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.

Rainbow Art Journal – Sphynx Cat in Stripes

I am a cat person. I am currently owned by two cats, Satchi and Peanut. My youngest son has an obsession with cats so we often scroll through cat content on my phone when we are bored in waiting rooms. Cats make me happy. A new addition to my cat joy, however, is sphynx cats and here’s the thing: I don’t even particularly like them. All of the cats who have ever owned me have just been moggies, not a breed among them, and sphynx cats are a very specific breed with a very peculiar aesthetic. My husband, however, finds them repellant. The thought of a bald cat curling up on his lap skeeves him out. This discovery has led me to seek out photos and videos of sphinx cats to randomly send to my husband just to aggravate him. (Please don’t worry about marital discord – bugging each other in insignificant ways is one of our family’s love languages.) Website algorithms being what they are, the net result of all of this is that I have been consuming an awful lot of sphynx cat content lately.

All of this preamble is the context of why I chose to draw a sphynx cat in the final page of the pink section of my Rainbow Art Journal. The drawing itself was simple and easy so the challenge for me was with the media I used to add colour. I am determined to get to grips with gouache but simultaneously keep procrastinating over using it. I was actually pretty pleased with what I accomplished with painting the head of the cat. I effectively treated the gouache as watercolour but it worked out. The background disc and the strips gave me more difficulty because I was using a thicker dilution of the gouache.

87 - Sphynx Cat in Stripes

I could not get this illustration to photograph accurately, partly because of the lighting conditions and partly because the hot pink seems to knock the other hues out of kilter. What reads as neutral-brown and mustard tones in the photograph are actually orange and yellow-orange in real life. Making adjustments was just making things worse so this is the best version of the image I could produce.

PS I smudged paint with my hand in the bottom right of the page and I tried to cover it up using white gouache. The patch job is much less obvious in real life but I still need a better solution to covering up smudges. I also need to stop being so messy in the first place.

Rainbow Art Journal – Pink and Yellow

This is another page that I actually completed a while ago as it was created with the contents of the May 2021 Art Snacks box. The pink and yellow are Royal Talens gouache, a medium I am still not that familiar or confident with. This was an experiment in using it in different dilutions. I am definitely more comfortable using it in a way that mimics watercolour but I enjoy the possibility of using it in thicker layers too. The colour palette was dictated by what happened to be in the box but I surprisingly rather like this combination. It’s very summery.

78 - Pink and Yellow

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