If you’re not at IMC or the Illustration Academy Summer Workshop this week, well, you can still get some answers to some questions about painting in gouache (and other things) by visiting James Gurney’s blog. For example? Well…

Does painting in Gouache help you with painting in oil? (Or more generally painting in one medium help with painting in another medium?)The answer is YES. Painting in an opaque medium like casein or gouache is in many ways more like oil than it is like transparent watercolor. You can approach the sequence of steps in the same way (such as 1. toning board, 2. background, 3. shadows, 4. halftones, 5. lights, 6. highlights and accents.) The main difference is that with water media every decision is greatly accelerated. Gouache encourages you to be direct and economical with your brushwork. That is, it makes you think about a stroke, mix it, and lay it down with one touch, rather than fussing back and forth with it. 

When you return to oil, that economy of means and directness pays off too. You’ll be a faster painter. Oil’s properties don’t encourage directness and economy as much.

Transparent watercolor is almost a different animal from all the others. It requires kind of an inside-out thinking because you have to paint around the lightest areas, and that takes a certain amount of planning and deliberation. But at the same time it wants you to be intuitive, decisive, and spontaneous. All good qualities to bring to any kind of painting.

Hit this link to read more. And do pick up Jim’s new tutorial video.