Posts Tagged ‘Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache’

JUST A HOUSE – Final Gouache

JUST A HOUSE by Barry Coombs

by Barry Coombs

As promised, here is the final version of my painting in gouache and watercolour. I call it JUST A HOUSE. It’s approximately 12 x 16″ and was made on Arches, 140 lb., CP watercolour paper. The preliminary washes were done with Da Vinci Watercolours and I used Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache. My sketch is posted below so you can see what changes and adjustments I made.

I photographed the piece with my Canon PowerShot and processed it with iPhoto. It looks fine in iPhoto and in Preview but it looks blurry and not very good on my monitor. It’s disappointing and I have no idea what the problem is but I hope it looks all right to you.

That doesn’t mean you have to like the painting. Let me tell you a bit about my process:

GETTING STARTED: I began with flat, geometric watercolour washes. The whole sheet was painted a pumpkin colour and the house shapes were added in a deep and cool brown.

DRAWING: I pencil in each shape before applying the gouache but I only draw a few shapes at a time, adding more as the image develops. Everything is freehand.

GOUACHE: Gouache is an opaque medium but some colours are more opaque than others. As with acrylic and oil, white can, and often should, be used to increase the opacity of weaker colours and add body to darker colours. Yellow!!! The door of my house was red for quite a while and, after much deliberation, I changed it to yellow. Applying yellow over the darker red proved to be a real technical challenge. Disaster almost struck!

COLOUR: I’m generally an intuitive colourist but I did take the requisite colour classes at art school. I often use complementary colours and I love to incorporate black and white in my work. Take a look at your art history books. Black and white were as important to early Renaissance artists as to the much more recent Modernists.

MOTIVATION: I like to set challenges for myself. Not every painting has to end up in an exhibition or even a frame. My goal was to create a whimsical and colourful image from a rather bleak, geometric beginning. Memory and imagination are important elements in my process.

PATIENCE: Obviously, I allow myself a great deal of artistic licence. More importantly, I have to issue myself an artistic restraining order every time I paint. Get back and get away from it for a while! My students are either smiling or grimacing as they read this reminder.

INSPIRATION: Two great artists come to mind; the American Stuart Davis  and, from France, Raoul Dufy. Both worked in oils. Davis also worked in gouache. Dufy used watercolour and gouache. These artists didn’t simply depict their subjects. Their works are a response to the beauty of the world around them and communicate their passion for the act of painting.

In 1943, Stuart Davis published a beautifully written essay in Art News entitled The Cube Root. Read it! Agree or disagree with it but read it first.

UNRELATED PLEA: I have a Facebook page called Barry Coombs Art Workshops. It needs Likes. There is a widget on this page, low down on the right. If you don’t see it, go back to the Home page. A click on the widget means a Like on my Facebook page. I appreciate it. Do you have an art-related Facebook page? I’d like to Like it.

Pen and ink sketch by Barry Coombs