Monday, January 18, 2010

Tutorial: Gouache and India Ink

I like painting with Gouache. It's opaque, but behaves alot like watercolor. There are some interesting things you can do with it, too.

One of my favorite ways to make art involves Gouache and India Ink. Some kinds of ink work better than others. I love using Higgins Waterproof Black India.

The first thing you do is paint your design leaving the paper white where you want the ink to stick. You really need to paint the Gouache on quite thick. If your paint isn't thick enough then the ink will go through and you'll end up with a black canvas.

For this one I painted 3 fir trees on a winter night. Notice I basically just blocked in color on large areas. It's hard to see, but I used white Gouache where I wanted snow. I also painted the sky violet and dark blue, which I didn't get a photo of.

Let the Gouache air dry completely. Then, with a very soft brush you will quickly paint a layer of ink over the top of your piece. I usually pour on some ink and then quickly pull the ink lightly over the entire painting. Some of the Gouache will bleed through. Resist the urge to keep playing in it. Just quickly cover the painting and then set it down and wait for it to dry. Don't use heaters or blowers, just watch it until the ink loses it's shine and is dry.

Turn on your tap and adjust the water until it is about room temperature. You should have a small steady stream, about the diameter of a thin pencil. Hold your painting under the water and let the water wash off the ink. You can lightly use your finger to remove more ink in certain areas, if you wish. Move your painting around until you've washed off as much ink as you want. This leaves some very interesting marks on your paper. Let it dry.

Now you can go back and repaint. Strengthen the areas that were washed away, or covered over. Have some fun with it.

When you repaint over Gouache your new strokes somehow mingle with the paint underneath. They blend together and mellow out a bit. You may have to keep adding more and more layers if you are trying for a strong highlight or pure color. My kitty is just so interested in everything I do. My daughter had to snap a photo of him supervising my work.

And there you go. An interesting piece that was pretty easy to do.


lakhsmita indira said...

Linda, you make me smile with the cat pic :))

Register domain names said...

Great piece of art and you make my day.

Acrylic Swirls

Acrylic Swirls
Who says you can't have depth with acrylics?