Video Library


Gouache demo of the same reference in Paris Nights oil project. Filmed from a zoom session lesson (note: lower resolution).


I created this demo for a student who was interested in transitioning from learning gouache after painting for about 2 years in mostly transparent watercolor. The student is interested in oils but feels as if gouache will be a better medium to explore before oils. When I was learning oil I went directly to oil from watercolor, so a gouache intermediate step its not required, but any personal preference for media is encouraged, as this is part of the art journey. There is no 'right way' just trying things out.

Colors were chosen based on the reference photo, for example I did not put out a bright red and focused on blue and yellows. Note the role of mid gray on my palette, this is important to keep track of gouache values as to wet/dry as they shift about 2 cubes on the value scale when dry. Also to note that the lo res filming here makes the painting look less blotchy. A gouache that is in the process of drying can be very blotchy and rather ugly as to intent... so don't lose hope! Let it dry fully before you judge your project.

Materials in Assignment tab.

Media Try different media out to break out of a rut, or learn something new. It's really refreshing to get new supplies and play around with no expectations. Creating a painting from a prior project (such as the oil I created) is easier to do. Some of the prior issues of painting this scene had been solved in my oil demo, such as the importance of the sky shape and having the correct value. In the gouache demo I spend time developing this relationship (sky/building) before doing any details such as lights or figures.

Pre Drawing or Not It's tempting to want to draw this out first, but try to develop the painting with a blob to reality approach. Remember in gouache it will be easy to correct shapes, value and color temperature. Mid way in the demo I 'cool' the buildings with a blue milky wash. If done quickly, the previously dry paint layer will not lift.

Colors shown on palette (counter clockwise from Titatium white which is off screen in a large blob to the left). All colors Winsor Newton gouache unless noted, see supply list for gouache list details. Neutral gray 3, Burnt Umber, (empty bay), Naples Yellow, Azo Yellow, Gamboge, (empty bay), Alizarin Perm., (empty bay), Venitian Red (not used in demo), (empty bay), (empty bay), Black, French Ultram. Blue, Cerulean (watercolor), Cobalt Teal, (empty bay), Hookers Green. Brushes synthetic flats in varied sizes, 140# cold press watercolor paper Fabriano 100% cotton.