Portrait of Pippa

Yesterday was a day without art. Or at least a day without visual art. I spent the majority of my time finishing up the last volume of James Thomas Flexner’s four-volume biography of George Washington. It was a long grind through fact-heavy prose. At last I’m finished. Today I got back to portrait painting.

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Looking through RedditGetsDrawn I found a nice photograph of a pitbull that seemed the best candidate for a portrait. It’s often hard to find photos with lighting I like. Not to mention photos that aren’t ridiculously small or grainy.

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After sketching out the dog I covered the drawing in thin washes of gouache.

I really wish I could find better gouache tutorials on YouTube. I’m certain there are little techniques that could simplify my process. From what I’ve experienced so far, I need a way to keep my paints from drying out so quickly. Additionally, I need a larger surface to mix paints on. The small travel palette I use is just too limiting.

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Next gouache painting I’m going to push myself to start off very dark and work in the lights. I’m still playing around with the way gouache mixes and dries.

This portrait is 2.5″ x 5″

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2 thoughts on “Portrait of Pippa

  1. Gouache is more like oil paint, in that it’s best to start with the darks then add the lights. Altogether, you would find it much easier with a larger palette! And you’ve probably already noticed that it lightens as it dries, but it is a lovely medium and I used to work in it all the time.

    • I’ve enjoyed it so far. Thanks for the suggestions! It’s been hard to find good, definitive guides to gouache. I’ve been picking up little tips here and there. I’m going to really push the darks on this next one and see what happens.

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