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Viewing Blog: Gurney Journey, Most Recent at Top
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Creator of "Dinotopia"! This daily weblog by James Gurney is for illustrators, comic artists, plein-air painters, sketchers, animators, art students, and writers.
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1. The Best Podcasts


The last decade has witnessed a flowering of podcasts. Here are the best story-driven audio documentaries and long-form interviews, chosen with visual artists in mind.

99% Invisible
The pitch: A tiny radio show about design with Roman Mars
Sample episode: Johnnycab (Automation Paradox)

Note to Self (Formerly New Tech City)
The pitch: Host Manoush Zomorodi talks with everyone from big name techies to elementary school teachers about the effects of technology on our lives.
Sample episode: There's Just Something About Paper

Suggested Donation
The pitch: Artists Tony Curanaj and Edward Minoff talk art
Sample episode: Marc Dalessio

This American Life
The pitch: There's a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. It's mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always.
Sample episode: Batman--can a blind man see if he changes his thought process?

New York Public Library
The pitch: The New York Public Library Podcast features your favorite writers, artists, and thinkers in smart talks and provocative conversations.
Sample Episode: Werner Herzog on Greece and Wrestlemania

Radiolab
The pitch: Weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.
Sample episode: Eye in the Sky

Invisibilia
The pitch: Explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.
Sample episode: The Power of Categories

The Moth Radio
The pitch: True stories told live
Sample episode: Lewis Lapham, Rookie Reporter

WTF
The pitch: Comedian Marc Maron is tackling the most complex philosophical question of our day – WTF? He'll get to the bottom of it with help from comedian friends, celebrity guests and the voices in his own head.
Sample episode: Louis C.K.

Criminal
The pitch: Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
Sample episode: Ex Libris

TED Talks 
The pitch: Ideas worth spreading
Sample episode: Why We Laugh

Snap Judgment
The pitch: Glynn Washington delivers a raw, musical brand of storytelling, daring listeners to see the world through the eyes of another.
Sample episode: Mystery Man

Savvy Painter
The pitch: The podcast for fine artists who mean business.
Sample episode: Errol Gerson--Sound business and marketing advice for the artist.

Sidebar
The pitch:  Comics, art, and pop culture
Sample episode: Brad Holland

VFX Guide 
The pitch: A visual effects and post-production community website founded by three visual effects artists, Jeff Heusser, John Montgomery, and Mike Seymour
Sample episode: The Visual Effects of Mad Max: Fury Road

The Memory Palace
The pitch: Historical narratives
Sample episode: I'm Still Alive

Have I've missed your favorite podcast? Tell me the name of the show and a sample episode in the comments.

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2. GJ Book Club, Chapter 13: Variety of Mass

On the GJ Book Club, we're looking at Chapter 13: "Variety of Mass" in Harold Speed's 1917 classic The Practice and Science of Drawing. The following numbered paragraphs cite key points in boldface. If you would like to respond to a specific image or point, please precede your comment by the corresponding number.

This chapter brings us to some Speed's best material about painting, with some insights that I haven't seen in other instructional manuals.


1. Variety of shape is one of the most difficult things to invent, and one of the commonest things in nature.

He brings up the excellent point that if you don't regularly study from nature, your work will contain "two or three pet forms repeated." I'm thinking of N.C. Wyeth's whipped-cream clouds, for example (sorry, N.C.) . I think this tendency to see forms in a standardized way can even be a problem for a plein-air painter if they aren't sufficiently patient and selfless to really observe carefully and slowly and vary their approach.

2. Nature does not so readily suggest a scheme of unity, for the simple reason that the first condition of your picture, the four bounding lines, does not exist in nature. 

Despite the fact that we must go to nature to appreciate the endless variety of nature, at some point we need to impose design order on it because we're operating within the artificial universe of a rectangular picture.

3. Variety of tone values

Speed defines tone value (light to dark on a gray scale) as a property of light on form, and also as an element of pictorial design. Both of these properties can influence the tone you choose for a passage, and alter it from the actual local color of the object you're painting. 

Twachtman at the Metropolitan Museum
4. This quality of tone music is most dominant when the masses are large and simple.

Another way to say it is: "big tones create mood." The Twachtman above has both big tones and simple shapes. Large, simple masses of similar tone are what give a picture poetic impact, but they can be hard to achieve. Speed mentions that mist or fog can help. I would add that backlighting can too, because it automatically reduces complex value patterns to simpler silhouettes. 

5. Tone relationships are most sympathetic when the middle values of your scale only are used, that is to say, when the lights are low in tone and the darks high. They are most dramatic and intense when the contrasts are great and the jumps from dark to light sudden.

This is a great truth in keying a picture. The value scale has a lot to do with lighting, as any photographer knows. Fashion or food photographers can control the lighting ratio and the softness of the light using fill lights and diffusers and thereby achieve an image well within the middle range. By contrast, film noir directors use lighting to emphasize dramatic contrasts between light and dark areas. 

But unlike photographers, painters have complete control over all the variables of a picture, and we can achieve effects that are almost impossible in photography.

6. Variety in quality and nature is almost too subtle to write about with any prospect of being understood.
C'mon, Harold! It's a bit of a cop out for him to bring up this point and then not really explain it. But I think he's talking about variety of textures within a painting, including the types of brushstrokes (dry vs. wet, large vs. small, thick vs. thin paint, etc.). He argues—and I agree with him—that many of the celebrated Impressionists suffer from an overall sameness of paint texture, which interferes with any sense that you're looking at nature's infinite variety. You just get stuck in the paint instead.

I love his line "Nature is sufficiently vast for beautiful work to be done in separate departments of vision, although one cannot place such work on the same plane with successful pictures of wider scope." 

7. Every student should make a chart of the colours he is likely to use. 
The purpose of this chart is to see how the paint changes over time. In oil, the chart should have thick blobs of paint on one side thinned with the palette knife to a thin smear. There's a tendency, he says, for oil to rise up through the paint if it can't sink into an absorbent ground, and certain oils can darken. Can one of our paint material experts explain this a bit more?


8. Variety of edges.
He gives the usual advice to vary the edges around a given form—hard, soft, hard, etc. 

He then makes the more unusual observation that in some great works: "the most accented edges are reserved for unessential parts." In other words the face is handled with a lot of softness, and the accessory areas around the face, such as the costume, is given more hard-edge handling. He shows the detail from Velazquez's Surrender of Breda, but I think Sargent has many good examples of this, too.

It strikes me that this quality is the opposite of what you would do in focusing a camera on a face with a shallow-focus prime lens, where you'd want sharpness and detail in the eyes and the center of the face, and softer edges everywhere else. 

9. A picture that is a catalogue of many little parts separately focussed will not hang together as one visual impression.

Little bits separately focused is a common flaw in beginner's work. The unity of vision that he's setting up as a goal in picture-making is one of the marks of enduring masterpieces, and it requires conscious effort to achieve.

10. What perspective has done for drawing, the impressionist system of painting to one all-embracing focus has done for tone. 

We're talking about atmospheric perspective here, which he says is as radical a discovery as the discovery of linear perspective in the Renaissance. 

He continues, "Before perspective was introduced, each individual object in a picture was drawn with a separate centre of vision fixed on each object in turn. What perspective did was to insist that all objects in a picture should be drawn in relation to one fixed centre of vision." These days we've absorbed impressionist values so completely that it's hard to appreciate the impact that the revolution in vision brought to painting.


11. Treatment of foliage edges

Speed discusses the challenge of painting convincing foliage silhouettes. He says: "The poplar trees in Millais' "Vale of Rest" are painted in much the same manner as that employed by the Italians, and are exceptional among modern tree paintings, the trees being treated as a pattern of leaves against the sky. Millais has also got a raised quality of paint in his darks very similar to that of Bellini and many early painters."

He continues, "It is interesting to note how all the great painters have begun with a hard manner, with edges of little variety, from which they have gradually developed a looser manner, learning to master the difficulties of design that hard contours insist on your facing, and only when this is thoroughly mastered letting themselves develop freely this play on the edges, this looser handling."

12. Variety of Gradation
There's one more thing to consider when planning how to handle tone—variety of gradation. He concludes: "There you have only the one scale from black to white to work with, only one octave within the limits of which to compose your tone symphonies."

The Practice and Science of Drawing is available in various formats:
1. Inexpensive softcover edition from Dover, (by far the majority of you are reading it in this format)
3. Free online Archive.org edition.
and The Windsor Magazine, Volume 25, "The Art of Mr. Harold Speed" by Austin Chester, page 335. (thanks, अर्जुन)
GJ Book Club on Pinterest (Thanks, Carolyn Kasper)
New GJ Facebook page, credit Jenna Berry

Original blog post Announcing the GJ Book Club

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3. Sargent's Portraits of Artists and Friends

John Singer Sargent, Ambrogio Raffele, 1904
An exhibition of John Singer Sargent's portraits of artists friends has opened at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and will be on view through October 4.
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Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

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4. Dorian Iten's Accuracy Guide


Swiss artist and teacher Dorian Iten, who has studied in some of the best ateliers in the USA and Europe, is now offering a teaching package that concentrates on how to achieve accuracy in your drawings. 

The teaching rubric of "Accuracy: A Drawing Guide" begins on familiar ground. He takes a line drawing of a figure on the left, and reproduces it on the right. The drawing on the right shows alignments along a vertical line. 

Checking alignments is just one way evaluating a drawing for accuracy. There are four others, and he has concretized these modes of seeing by proposing five kinds of glasses. Each pair of glasses representing a different way of checking:  
Clockwise from upper left, there are the Alignment glasses, Angle glasses, Measurement glasses, "Creaturizing" glasses, and Implied Line glasses. These are all methods used for 2D copying of static subjects; they don't really help you deal with moving subjects, and they're not about constructing forms in space.


Here's what you look for with the Implied line glasses on. The simplified contours seem to extend beyond the small forms and pick up again in other parts of the pose.


To Dorian, these glasses are more than just a metaphor. He actually has his students cut them out of cardboard (but you don't really have to). Here's Dorian wearing the angle glasses. Very stylish.

The entire teaching package includes two videos, a PDF guidebook, and a cheat sheet that thoroughly discuss this clever approach. 

When deciding how to monetize the packet, he decided to offer it as a "$0+" pay-what-you-want product, registered under the Creative Commons license. I asked him why he decided to structure it that way. He said he did it that way because: 
" I'd like more people to be familiar with it - and use it
• I want to make the guide available to everyone, without a paywall
• PWYW removes the upper ceiling of fixed prices and allows happy/supportive contributors to give as much as they like
• It feels easier to promote than a fixed price product
• If there is a sacrifice of profit in order to reach more people (which there might not be), I'm willing to make it at this point in my journey"
One way to approach the transaction is to download the packet for free, try it out, and then decide what it's worth to you based on how much it has improved your drawing. Then you can go back and contribute based on whether, for you, it was worth the price of a cup of coffee, a magazine, or a day-long seminar.

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5. Is Casein the Oldest Paint?

Residue of a milk-based ochre paint has been found on the edge a 49,000-year-old stone tool, Archaeology magazine reports today. This finding in the Sibudu cave of southwestern South Africa would make casein—paint that uses a milk-based binder—perhaps the oldest paint formulation of all. 


stone age paint-making workshop found in the nearby Blombos cave included stone and bone pestles for grinding the pigments. There was also an abalone shell caked with orange and red pigments used for mixing or storing colors.

Researchers say the milk ingredient was identified by "several high-tech chemical and elemental analyses" and that it may have come from a bovid such as a buffalo, eland, kudu or impala—presumably a wild-killed lactating female—since cattle were not domesticated until 1,000-2,000 years ago. I'm not sure how they ruled out human milk, which would be a lot easier to obtain, and would be available throughout the year. 

Pigments mixed with fat also date back to the Middle Stone Age archaeological record, and their use was probably similar to the body paint used in Africa today. The oldest known paintings are the 40,000 year old stenciled handprints in the Maros cave system in the Sulawesi island chain of Indonesia.

What other paint binders were used by Paleolithic cultures? Archaeologists have found evidence of "vegetable oils, egg whites, yucca juice, yucca syrup, white bean meal, piñon gum, plant fluids, saliva, blood, and even urine." In the Lascaux caves, the dissolved limestone in the water may have provided the ingredient to stick the paint together, since it dries to a hard calcite layer.

Whether the Sibudu casein paint was used to decorate the body, a cave wall, or some portable object is not known.
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Press release. Photos courtesy Archaeology Magazine (Thanks, Greg Shea and RobNonStop)
Materials of Ancestral Art
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New review of Gouache in the Wild from "Thick Paint" author Brad Teare: "Gouache in the Wild simultaneously respects traditional techniques while infusing them with a spirit of invention."

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6. Clipping Services

Before the Internet, press clipping services once provided a necessary service to anyone running a publicity campaign.

With teams of readers scattered across many geographical markets, they would monitor print media for specific keywords and then snip out the articles, mark the keywords in the margin, and mail the client binders with all the relevant clippings.

Clipping services also advertised in art magazines for illustrators who wanted to collect tearsheets of other artists or photos of certain cities or subjects.

Is it a case of Death by Google? Some of these companies have shifted to monitor digital media, or they've merged or gone the way of the dodo.

But there are still players in the print-clipping game because a lot of print media is hidden behind paywalls.


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7. Olga Lehmann at the Slade School

Olga Lehmann (1912-2001) was a Chilean-born painter who studied at the Slade School in Britain.


While going through the Slade School archives, some 1992 audio interviews with Lehmann turned up where she describes her experience at the school. They've been uploading those interviews to Soundcloud so now we can listen to the Slade oral history: Olga Lehmann.


Lehmann describes arriving at the Slade School at age 17 in 1929, and meeting the instructors Henry Tonks, (who first told her she should take up knitting instead of painting), and Randolph Schwabe, who had done war art in both World Wars.

Sketch by Olga Lehmann
She said that in the life rooms, men and women never mixed. The instruction was in the form of suggestions. When she talks about Slade teaching in the 1930s, she remembered the exercise of doing a painting from life using only black, white, and red.



Thanks to Stephen Chaplin and the Slade School for putting these online.
Wikipedia on Olga Lehmann

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8. Bruno Liljefors and the Fox

The Swedish wildlife artist Bruno Liljefors (1860-1939) spared no effort to achieve a lifelike quality in his paintings.


He skipped social gatherings so that he could rise early and go into the countryside to lie motionless for hours, hidden behind reeds at the water's edge.

Occasionally he brought a gun, saying "Sometimes I have to kill these birds and animals in order to dissect and study their structure." But he needed to see them up close and alive to understand their postures and movements.

He tried sketching at zoos, but found that "the modified captivity of the animals distorts their character and changes their habits."



He created his own menagerie in Uppsala, Sweden with more free-roaming spaces, but even there he found they acted unnaturally—especially the fox, who he wanted most to observe.

So one day he decided to set the fox free.
"When he turned his fox loose he gave him a fair start over his hounds, intending to have a fox-hunt all to himself; but the fox waited quietly for the dogs to come up with him, and then they played together. It was a failure, even from an artistic point of view."  
Quotes from Brush and Pencil, Vol XV, June 1905.

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9. Kickstarting a Will Davies Art Book



Will Davies was the premier Canadian illustrator of the Mad Men era. He's 91 years old now, not painting anymore, but he's still going strong, sharp as ever. (link to video)


Leif Peng, right, created the Today's Inspiration blog which spotlights illustrators from the mid-century era. He has been working to create a full-color, hardbound art book celebrating Will Davies' career.


With three days to go, The Kickstarter campaign is already funded, but Leif and Simon want to get the word out to make sure everybody is aware of the project and its rewards. 

Their dream is to put this book in the hands of Mr. Davies and let him know how much we all love his work.

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10. Final Questions about Gouache


James Gurney, Calla lilies, watercolor and gouache
Joseph Gyurcsak, an artist and brand manager for Utrecht art supplies, wrote to me in the middle of Gouache Week offering to answer any remaining questions. He told me that he worked on developing Utrecht's line of gouache for more than two and a half years, and that he learned a lot about the medium during that time. 


[Gurney]  How would you define gouache compared to other water-based media?
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "Firstly, I would like to say by definition gouache is OPAQUE watercolor for those who are confused. Gouache colors were not intended to have the same vibrancy as watercolor because the formulation properties are entirely different. They can be permanent and long lasting; just look at the works of John Singer Sargent or Winslow Homer's wonderful interplay of transparent washes (watercolor) with semi-transparent and opaque passages of gouache. There are times when this interplay (transparent, opaque and impasto) is done as masterfully as an oil painting!

"One more truth: opaque colors in any medium and any brand color line will never carry the vibrancy of color intensity compared to any semi-transparent or transparent color when mixed with white! I preach this color mixing law to all students in my demos and lectures."

[Gurney]  When you helped develop the Utrecht line, what qualities did you want to achieve in the paint, and how did you do it? 
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "Gouache colors are very delicate formulations. They need to be opaque, even with pigments that don't want to go this way because of their nature. [They should have a] Flat to satin sheen, [and should] lay down flat, continuous washes without striking [Ed. streaking?] when dry, if possible (mainly for designers), flash dry (for rapid layer build up) and have the ability to create thin detail lines if needed. This is complex and demanding, and that is why the formulations are so very delicate in the pigment-loading ratios compared to all other ingredients.

[Gurney]  What's different about Utrecht gouache? 
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "Utrecht gouache is different in way of price. We try to be affordable for all level artists to enjoy professional level materials."

[Gurney]  Is there any way to retard the drying time in gouache, especially when using it in arid conditions? 
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "This is opposite to its flash dry [Ed. quick-drying] properties but if an artist must, ox gall or glycerin (with eye dropper) used sparingly will buy some more time."

[Gurney]  Is there any way to eliminate the value changes as gouache dries?
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "The shift is going to happen especially more when colors are opaque in gouache and acrylic. Artists develop a sense for working with various mediums and know how to mix in anticipation. Most good instructors advise a test scrap, or as we have seen in artworks from the past at museums, this testing done on borders outside the picture boundaries. I especially love seeing this, as it shows the artist thinking in color notes! Frederick Remington comes to mind."

[Gurney]  Are there any grounds or surfaces that should be avoided when using gouache?
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "Slick ones, gouache wants to peel from these more plastic type surfaces."

[Gurney]  Can gouache be used as a substrate for other painting media, such as oil?
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "Yes, watercolor, chalk pastel, acrylic and oil color. It must be sealed with a Krylon clear spray for oil, to avoid oil bleeding and staining the colors."

[Gurney]  Do you recommend varnishing gouache to get more depth of color and glossiness? What sealers or varnishes would you recommend using or avoiding?
[Gyurcsak/Utrecht] "Krystal clear Krylon is excellent for this, but beware, it is permanent, so rework may be difficult after application. But it will bring increased depth, and many illustrators and designers use this. Believe it or not, a simple non-museum glass in framing gives it depth."

Painting Calla Lilies in Monterey, Calif. 
[Gurney] again. I thought this would be a good time to answer some of the questions that we weren't able to get to during the live-stream painting last week.

4:29 NatalieBarahona: Do you always do an underpainting for gouache plein air studies?

[Gurney] No, I generally paint directly on the watercolor paper. I use an underpainting either to provide some interesting color possibilities or to seal up the fibers of the paper. Burt Silverman often worked in gouache over gesso, or he primed watercolor paper with a thin layer of white gouache underneath watercolor. It's good to experiment with lots of variations to see what kind of surface you like. In the case of the calla lily sketch at the top of the post, I underpainted the whole image with yellow except for the white areas.
4:38 miaomiao: Hi James! are you usually saving your most saturate colors at end? or it depends?

[Gurney] I do often save the most saturated or highest-chroma accents for the end, especially if they're small accents. But other times I start with high chroma in the underpainting and cut back on the color by covering it with low-chroma layers, such as the passage at right.

4:50 ludicrous-sin-filtro-scriptus: how many camera guys do you use to film your dvds?
[Gurney] I don't use any crew. I shoot them all myself. Sometimes if I'm lucky I can convince Jeanette to operate a camera, but she's usually busy sketching. The moving camera shots are done using geared-down Lego motors on homemade dollies.

4:45 Kozart: any major tips for mixing colors/ getting the colors that you're looking for?
[Gurney] Yes. When you go to mix a color, mix the HUE first, then the VALUE, then the CHROMA. Exercise: Get a bunch of color swatches from the paint store and try to mix a patch of paint in less than five seconds that you can dab onto the swatch for a perfect match.

4:49 nickgoeslife: What are some things you did when you were new at plein air to really push yourself and grow your skills?
[Gurney] Painting outdoors speeds up the decision-making because of the pressure of the circumstances. I did a lot of that, switching media, and working in black and white from time to time.

4:49 dirktiede: I find that when drawing or painting outside, I have a tendency to rush. Any tips on how to stay calm and focused and give the drawing/painting the time it needs?
[Gurney] I think that's one of the most important things to keep in mind. It's not just a matter of time; it's a matter of concentration. We all tend to rush too much and to be too distractable. Going back a second (or third) day when the light is the same is a good practice, just to see how far you can push an outdoor painting.

4:52 arturo-ramirez: Is this being recorded and available for later watching. I would love to watch it again and see the whole process.
[Gurney] I was hoping to have a highlight video at least, but we've had some audio problems. Best thing to do is to press the "follow" button on my ConcertWindow page to make sure you don't miss the next one.

4:53 andreasipl: can you put more pencil on top of gouache? keep building detail?
[Gurney] Yes, because of the matte surface, gouache accepts pencil, pastel, water-soluble colored pencil, or pen. It's a nice way to put in accents and definition at the end.

5:03 MikeA: Do you get kicked out of places often?
[Gurney] No, not too often. But I (and the readers) tell lots of "gamestopper" stories at this previous post.
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Sale on videos ends today, the last day of "Gouache Week"
Own the 72-minute feature "Gouache in the Wild"
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (Get 10% off all Gumroad products until midnight tonight at this link) $14.95 $13.45
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) 10% off until midnight tonight $14.95 $13.45
• DVD at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) 10% off until midnight tonight $24.50. $22.00

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11. Banana Pudding Cake


After finishing my scrambled eggs this morning at the diner, I painted the still life on the counter in front of me. And then I made a one minute video about it (Link to video)


The banana pudding cake sits on a paper doily in its covered cake stand. This little painting is mostly transparent watercolor from my pan set. I used a little bit of gouache for the doily and for the highlights in the cylindrical cover. 
-----
Sale ends tomorrow
Own the 72-minute feature "Gouache in the Wild"
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (Get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link) $14.95 $13.45
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) 10% off this week only $14.95 $13.45
• DVD at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) 10% off this week only $24.50. $22.00

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12. Some of My Favorite Gouache Masters

Over the years, gouache has attracted some brilliant painters. Here are some virtuosi:

Menzel, The Interior of the Jacobskirche at Innsbruck, 1872, 15 3/4 × 10 5/16 in.

Adolph Menzel (1815-1905) This long-lived German artist made important contributions in oil, pencil, watercolor, and engraving, but it was said of him that he expressed his greatest truths in gouache.

Wm. Trost Richards Moonlit Landscape, 1862, gouache, 6 7/8 x 13 3/8 in.
William Trost Richards  (1833-1905) American landscape painter who often painted small works on tone paper. He was equally competent in oil.



Thomas Moran (1837-1926) Moran painted in oil in his studio work, but brought gouache on location to the American West with some of the first survey teams.

Leaves watercolor and gouache 8 5/8" x 6 3/4"
Fidelia Bridges (1834 - 1923) American student of Trost Richards, who painted sensitively observed close-ups of plants.



Albert Beck Wenzell (1864-1917) Belle Epoque illustrator of society life who often worked in black and white.



Stepan Kolesnikov  (d. 1955) Russian painter of solid peasants and spindly trees.


Eugène Galien-Laloue (1854-1941) French boulevard painter during la Belle Époque. He painted scenes of bustling streets at twilight. They may have been painted by formula, but it was an impressive formula!



Albert Brenet (1903-2005), a French illustrator specializing in trains and ships.
Coby Whitmore, 1950, For the story Heartbreak by A. Barke
Coby Whitmore (1913-1988) Mid-century style-setting illustrator always, innovative with his compositions.



Harry Anderson (1906-1996) known on this blog for his magazine illustrations of women and children, he painted in tempera—here's one of his plein-air landscapes.

Freshwater Pond Life, ca. 1970. 12 ½ x 28 ½ inches
Ned M. Seidler (d.2007) was one of the natural history illustrators for National Geographic and the U.S. Postal Service in the 1970s, often compressing a whole ecosystem into a single picture.


Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman. Known as "Fitz and Van" this team painted car ads for Detroit, with consummate control over craft.


Carl Evers (1907-2000) German-born artist specializing in ships and water.

Leynnwood ‘Memphis Belle’, a Boeing B-17F.
Jack Leynnwood (1921-1999) painted many of the best covers for the Revell plastic models. He painted both in gouache and casein.


Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012) concept artist for the original Star Wars series.


Syd Mead (born 1933) The combination of Ridley Scott's dystopian vision and Mead's sense of believable detail made the art for Blade Runner some of the finest concept art of all time.

I know I've left out a lot of others, but go ahead and mention them in the comments. Thanks, Charley Parker, Armand Cabrera, and all the others on Facebook who reminded me of some names I had forgotten.

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13. GJ Book Club: Chapter 12, Unity of Line (Part 2) Curved Lines

On the GJ Book Club, we're looking at Chapter 12: "Rhythm, Variety of Line" in Harold Speed's 1917 classic The Practice and Science of Drawing. The following numbered paragraphs cite key points in boldface. If you would like to respond to a specific image or point, please precede your comment by the corresponding number.

This is part 2 of the chapter, about curved lines. Because I've been so busy with Gouache Week, I've barely looked into the chapter, I'll just present some of the main points and images. I'll pass on my own responses and leave the discussion to you in the comments.

1. Curved lines have not the moral integrity of straight lines....without the steadying power of straight lines and flatnesses, curves get out of hand and lose their power....We recognise this integrity of straight lines when we say anybody is "an upright man" or is "quite straight," wishing to convey the impression of moral worth.

2. Always be on the look out for straightnesses in curved forms and for planes in your modelling.


3. Illustration showing the "Power of Curved Lines to Convey Energy."

 
4. Illustrating the flow of lines (in Botticelli's Venus) on which the Rhythmic Unity of the Picture Depends.


5. Rhythmic Lines in Veronese Rape of Europa.

6. Diagram of "Clash of Lines" from Uccello's Battle of St. Egidio

7. Showing how Lines unrelated can be brought into harmony by the introduction of others in sympathy with them (also below)


8. Indicating the sympathetic flow of lines that give unity to this composition.

9. Illustrating the effect on the face of putting the hair up at the back. How the upward flow of lines accentuates the sharpness of the features (left), and fullness of the features (right).



The Practice and Science of Drawing is available in various formats:
1. Inexpensive softcover edition from Dover, (by far the majority of you are reading it in this format)
3. Free online Archive.org edition.
and The Windsor Magazine, Volume 25, "The Art of Mr. Harold Speed" by Austin Chester, page 335. (thanks, अर्जुन)
GJ Book Club on Pinterest (Thanks, Carolyn Kasper)
New GJ Facebook page, credit Jenna Berry

Original blog post Announcing the GJ Book Club

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14. Painting Dan Gurney's "Pepsi Challenger"


When I was in southern California last fall, I painted the "Pepsi Challenger," a Formula 1 race car designed and built by my cousin Dan Gurney and his team back in 1981 (link to YouTube video).

Dan let me set up my sketch easel in his museum, and I interviewed him about the car. The edit mixes my voiceover about the making of the painting with clips of him talking about the design of the car.

Note that the car doesn't have rear view mirrors. They were taken off for some reason, but we joked that when you're way out in first place, you don't need rear view mirrors.



I've been intrigued by this kind of edit, which juxtaposes two different ways of looking at the object being painted. My viewpoint is that of the naïve observer, trying to translate my outward impression into paint, and his is the expert who knows the object inside out.

The expert's perspective is a reminder to me not only of the importance of accuracy, but it also helps to push me beyond the limitations of the moment and the surface, where so many plein-air paintings become stuck.


For this video, we also have the third element of my great-uncle John Gurney's operatic aria playing in the soundtrack, which connects the art of painting with the unusual heritage of my family. I hope it also expresses the kinship between the arts of painting, engineering, and music.

What I tried to accomplish with "Gouache in the Wild" as a whole is to explore the magic of seeing the world firsthand through paint, and to let each painting hinge open like a doorway into new worlds.

Be a part of the adventure! 
Own the 72-minute feature "Gouache in the Wild," which includes a more comprehensive edit of this segment.

• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (Get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link$14.95 $13.45
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) 10% off this week only $14.95  $13.45
• DVD at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) 10% off this week only $24.50.  $22.00

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15. Painting "Brownies" Comic Characters



In this mini trailer segment from "Gouache in the Wild," I visit the antique toy collection of Mel Birnkrant to paint his "Brownies" candy containers in acryla gouache (Link to YouTube)


I'm fascinated by the character design from a century ago. They have a sort of eager mania with their big eyes and effervescent smiles. Who can resist those cute Kewpies with their eyes coyly turned aside, and the bouyant little Brownies. No wonder, they were designed by top artists of their day. 


The Brownies were created by Palmer Cox (1840–1924) starting in the 1880s. They were all little men, and they included standard types of that era: Uncle Sam, the Cowboy, the Policeman, the Sailor, the German, and the Chinaman. Brownies were some of the first mass-merchandised characters, and the Kodak "Brownie" camera was named after them.

It's one thing to look at these antique toys, but quite another to paint their portraits. Painting physical character toys is one of the best exercises for artists who want to get better at character design, especially for 3D CG animation. 

Read more
The next best thing to sketching a real museum of toys is to check out Mel Birnkrant's phantasmagorical website, starting with the page on Kewpies and Brownies.

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Join the fun! 
Own the 72 minute feature Gouache in the Wild, which reveals more methods that I used in this painting, including the Renaissance grid system for accuracy.

• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (Get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link$14.95 $13.45
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) 10% off this week only $14.95  $13.45
• DVD at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) 10% off this week only $24.50.  $22.00

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16. Gouache demo today on ConcertWindow


Here's the gouache landscape I painted "in the wild" today during the hour-long live webcast on ConcertWindow. Thanks to the 150 of you who joined in from as far as Australia, Russia, Argentina and all over the USA!

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17. Meet Cameron the iPad Holder


Meet "Cameron" the iPad holder with a little sculpted face on the side. (I made the face out of Model Magic). The pupil of his eye is really a hole above the iPad's camera to remind me to "look the viewers in the eye" and also that the CAMERA-is-ON.

I'll be using him for my gouache painting live webstream today at 4:00 NY time on ConcertWindow.

You can follow this link to my broadcast page and be there when I go live. The show will last for one hour. It's totally interactive, with Jeanette reading your questions while I paint.

There are also special tip rewards show here, such as signed, hand-remarqued first day covers of the Australian dinosaur stamps, and a customized doorknob hanger to put on your studio door.

 Gurney gouache painting live webstream today at 4:00 NY time on ConcertWindow.

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18. Contest: Paint a Gas Station in B&W

If you're eager to get going with gouache, why not join this contest?


The challenge is to paint a gas station in black and white gouache on location. 

Gas Pump, gouache, by Thomas Kinkade, 1981
For inspiration, here's one of my favorite little paintings. If you've never seen this image before, it might surprise you that it was painted by Thomas Kinkade, better known for his prints of glowing cottages. When I knew him, it was long before he was "The Painter of Light." In addition to working as background painters, we traveled all over the country doing work for the book we co-wrote called The Artist's Guide to Sketching.

He painted the gas pump when that pump design was new, and he wanted to paint it realistically, but subtly push the idea that it looked like a weird robot alien.

Three Rules
1. Just black and white, no other colors, and it must be regular gouache or "acryla" gouache.

2. You can be inside or outside the station. You can show a view of the convenience store or the mechanic's shop or the street scene around the station. If you don't want to do a wide shot, you can focus in on details like signage, soda machine, pumps or cars. It can be a busy station or an abandoned one. But somehow it must be evident that it's set in a gas station.

3. It must be painted on location and it must be a new painting done for this contest. In addition to a scan of the final painting, your entry must include a photo of you with your set-up and the painting in progress.

Prizes
I'll pick one Grand Prize and three Honorable Mentions. All four winners receive a highly coveted "Department of Art" embroidered patch. In addition, the Grand Prize winner receives a First Day Cover of the Australian dinosaur stamps with a hand-drawn remarque. The top 10 entries will be published on GurneyJourney, and I'll try to figure a way to upload all the entries on another site.

Deadline
It's free to enter. The deadline is Monday, July 20. Winners will be announced July 22. 

How to Enter
Email your two files (painting and photo of you doing the painting) to gurneyjourney (at) gmail, subject line "GAS STATION." The files must be no larger than 700px in any dimension. Or send me a link to a file-hosting site where your image can easily be accessed.

Live streaming event TODAYJoin me this afternoon at 4:00 New York time, June 24 for a live gouache painting demo on ConcertWindow. There will be a chat window so that you can ask questions and interact.

Own the 72 minute feature Gouache in the Wild and be part of the fun
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (Get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link$14.95 $13.45
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) 10% off this week only $14.95  $13.45
• DVD at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) 10% off this week only $24.50.  $22.00


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19. Steering-Wheel-Mounted Sketch Rig


Amanda Williams from Western Australia says, "I've been using this home-made steering-wheel easel for a few years—great when it's uncomfortable outside. Easily made with scraps of wood and a couple of old drawer knobs." 

Thanks, Amanda. I'm glad you pulled over before using it! This would be especially good on a car where you can adjust the tilt of the wheel.
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Tomorrow begins Gouache Week. 

Monday: Release of the new 72-minute video tutorial "Gouache in the Wild." On Monday only there will be a 10% discount from the normal sales price of $24.50 (DVD) or $14.95 (HD download). 

Tuesday: New 3-minute YouTube sample—Painting a Snow Scene at Sunset. Secrets on gouache formulation from several manufacturers.

Wednesday: New 3-minute YouTube sample—Painting a Gas Station / Convenience Store. Announcement of contest.

Thursday: New 3-minute YouTube sample—Painting Antique Toys called Brownies. Pros and cons of acrylic gouache. 

Friday: New 3-minute YouTube sample—Painting Dan Gurney's Race Car. (Plus the GJ Book Club).

Here's what the pros are saying:

"I so enjoyed my copy of James Gurney's Gouache in the Wild! The practical painting knowledge is intensely useful and the insight he offers about his subjects makes you feel that you haven't lived until you've captured your experiences in paint!”
Nathan Fowkes, concept artist and professor at LAAFA

“Gurney has provided a much needed guide for painting in gouache — an often overlooked artists' medium that is deservedly gaining in popularity; every section is overflowing with his wealth of location painting knowledge and experience.”
Charley Parker, Lines and Colors

James Gurney has put together another wonderful video for beginning student and seasoned professional alike, packed with information and insights. This time he takes on the rarely discussed medium of gouache, handling it with both precision and abandon, taking the mystery and apprehension out of it. As always he offers useful tips with humor and excitement, sharing his experiences with both the medium and the pitfalls and enjoyment of painting outdoors. The sequence with the Brownies is pure painting magic. This video may bring an entirely new audience to the medium. Now we will have to learn how to spell gouache.
Dennis Nolan, Professor, Hartford Art School.

"James Gurney takes us on a fun and educational journey. It was such an enjoyable experience to be a fly on his shoulder as he creates one masterpiece after another. Makes me want to get out there and paint!"
Stan Prokopenko, founder of proko.com

"James Gurney's video Gouache in the Wild is an amazing mix of educational, aspirational and inspirational fun. James brings the concept of painting in gouache to life in a simple and light-hearted manner. I highly recommend this series.”
Jon Schindehette, Creative Director at Treehouse Brand Stores   

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20. IFX Reviews Tyrannosaurs Video


Review of Tyrannosaurs: Behind the Art, reprinted from ImagineFX Magazine, August 2015

(Rating: 5 out of 5 stars) Master illustrator James Gurney educates and delights with an in-depth look at how he created two paintings for Scientific American magazine. 

Even though dinosaurs have been extinct for 66 million years we're still discovering new species. Twenty types of tyrannosaur, all cousins to the iconic T. rex, have come to light in the past decade-and-a-half, for example.

When the magazine Scientific American commissioned James Gurney to create a cover and interior illustration of these 'newcomers' he decided to film his process. The resulting production joins a small but high-quality series of videos James has built up over the past few years.

Tyrannosaurs is less a training video, more a fully fledged documentary—though there are plenty of techniques to glean. James covers themes that will be instantly familiar to devotees of his books and other videos. Chiefly, the challenge of taking an imagined scene, whether from ancient history or purely from your imagination, and convincing the viewer it could be real.


You'll see, for example, how James refers to modern animals to deduce how long-extinct creatures might have looked. More dinosaurs than we'd previously thought had some feathers, so James makes makes a detailed comparison of fur and feathers in today's world to establish where they might have been and how they may have looked.

James has perfected the trick of packing in lots of information without ever making his presentation feel heavy. Given that his various videos cover broadly similar ground (this is his third about painting dinosaurs), anyone who's bought all his videos to date will inevitably find less new information here—although it's frankly so enjoyable to watch that it's debatable to what extent this matters.

If you're less familiar with James's work, you'll gain invaluable insights into making colour and value studies, painting with oil- and water-based media, researching your scene much more —and having fun doing it.
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View trailer on YouTube visit ImagineFX on Facebook.

DVD (NTSC Region 1 coded) With exclusive special feature "Sketching Chickens, Imagining Dinosaurs" $22.00 (save 10% this week) from Kunaki.com

Download (MP4 HD file that you can own and view anytime offline) $14.80 available from Gumroad (credit cards) -- or Sellfy (Paypal)
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Note: "Gouache in the Wild" releases today at noon.

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21. Release of Gouache in the Wild


(Link to trailer on YouTube)
"Gouache"hard to spell, but fun to paint with.

Today is the release of the new video tutorial about painting on location in gouache, or opaque watercolor. I'll tackle six different subjects, with each episode focusing on a different approach to the medium. The subjects include a neon sign, a snowy landscape at dusk, a convenience store, a swamp, some antique character toys, and a Formula 1 race car. Some of the studies are precise and controlled, and others are bold and painterly.


Gouache is a time-honored and versatile medium, a favorite with both professionals and beginning painters because of its portability, opacity and suitability for fine detail. But it also presents its own unique challenges, so I share plenty of practical information about formulations, materials, and painting exercises. For example, painting in black and white is a good way to get accustomed to the medium—or to paint in tight quarters, such as a concert hall or a restaurant.


Here's a small sample from a 12-minute segment (link to the video on YouTube) where I show the most straightforward way to paint in gouache: a careful pencil drawing, with the paint applied to finished effect, area by area.

Stay tuned this week, as I'll share other samples from the video. And mark your calendar: On Wednesday at 4:00 pm Eastern Time, I'll do a free streaming demo of gouache on location via ConcertWindow. Click the link to see my page there.
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Own the video and be in on the discussion
Download at Gumroad (GurneyJourney readers get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link) $14.95 This week only $13.45
or Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers)
DVD at Kunaki.com 10% off this week only—$24.50. This week only $22.00
(Ships anywhere worldwide. Region 1 encoded NTSC video)

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22. Gouache Ingredients: Info from Manufacturers

Top: Winsor Newton, Second: Acryla Gouache (Holbein),
Third: Holbein Gouache, Fourth: M. Graham,
Fifth: Utrecht (left), Daler Rowney (right)
To research the gouache video, I decided to ask manufacturers what ingredients they put in their paints. Here's what I wrote to them:

Dear _______,
I’m currently working on a new instructional DVD called "Gouache in the Wild," and I had a question.

In my research about gouache paints, I'm encountering some confusing information about the formulation of gouache. Many manufacturers claim in their advertising they use no opacifiers, chalks, fillers or other agents or "so-called adulterants" added to the pigment and binder, giving the impression that gouache is made up of solely of pure concentrated pigment and gum arabic. With an opaque pigment such as Venetian red, I can imagine that such a formulation might be possible.

But according to other information I've found, some pigments are so transparent (such as phthalocyanine and other organic pigments) that even if they are used generously in the formulation, the gouache would be unacceptably transparent and dark, and therefore whiteners or opacifiers are used to make them lighter in value and more opaque.

Other authorities claim that the formulations include other necessary ingredients such as honey, plasticizers (glycerin and/or dextrin), and preservatives to protect from spoilage or to improve the flow characteristics.

Could you please comment on what ingredients go into your gouache?

Sincerely, James Gurney

Top: transparency test, bottom: value shift test
None of the companies paid me anything or asked for any kind of special favor. But they all gave me thoughtful answers. Here's what I heard back:

Holbein

You are correct, there is so much differing information on Gouache from manufacturer to manufacturer. Here is what my understanding is with respect to competitive Gouache lines and what Holbein has always offered on theirs.

- Almost every gouache line, regardless of origin, contains typically either talc, marble dust, Calcium Carbonate or titanium dioxide. It is very easy to tell when using a gouache that contains these ingredients. The colors tend to be drab and every color will have a chalky/milky overtone.

- Holbein does not add any of these ingredients. Typically they achieve opacity through pigmentation. Holbein gouache is therefore slightly less opaque than other gouache lines, but offers superior color saturation, handling qualities and all colors lack that chalky/milky look. Holbein uses a moisturizer, Polyethlene Glycol and a preservative, benzisothiazoline.

- Holbein acryla gouache uses a pure acryl resin as its base.
I hope this helps and please let me know if you have other questions.

All the best,
Timothy S. Hopper
Executive Vice President
Holbein North America

More product information on Amazon: Holbein Acryla Gouache


Winsor Newton
Great question! In fact, gouache can be rendered opaque through two different formulation approaches. The first, and most commonly used, is through the addition of opacifiers like calcium carbonate or titanium dioxide or other things. The result is greater opacity, but the clarity and intensity of the color is compromised, sometimes quite appreciably.

The other approach is to use pigments that tend to be naturally opaque and to load the formulation so heavily with pigment that opacity is the result. Of the two approaches, the second is the one we use. The opacity really and truly comes just from the pigment load.

I would also like to tell you how much I enjoy your book, 'Color & Light'. I teach and recommend it to all of my students. It is the best book on the subject I have seen. It is a great book! I wrote a book for North Light about twelve years ago. 'Colour Secrets for Glowing Oil Paintings' so I can appreciate the amount to time and work it takes.

Best wishes.
Doug Purdon
Technical Advisor
P.S. I just received this reply from our technical manager.
Some opacifier is added, but the formulations rely predominantly on being heavily pigmented.
I suspect that when the pigments are very transparent such as Pthalo Green or Blue this would be necessary to ensure that they had sufficient covering power. 

More product info at Amazon: Winsor & Newton Designers' Gouache

Utrecht
Historically, Utrecht paints have been formulated with heavy emphasis on single-pigment colors to deliver the unique characteristics of the high quality raw ingredients we use, and this is still true of our Designer's Gouache line. Consistent with this goal, we use opacifiers and matting agents only where needed, in the minimum effective proportion. Depending on the individual color, we may use inert pigments like blanc fixe or barium sulfate to achieve an opaque, matte appearance.

 A few including Cadmium Lemon Yellow, Cobalt Blue Hue and Naples Yellow have a small amount of titanium white added, either to achieve a hue consistent with a traditional color or to bring a pigment to its best advantage. More information about pigment content is included on the product MSDS:http://images.utrechtart.com/Content/MSDS/UT-Designers-Gouache-13.pdf

Our objective was to offer designer's gouache worthy of the fine artist's palette, something that would never be called "chalky". There may be more variation in opacity/transparency across our assortment than with some brands, but that's a deliberate choice we think makes Utrecht Gouache such an excellent paint. Since skillful and sensitive use of white is so important in gouache painting, we feel that producing tints is best done on the palette by the artist. After all, you can always add white, but you can't subtract it.

The binder for Utrecht Designer's Gouache is pure gum arabic. We do add antimicrobials, wetting agents and plasticizers. Our approach is to develop each color individually rather than a generic palette, so there is no overall single formula for any of our professional paint assortments. I will have to consult our Brand Manager to find out which colors include specific agents. None of the colors in our gouache line include ox gall. I'll review my archives and see what other information I can discover. Thanks for your interest in Utrecht paints!

Matthew Kinsey
Utrecht Art Supplies


M Graham 
Thanks for asking. As a small child I wanted to be either a ballerina or an archaeologist so I have been fascinated with Dinotopia for years. Never occurred to me that I would be a paint maker.

When we looked at entering the gouache market, many products were termed "designers" gouache. The idea was to make a design, take a photo and throw the original art work away. Many of the colors were fluorescent or not lightfast because the work was "swimsuit fashion" and permanency did not matter.

We decided to go with a "fine art" version instead. We use the same pigments as our oil, acrylic and watercolors so there are some that are so transparent that opacity requires whiteners. Instead of formulating with opacifiers or whiteners, we leave this decision to the artist. Or the color can be diluted all the way to a wash without chalkiness.

Since our whole operation is 9 folks and a part time stray cat in a 3000 sq. foot cinderblock building surround by hops fields in rural Oregon, we do not go much farther in discussing our formulations.

Diana Graham

More info on Amazon: M. Graham Gouache Set

Caran d’Ache
Acrylic, watercolor and gouache are waterbased paints. Acrylic is resin based and watercolor and gouache are gum based (resin is not watersoluble, reason why you can’t solve acrylic after it has been dried) and gums are watersoluble.

Watercolor is transparent, reason why there is no filler in the composition. It is just a big amount of pigment ground in an excellent gum like arabic, or better, traganth gum.

Gouache and Acrylic are opaque by definition, reason why they contain calcium carbonate to give them opacity. The binder used for gouache is often potatoe starch (dextrin) but it can be also arabic gum in case of extra fine gouache.

Sometimes, pigments are opaque enough not to be mixed with calcium carbonate (chalk). It is more in the case of mineral pigments like iron oxides or earth (like sienna, umbers etc..).

Hope you will find answers to your questions.

Regards
Eric Vitus
Fine Arts Manager
CARAN D'ACHE SA

More info on Amazon: Caran d'Ache Gouache

Richeson
We have never manufactured gouache, so I am very short on knowledge. In general, most gouache today, particularly at lower quality levels (tempera paint) will contain chalk, because it makes for great opacity and is a cheap filler.

For more expensive lines of gouache, it seems to me that it’s not likely/possible that something is not being added. For example, Ultramarine blue is a transparent blue, but shows up in a gouache line as opaque. This suggests that something has been added. There are opacifying pigments (don’t quote me on the correct terminology), really just additives meant to provide certain properties to paints that can be added. I suspect that while they are not adding Chalk, they are likely adding these opacifying “pigments”. Now for you and me, a pigment should be definable as a color of some sort. The opacifying pigments I know would not make any sort of recognizable paint.

I hope this helps.

Darren Richeson
President
Jack Richeson and Co., Inc

Other brands
Lukas Gouache
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Own the video and be part of the fun

• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (GurneyJourney readers get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link$14.95 This week only $13.45

• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers)

• DVD at Kunaki.com 10% off this week only—$24.50. This week only $22.00
(Ships anywhere worldwide. Region 1 encoded NTSC video)

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23. Gouache over Casein Underpainting



(Link to video on YouTube Here's a brief YouTube version showing the winter landscape at sunset. It's just a fraction of the entire segment from "Gouache in the Wild."

I had to wait for a day that was just above freezing. Before leaving on the painting trip, I prepared a page of the book with a casein underpainting— a warm color area surrounded by cool colors. I had a vague idea of using that abstract color field for some subject that I could light selectively.



The casein underpainting presents a closed surface to the gouache, so it won't pick up the wet washes, and it makes the watercolor paper a little less absorbent. But the best part is that the color field suggested possibilities for the overlaying washes of semi-opaque color.
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Own the whole video and take part in the fun
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (GurneyJourney readers get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link$14.95 This week only $13.45

• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) for 10% off this week only 

• DVD at Kunaki.com 10% off this week only—$24.50. This week only $22.00
(Ships anywhere worldwide. Region 1 encoded NTSC video)

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24. Painting the Produce Case

Produce Case, gouache, 5x8 inches, painted at the Hannaford, Kingston, NY
Earlier today I walked into the supermarket and was mesmerized by the produce case. 

The oranges, limes, and lemons were reflected in the big mirrors behind them, and I knew I just had to paint them right then and there.


Luckily I had my gouache supplies with me. I steered an empty shopping cart over next to the apple display. I set up the tripod sketch easel inside the cart. I chose a page with a yellow-blue casein underpainting, and got busy with the colored pencils. 

Since the gouache has no smell and is very neat and water-based, I knew I'd be OK working with it there. 


My wife took about 55 minutes to do the hunting and gathering. During that time I was nervous that someone from the store would ask me what the heck I was doing, but no one said anything to me. 

I think the uniform shirt made me look like I was on some sort of corporate assignment, and my purposeful expression kept me from looking like a complete nut.

Here's the sound environment. (Link to audio file) The store is near the train tracks and you can hear the train sounding at 00:17.

Thanks, Hannaford supermarkets for your inspiring, artistic displays.
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Live streaming event tomorrow
Join me tomorrow, June 24 at 4:00 EST for a live gouache painting demo on ConcertWindow. There will be a chat window so that you can ask questions and interact.

Own the video and be part of the fun
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (GurneyJourney readers get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link$14.95 This week only $13.45


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25. Painting Within a Value Gamut


Gouache Week continues with a brief trailer / sampler from the feature Gouache in the Wild. This time Jeanette and I are painting an ordinary gas station while our car is being fixed nearby. (Link to Video)


Color gamut, value gamut
In terms of hue, this is a complementary gamut of blue grays vs. yellow-oranges. I leave out reds, except what I can mix with burnt sienna. And I ignore greens, except very dull greens that I can mix with the few colors on the palette.

I also want to classify the tone values, pushing everything to a group of light tones and dark tones. I try to create the painting using the limited number of color notes represented by the swatches below:


Top row. 1. Light/Warm; 2. Light/Neutral; 3 Light/Cool.
Bottom row. 4. Dark/Warm; 5. Dark/Neutral; 6. Dark/Cool.



This Spartan color universe yields a strong value statement and it guards against the dullness that comes from painting everything in middle values.
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Live streaming event TODAY
Join me this afternoon at 4:00 New York time, June 24 for a live gouache painting demo on ConcertWindow. There will be a chat window so that you can ask questions and interact.

Own the 72 minute feature Gouache in the Wild and be part of the fun
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad (Get 10% off all Gumroad products this week only at this link$14.95 $13.45
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) 10% off this week only $14.95  $13.45
• DVD at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) 10% off this week only $24.50.  $22.00

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