Sunday, November 20, 2011

Versatile Gouache

I have always loved gouache as a painting medium. It is underrated and often misused, strickly as a "poster paint" to be applied in a flat hard edged manner. Illustrators of the 1950's used it extensively and several of these masters (Bernie Fuchs, Harry Anderson) employed it in a very painterly fashion. Early in my career I was attracted to gouache based on the work of the west coast Illustrator, David Grove. He was very innovative with his compositions and fresh application of the medium.
I struggled for years to get the effects that I was searching for in my own experimentation with gouache. I would complete a few unsuccessful studies and then go back to my oils or mixed media. But, I would always return to try again. I am drawn to the color range and consistent matte surface. Above are a few 11x 14 gouache landscapes. The lake scene is re-worked from an earlier version and shows the possibilities of softer, more atmospheric effects.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall Colors

Despite the busiest Fall quarter that I have experienced at RIT since I started teaching here in 1990, a few faculty have still managed to gather on several Friday evenings to draw from the model. These are two of our best models and their stamina for holding poses is impressive. Each of these pastel drawings were completed in under two hours on a warm grey, 22" x 32" printmaking paper. The more that I draw from life, be it plein air landscape painting or figure drawing, the more I prefer it rather than working from photos. Direct observational drawing is the ultimate"blank canvas"! You translate the 3D real world to the 2D drawing/painting world and this observation must filter through your individual brain. No two artists will see it exactly the same way.