Painting with real paint isn’t really my strong suit. Ever since I got my hands on a pen tablet, I’ve worked with practically every digital painting program I could find, settling on Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop as my weapons of choice.
I always lamented the fact that I never really learned how to paint with traditional media, though. I grew up wanting to draw comics, and the styles of the comics I had access to back when I was a kid didn’t have a lot of variety in art styles (inks + flat colors/gradients), so my early years of art education concentrated on comic book illustration. I had a few classes that involved painting assignments back in college, but they were never substantial enough to give me an appreciation of the various mediums.
Some time this year, I tried playing around with watercolors. I’m a bit of a cheapskate so I bought the cheapest set (Reeves) I could find. I had a very old set of watercolors (Sakura) as well, but most of the tubes were already dry. I tried both sets of colors and realized that I liked the colors from the Sakura set a lot better (the colors were brighter and more vibrant). I didn’t really have a goal in mind when I set out to paint with watercolor, so my interest waned pretty quickly.
A few months later, I decided to pick up a set of gouache paints, because I read online somewhere that it’s a good medium to try if you’re coming from a digital background. Gouache is particularly hard to find in this country, for some reason, and most of the brands I found in bookstores looked pretty cheap and dubious (I didn’t want a repeat of my experience with watercolors).
Luckily, I found a local art shop called Art Whale (http://artwhale.ph/) that sells quality paints and art supplies. I decided to pick up a set of Nicker Gouache, supposedly the brand used by Studio Ghibli. This time, I set a goal for myself: try to paint and post my work on Instagram at least once a day.
You can see the results of this week’s experiment in the photo at the top of this post.
Tonight's study focused on skin tones. I messed up quite a bit with my darks and the paint became a little bit too thick for my liking so I decided to call it done, ignoring the rest of the piece. Apologies to the model and photographer of the reference photo I was working from. #gouache #painting #painteveryday
For my birthday, @quinnzap bought me new Escoda brushes from @artwhale.ph, and I absolutely love them! Today I studied Leyendeker's work. I didn't get to add the iconic scratches (I think he actually scratched the paints out?) but I was able to get more practice on skin tone and blending. #gouache #painting #painteveryday
For today's gouache practice, I decided to paint Sansa Stark. I didn't like her at the start but after all she has been through on the show, I was practically rooting for her to be Queen at the end of the last season. I took way too long on this; expending way too much energy just trying to blend the colors on her face that I'm starting to miss digital painting. Had to call it quits after 4 hours 😛 #gouache #painting #painteveryday #sansastark #gameofthrones
What I’ve learned so far from this experience:
- Gouache is an amazing medium. I can’t say whether it is, indeed, the best medium to try if you’re coming from a digital background, but I like how the paint’s ability to reactivate lets you work over mistakes – like having an undo button in real life.
- I find that painting with traditional media is quite relaxing, and I can paint for longer hours without getting distracted/bored.
- Daily practice really works wonders.
I’m not quite sure whether I’d be able to keep up painting everyday next week, since I have some digital projects I need to work on, but I will definitely try. Maybe one day I’ll be good enough to sell my paintings, and have the confidence to teach how to use the medium. For now, though, the goal is to learn as much as I can and to just have fun.🙂