Rainbow Art Journal – Selfie in Blue Gouache

Over Winter break, I have picked up my Rainbow Art Journal again.  I am determined to get it finished this year.  It has been one of those projects I have dipped in and out of for far too long.  It’s time to wrap it up.

This page is my first attempt at properly using gouache.  I was gifted a set of gouache paints for my birthday in November and I finally found time to start experimenting with them.  I am a natural born pessimist and not given to self-confidence but I daftly thought I would take to gouache.  I assumed it would be close enough to watercolour that I would have a sense for how to work it and apply it.  Spoiler alert: I was wrong.  The gouache does not react to water in the same way that watercolour paint does.  Being thicker, it was harder for me to dilute it in a way that was pleasing.  I got lots of ugly streaks.  It was also harder for me to work with the brush.  I am used to being able to gently encourage watercolour and ink into edges and shapes but I had to be more forceful with the gouache.

I kept my first experiment simple, a silly little doodle of a selfie, because my focus was on the application of the paint rather than the outcome of a finished illustration.  As first experiments go, it is not a disaster but nor is it as proficient as I hoped it would be.  That’s OK though.  That’s what my art journals are for.

56 Selfie in Blue Gouache

Liberty

I was off work today while my kids were in school for the morning so, with some bonus free time, I grabbed the opportunity to do some art.  I had not found time to play with the supplies in my November Art Snacks box so I got those and my art journal and set to work.  The Liquitex acrylic gouache I received was in a deep turquoise colour, one of my favourite colours, and I let that inform the subject matter as I thought the colour would suit an illustration of the Statue of Liberty.  I didn’t want to try and draw the actual sculpture, however, so I drew my version of the iconic figure, changing her pose, hair, and face, but leaving enough elements for the subject to be obvious.  I have not used gouache much generally and have never used acrylic gouache so this piece was a big experiment in media for me.  I liked that I could use it thick on the crown but that diluted down it behaved a bit more like watercolour, which is how I used it on the body of the figure.  I even managed to get some watercolour-like pigment blooms going.  Gouache and I never got on well in the past, which is why I have barely used it, but I may have to give it another go.

Liberty