WWM #9: Shadow Play

Today is another gouache, and I will say it is beginning to feel a bit “natural” to be painting in gouache.

Doing all the waves the other day got me in touch with that sensuous quality the paint has when it has a specific texture, as well as the dry brush effect when a bit of scrubbing is needed, and when the paint is very thin.  Each requires  different ways in which the paint is controlled, by how much water is added, what is below the layer of paint you are adding, and what you anticipate adding later.

One thing I did learn in today’s painting is the value of the hair dryer – I used it so much in this painting, nearly after each layer of paint.  This got the paint as dry as it should be and it kept me from working more quickly than is appropriate for gouache.  The result was much more pleasing in my opinion and a lot less frustrating.

In painting this window scene, I wanted to accomplish a couple of things.  One was a more “painterly” style – a bit looser than say the butterfly of yesterday.  The other was to see if I could express the varying light of the shadows as the flowers were buffeted in the breeze.  If you think about how shadows move, they flutter, getting lighter at times, getting darker, as the breeze moves the flowers on the sill.

Window in the Wood

Another window, this time set into a log building.  The logs were fun to paint – just broad swooshes with a brush, and then some detail.  (I think I could use a few more wider dark swooshes in the upper 1/2 of the windows for the logs.)  Here, as in yesterday’s painting, detail is important, but still needs simplification to express the window and the logs.  Overall, I am rather pleased with this picture.  My palette was very limited – burnt umber, burnt sienna, and ultramarine blue.  Oh, I threw in some zoisite (DS) because I love its granualtion!

Blue Shutters

The other day I was trying to paint a something-or-other, and realized I had no idea how to paint something to suggest it, rather than give all the gory details.  It may have been yesterday’s rocky cliffs.  In particular, I started to think about buildings and windows.  Stucco – brick – stone – how to express it without excess?

I decided lets start with just windows.  Here is one set deep into a stucco building.  I had to look at the shutters, the shadows, the casement, the small details such as hinges and cracks in the wood, as well as the shadows between the louvers.