Just before Christmas, on my annual Christmas panic run with my Dad in The Range I wandered off to look at the art stuff on offer. Leaving my Dad to decide whether my Mum would like a back scratcher in her stocking or not (he did and she actually loved it!?) I had a look at the paint sets on offer. I’ve never really been a painter, I mean I’ve done it before but never really understood what I was doing, just hope for the best and if it turned out ok I presumed I’d done it right. But here I was faced with set after set of paint tubes. Acrylic, oil, watercolour and gouache? I’d heard of gouache before, but had never tried it, it isn’t sold that many places or not that I’d noticed. Picking up the box I looked at the tiny tubes of paints and thought I would just try it.
Below are some illustration characters I created as I tried to grasp how to use them. It was certainly tricky at first mixing the colours right and knowing how much water to use. By the end of it I think I understood what I was doing, I think…
What I did (as if I knew what I was doing, ha!)
1 Sketch it out
As I had never used gouache before I knew that I shouldn’t try anything too complicated or overly detailed; I’m a pretty clumsy painter and always end up covered in paint (even the colours I have touched!). I filled a page in my sketchbook with a variety of shapes, some straight up “human” faces and some simple objects that just needed a cute smile put on it. I hoped that the simple block shapes would make it easier for me to understand how on earth to use these alien paints.
2 Start Painting
Using the Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache Introductory 10 Tube Set I began terrifyingly painting. I really didn’t know what I was doing, mixing a little water and hoping that made it work. I did it, I think? Starting with the Primary Red I painted everything I wanted in that colour and so on and so on with all the others. I chose not to mix with this first go, made my life a little simpler so I could get to grips with the water/ paint ratio going on. And typical Jenny smudged the blue when I was painting but I was able to fix it (point in gouache’s favour there!)
3 The Jenny Pink Background
After I had finished painting everything I sat back and looked at it for a bit. I kind of wished I’d done it a little different. It wasn’t pink enough to me. So reluctantly, and knowing how much of a pain it would be, I mixed my usual baby pink together (easy than I had thought it may be) and filled all around the little characters. It did mess up my pretty leaves and edges a little but I could fix that. I knew what I was doing now!!
4 Added the little details
Once the paint dried, which takes no time at all (another point in their favour) I added all the details in black fine liner that I wanted to with the paints but couldn’t; more practice needed first! I also used coloured pencils to fix some of the mistakes I made and add some texture and shading to the finished illustrations. I was quite proud of them in the end, for a first go and all. I sure I’ll be using them again soon and will be sure to let you see what I created. Overall I did really like these paints, well done past Jenny for buying them!!
You can watch me paint it here, sorry my head gets in the way a bit and I keep flipping the paper around!
Bye for now