I’ve been working on more Gouache studies over the last week. They’re all quite small, 3x4” or so, and done on brown paper. With watercolors, I squeeze paint into palettes, wet the brush, and then just wipe it across the paint. Gouache very thin is chalky, though. It works better straight out of the tube — wet and thick. Which means I carry a zip bag of all the tubes of color with me, but it’s still considerably less to carry around than doing oils on site. I like that visually gouache has the darkness of oils, even if it doesn’t have the gloss. I think these studies will have enough depth to do oil paintings from back in the studio, though I try to always take a photo of the scene I’m painting in case I need more information. Sometimes I remember.
I feel like I’m making progress getting where I want to be, and I think this might be my project in Paris this year as well. I’ve done a lot of the watercolors I want to there, and gouache will give me a new way to see the city.
The lights are still weak in some of them. Here are two of the recent ones that have worked better. I really have to be intentional to work up to the lighter values, since I’m starting dark, which is exactly the opposite of leaving them open in watercolor. The good news is you can add them in if you forget (which I often do) to leave them from the start.