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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Workshop Day Four

Today Donna did a demo on gouache, illustrating the differences between transparent watercolor and gouache. You work light-to-dark in watercolor and dark-to-light in gouache. Watercolor is lightened with water; gouache is lightened with white gouache. Watercolor is darkened through mixtures; gouache is darkened through the use of dark, bright pigments. Too much water weakens the covering power of gouache, so she taps a sponge to remove some of the water from her flat brush before she picks up pigment. She did a partial demo, then sent us back to work and continued with her painting after lunch. I find it hard to watch demos for 3 hours, even with breaks. Most students seem able to make the transition from design analysis to putting paint on the paper, although I haven't seen any masterpieces yet, including my own. I decided I had rushed into color too quickly yesterday, so today I did a black-and-white positive/negative shape plan with paint, followed by a three-value plan that I liked. I used a different color scheme from yesterday and got about halfway through the small picture. Still too soon to tell how it will turn out. I can understand why one might choose to use this medium for the opacity and brushstrokes, but I miss the spontaneous splash and transparency of watercolor. Donna used to do pure transparent watercolor but now she tends to be somewhat dismissive of the medium, and I have a hard time with that. I feel watercolor should be honored for its own qualities, just like pastel or colored pencil are, and not downgraded just because it has limitations compared to some other media. To each her own, right?

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Blogger Michelle Himes said...

I agree! I love watercolor. I experiment with other mediums from time to time, but I always come back to pure watercolor.


10:23 PM  

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