Friday, January 8, 2010

REVIEW Watermedia Techniques: Watercolor and Gouache

WATER MEDIA TECHNIQUES: WATERCOLOR AND GOUACHE by Stephen Quiller. (Crystal Productions)
This video is full of basic techniques, which Quiller demonstrates in clear, simple demos. It’s a real treat to watch Quiller make shapes with quick confidence using a two-inch wash brush. Grasses, trees, and wood grain emerge magically from the various brush angles and negative and positive shape making.
He constructs a painting, using the transparent qualities of watercolor, then builds translucent and opaque passages with gouache. Because gouache is made of the same gum arabic binder and handles similarly on the brush to watercolor, it is fully compatible with watercolor. It’s great for fine detail, and for creating highlights on a painting, similar to the use of “body color” in 18th century traditional watercolor. The combination of watercolor and gouache also allows the artist to build a painting from dark to light, as in oil painting. Underpaintings, and scumbling techniques become possible.
One interesting demo is a plein-air sketch in watercolor, followed by a studio painting in watercolor and gouache. It’s interesting to see how Quiller takes elements from the sketch and creates a dramatically different studio work, informed by the information he collected in the field.
An excellent video for exploring the possibilities of the two media.

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