Including white gouache turns watercolor painting into something closer to acrylic or oil painting. You don’t think about “saving” your whites or making irreversible marks because gouache is opaque and will cover what is beneath it. You paint in layers and easily go up or down with your values. Mixing the gouache with the other colors makes them opaque too. The illustrations show the matte surface that results.
You’re eager to get outside to paint with your easy to carry kit, right? The season is begging! Below are some tips for setting up your goes anywhere travel kit (explained in the last lesson – #14):
- There are several variations of the pocket-sized Cotman kits (made by Windsor & Newton). You can see mine in the previous lesson . Take your pick.
- Unwrap each color and put double stick tape around the bottom and sides of the containers that the paints sit inside. This will keep the containers from falling out if the kit tips over while open. You could glue them in, but with tape they can come out for exchange or cleaning. Doing this will save you a lot of grief.
- Take out the Chinese White and kiss it good-bye.
- Arrange the other colors in the positions that you prefer.
- Spritz with water thoroughly so that the cakes soften and “meld” with their little containers. This keeps the paint from coming out of it’s personal tub and melding with the lid instead while closed – always a bummer.
- Paint the end of the little brush red with acrylic paint or fingernail polish. This helps you find it on the ground if you drop it.
- When you are ready to paint, squeeze a little white gouache into the tub that had the Chinese White in it. I carry the tube because I prefer it to be fresh and soft.
- All the colors will be easier to use if they are softer, so spritz with water as soon as you know you are going to work – this will start to soften the surface of the dry cakes.
- Work is sizes appropriate to the scale of the kit – even the 8″x10″ pieces that I’ve shown here are a bit big for the size of the brush. Remember, the idea is to have the kit small and so easy to carry that you can (almost always) have it with you. Maybe you’ll like the postcard sized pads of watercolor paper.