I have been trying to work with thin washes to lay in color, moving into negative painting – such as around the birch trees – and building the painting from there. I used different color mixtures to suggest the birch’s black areas on the trunk, and then used the darkest color I could mix to create some outlines for the trunks.
Watercolor is such an unpredictable, but somewhat predictable, medium that it can drive you crazy and fill you with delight.
Gouache apparently is best used straight out of the tube. I put a bit of each color I have into a covered palette, and the result is the gouache dried out fairly quickly. Today, I managed to make a hybrid painting it seems – rather watercolory and transparent, and rather gouachy and opaquish. To see if I can rehydrate the gouache, I put a couple of drops of glycerin into each well along with a spray of water. I’ll test them out tomorrow. I hate to think of wasting a lot of paint – it’s not cheap, even on sale for 40% off.
There are some “rules” for painting with gouache. One is thin to thick paint, and dark to light paint. Each layer of gouache is opaque(ish) depending on how diluted it is. Thus, you can begin with a watercolor-thin wash and end up with a straight-out-of-the-tube thickness.
To begin with, I laid down thin layers of color for all areas – sky, background, middle ground and foreground. From there it was playing around. Ultimately the sky and the foreground are more like gouache insofar I used heavier paints, but the middle to background remain less so and more along the lines of watercolor.
Besides using paint in different manners here, I tried to convey depth using atmospheric perspective. to some degree it worked. Being able to paint over things was really helpful. I’m not really sure if things “worked” or “didn’t work” here – but I do know a bit more about how gouache can be used, and, as with everything, practice helps out a lot.
As fascinated as I am with the gouache, I also know I need to continue working on my other artistic goals of drawing and watercolor and perspective . . . so easy to go down a path and ignore everything else I want to do!