Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Girls in Old Quebec

Previously, I spoke about my initial ignorance in regards to gouache and how to work with it. Once I figured out that it's supposed to be used more like a watercolour than an acrylic, I decided to take a stab at recreating one of my favourite pictures from a trip to Quebec I took a few years ago with my girls.

Gouache on 12x16 canvas

Gouache is difficult.

The reason I tend to work with acrylics is mainly that I'm lazy and acrylic is very forgiving. If I mess up, I let it dry and paint over it.  Because watercolors and gouache have  high transparency, I find it more difficult to fix mistakes and drips (and there are drips, so many drips).

After working and creating the background, I let this sit for about a year. I was super-nervous about placement when it came to adding the girls to the foreground.  Reagan (in the purple sweater) turned out pretty well, except for one wonky foot.  She's positioned right where I wanted in relation to the retaining wall in the background.

Tierney (purple skirt, foreground) took a lot more effort to get proportioned and I'm still not entirely satisfied.  I would have preferred to place her higher up in the frame, so that her legs aren't cut off as they are here.   Also, I lost a bunch of my colors and had a difficult time coming up with the proper mix to create a matching flesh-tone (another reason I prefer acrylics.. I find it easier to mix colors).  So we're gonna pretend she was wearing yellow tights that day.

All in all, I could probably do more with this, but I feel like I'd eventually end up wrecking the whole thing.  I'm tempted to take another shot at this picture using acrylics instead, but I think I'm going to work on some other projects first.

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