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From Art Geek:

Gouache, and a new system for conquering the world

Sunday, Nov. 30 2008 UTC

Here’s my new system for conquering the world. It will solve all my problems, at least the artistic ones.

Drawing in progress (graphite, ink and gouache on paper, detail)

Ingredients:

The system is simple. With this extremely portable set of tools I can capture and eliminate ideas freely and quickly and iterate until I have a drawing that is worth making a painting of (or at least not want to rip out of the sketchbook and toss into the fireplace).

In the past, what was missing was the 'iteration’ part, especially while working in ink. Although I sometimes lay in material in pencil before going to ink, I find that I 'think better’ in ink much of the time… also, pencil drawings tend to get muddy if erased too much.

The gouache solves that by allowing you to quickly obliterate a part of the drawing. And, unlike acrylic or white-out types of liquid, it is easy to erase and takes graphite and brushed ink nicely.

The details shown here are from the same drawing which I worked on for a few hours today, eliminating ruthlessly. The drawing on the whole doesn’t really work (ok, so I guess I haven’t solved all of my problems) but the technique looks promising.

Drawing in progress (graphite, ink and gouache on paper, detail)

I guess I’ve steered clear of gouache and watercolor because I like the rich, layered textures of oil and acrylic. But I know that comic book inkers use gouache frequently, and I’ve had fun playing with it today.

Yesterday, at the Chicago History Museum, I saw an aerial rendering of the 1933 World’s Fair, likely done completely in gouache. Perhaps 72“x30”, it was my favorite thing out of
few thousand artifacts there — utterly photographic from far away, delightfully graphic when viewed close up.