Archive | October 2012

Another Sunset

Sunset. Gouache on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig October 2012

This time I worked with layers. The painting I did on the first day looked a lot different to the one you can see here. It had no foreground, the colour of the water was much duller as well as the sky.

I really wondered whether it would be possible to change it so much by putting paint over the first layer. Yes, it was. Gouache paints are really opaque paints. The only thing is that you have to be careful not to wet your brush too much.

The ink lines were added when the painting was dry. It was the first time I used a hair dryer to make the process a bit quicker, and it was fun to see how quickly the painting dried!

It is the last day of October today, so it might be the time to look back at the month. It was a month full of painting, full of paintings done with gouache paints. I really enjoyed slinging paint, and I got more and more confident regarding mixing paints and the handling of my brushes.

So I decided to make November the month of Acrylics. This does not mean that I’d never do a gouache painting again. But for the next four weeks I will focus on my acrylic paints, and I will present my paintings here.

Sunset over Mountains and Lake

Sunset. Gouache on Watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig, October 2012

Colour mixing is fun! I am quite satisfied with the way the water came out. I am also glad that I added the ink lines. Doing this was quite an experiment which could have gone awfully wrong.

Red Geranium

Geranium. Gouache on watercolour paper.
Ulla Hennig October 2012

This is my contribution to the October challenge of the Florals/Botanical forum over at WetCanvas. We were asked to paint “potted flowers”. Well, geraniums are potted flowers. Here in Germany balconies and patios are decorated with geraniums in all shades of red and pink. As we had a very mild October you could still see them occasionally these days.

Blue and Magenta

Blue and Magenta

Blue and Magenta. Gouache paints on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig October 2012

Yesterday I went into my favourite art shop and bought two tubes of Nerchau tempera paints. Before doing that I’d done some research about the difference between “Tempera” and “gouache”. Obviously there is almost no difference. Both are opaque watersoluble paints.

Fact is that I’ve got that set of Reeves Gouache paints with 12 tubes, and magenta unfortunately is not among them. Of course magenta can be mixed with red and blue. However it might be difficult to mix the same colour hue if you want some space covered. (Or to put it honestly: it is still difficult for me!)

Now of course you can find single gouache tubes from Schmincke. Schmincke is a very known paint manufacturer for artists, and the tubes sell for 4 Euros upward. Not that I say I won’t ever buy a Schmincke gouache tube. In a few months time I might. But now, for the present, I prefer to use paints for playing around, with the risk of no result whatsoever – with the exception of an empty tube.

So, without further ado, I bought two tubes Nerchau tempera, one magenta and the other one English red, and I had to try the magenta. There was left some blue on my palette from the last painting, together with some white, and with some playful mixing of these colours I got the result which you can see above.

By the way: I didn’t mention it in the posts before, but your comments and critique are highly welcomed and appreciated!

Abstract Landscape

Abstract landscape. Gouache, pen and ink. Ulla Hennig, October 2012

There were a lot of paints (red, yellow and green) left from the last painting which you can see here. Up to that point I’d always cleaned my palette and washed the paints off. But this time quite a lot of paints were left on the palette,  so I decided to do something with the dried up paint. There is quite some difference between that kind of paint and the paint coming directly out of the tube, but the dried paint can be used for washes, as you can see. I added the ink in the end – because the colour somehow had formed itself into a kind of landscape.

It is the Season

Fall leaf. Gouache paints on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig October 2012

There hasn’t been yet a big change of colour in the trees here in Berlin. Many trees are still wearing green, only some have changed to yellow. Today, when I took the train from work I saw some red vine glowing in the sun.

However I saw that beautiful fall leaf on one of the pages of my wall calendars (I think it was the month of September), and I decided to take it as a reference photo. I used red, yellow and green and experimented with mixing. The ink was added as the last step, after having added the background.

In the meantime I’ve gone through the archives of the gouache corner over at WetCanvas, and I noticed that most of the artists seem to do the background first. I must admit that I am afraid of doing that. I’m not into backgrounds, so to speak. But on the other hand: for a long time I had been thinking that “I’m not into colour”, which to some extent now proves to be untrue. So one of my goals concerning art is to change that attitude…

Tree spirit

Tree spirit. Reeves Gouache paints on Watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig October 2012

Some weeks ago I bought Linda Ravenscroft’s book “How to draw and paint Fairyland” (the German version). I found the painting of a tree spirit on one of the pages of the book and felt like painting one, too. Her version is much cuter, more like an illustration in a children’s book, though.

I did a rough sketch with a pencil and then taped the paper on a board. Then I put it aside for the next day. The drawing was looking at me when I had my breakfast the next morning, and it made me really keen on putting paint on it when I returned from work.

Being a newbie to Gouache painting it was a real challenge for me to get the various shades of brown and green. I also still struggled with the amount of water and paint on the brush, but I had the impression that – slowly – I was getting a feeling for it.

Abstract Gouache Painting

Abstract. Reeves gouache paints on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig October 2012

I did this painting with three paints: blue, red and yellow. I am still exploring the ways colours can be mixed. Unfortunately, the number of video tutorials about how to paint with gouache paints is quite limited. I found out, however, that there are a lot of tutorials about how to mix colours with acrylics, and I’ve got the impression that they might come quite handy.

There are so many things to learn and explore in the world of painting – but I am having lots of fun! Using the Reeves gouache paints which are quite inexpensive gives me the feeling that I can really play around, risking failures. Some day I might even upgrade to Schmincke paints – but that time hasn’t come yet…

Creatures of the Night

Creatures of the night. Reeves gouache paints on watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig October 2012

Some days ago I discovered the medium gouache and I love it! Gouache paints are opaque, but they are water soluble which means that brushes and palette can be easily cleaned.

I found a set of 12 tubes (Reeves) for a very reasonable prize and had to try them out. I only used red and blue in this painting, and got various purple colours mixed with them. You can mix them on the palette of course, but you can also blend them on the paper by going over them with a wet brush.

The interesting thing is that they look lighter when they are dry, so you have to take that into consideration when you apply the paint.

Sunset #2

Sunset #2. Schmincke watercolours on Hahnemühle watercolour paper. Ulla Hennig, October 2012

Another sunset painting. I’d looked at various sunset photo references and built my “personal sunset” out of them. I am still trying to get smoother washes by wetting the paper before putting down the paint. I still find it quite difficult to get enough pigment out of my half pans in order to get nice mixes; the next time I will drop some water on them before I begin to paint.

But inspite of all these difficulties I am having fun with painting – something I could not imagine a year ago!