Me old matey Steve Simpson's story about acrylic paint drying on the brush during his Italian painting holiday prompted me to bring along a set of gouache tubes on our family camping spell in France. Good thing too -there was a real heatwave for much of the time. I didn't get much painting done but I managed to get some time to doodle in the bar whilst the bairns were in the mini-club. I tore off part of an empty cereal packet which served as a palette for the entire time I was there.
I can't really remember what I wanted to achieve with these two. I seem to recall that I wanted to give them a kind of deathly, consumptive pallor -and that they're supposed to be sketches for a future painting. I used varying mixtures of cyan, magenta, yellow and ochre for the skin tones [Why is it that gouache sets keep to printers' colours? Perhaps because gouache was the preferred medium of graphic designers?]. I aimed to keep the whites of their eyes tonally similar to the skin.
Gouache is a pleasant and forgiving medium and I must use it more. The high density of pigment allows the building up of colour and it's possible to use a wet brush to blend at any stage. I brought a good high-quality Hahnemühle 5" x 5" sketchbook with me; no amount of blending or reworking broke down the surface of the paper. Mmmmmmmm.