulks around the forest but I thought it would be fun to draw Bigfoot dressed up and with a bit of personal grooming. I unfortunately made him a bit bug-eyed and should have resolved that eye shape before going in with the ink. Otherwise I am pretty happy with this drawing.

92 - Dapper Bigfoot

This illustration is another attempt at using gouache. I am still using it like watercolour, very diluted, so I probably need to get braver about using it at a thicker texture. Even diluted, however, I am finding that the chalky quality to the paint means I am losing some of the detail of my ink work unless I go back over the paint after it has dried. I don’t know whether that approach will work over thicker paint, however. Maybe those of you with experience with gouache can help me find that happy balance with the medium.

15 thoughts on “Rainbow Art Journal – Dapper Bigfoot

  1. As far as gouache use goes: typically I draw my image outline/shapes in watercolor pencil first, do some ink lines over that, then I use gouache in the watercolor-way as you have done. When the gouache has dried I’d go over some ink line details again, then I’d use the gouache a bit thicker to do selected details even if the ink is obscured. For example if I had been working on your piece – the hair especially as it comes forward on the brow, or chin would have more strokes of thicker color as if I was painting individual hairs. If the pop-eye look bothered me I would use the thicker gouache to cover the eye tops/bottoms with eyelids and lashes. Then I would smooth transitions between the watercolor-like areas and the thicker paint line details using my ink lines and a medium (half watercolor-y half-thick) application of the gouache or even some layers of watercolor pencils. The ink lines and thicker gouache areas would be selectively placed so to emphasize the feeling I want to convey. If I were doing your piece I would want to emphasize the brow and mouth areas for that “I see you and could bite you” impression. Does this make any sense?

    • That all makes complete sense. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide me with these detailed instructions. I will definitely try your approach. I have found the gouache gets “muddy” when I try to layer it but I am probably not using a thick enough layer or too much water. I definitely need to experiment with using the paint thicker and be braver about attempting layering with it. And I am definitely going to try your watercolour pencil technique when I dig out the pencils.

      • Glad it makes sense! As far as for the muddy gouache issue when layering… When I do the watercolor like layer (like you do it) I use the hue I selected for the whole area then the *only* layering I do with the gouache is the areas with shadows or highlights which use a darker or lighter version of the areas selected hue. Yes, one just gets brave and mixes a thicker version of the selected hue plus however you wish to darken/lighten it. Then to soften any edges between the shadow/highlight color areas and the base hue areas one uses a wet brush with clean water only – no paint. Fine details are done on dry gouache in ink, color pencils, collage or a fine point brush and wet gouache. Does this make sense too?

      • Ah ha! Yes. That does make sense. I am used to using layers of different hues of watercolour to build some layers so I can see now that I need to think differently about that with gouache. And coloured pencils are the key to adding some additional coloured details. Thank you!

  2. He looks fierce. I like him. He fits his billing. As to gouache I’m no expert. I do remember my teacher saying the traditional consistency is that of heavy cream. I found it was possible to make the layers too thick but it could be controlled. I did find it possible to go over it in ink as long as it was dry and of course the thickness of the point had to fit how much paint was on the paper.

      • In the class I took, the teacher talked about how the paint changes depending on how much water you add – from watercolor to totally opaque. I practiced starting off with the paint right out of the tube and gradually adding more water by dipping my brush into the water more often or mixing on my palette, to get a feel for it. It was worth the time because I was never going to figure it out by thinking about it, it’s kind of a feel.

      • Thanks. I have been doing the opposite and starting out with thinner washes and then trying to build up from there. I will try the opposite and starting off thicker. I will definitely keep experimenting.

      • I have the feeling from my class instructions that while gouache can be built up, it seems like it’s best to try to get it how you want it in the beginning, choosing your opacity level with the amount of water you add up front rather than layering (since the paint is opaque vs watercolor’s translucence I think it works differently). It seems to me that layering in gouache is tricky and that opacity and mixing colors is best done outside the painting rather than on it, than painting your desired result the first time rather than adding (if this makes sense).

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