Fearless Friday, Saving a Watercolor with Gouache

Watercolor is my favorite medium to paint with on summer days

I was drawn to this photo of a rose with a dark background

I loved how the darks made the flower pop

Normally I would paint this in acrylic but I decided to try it in watercolor

I started with the lightest rose petals

I indicated the center with dark pink

Then the smaller blooms were placed

Darker washes of color were used to build the flowers

Stems and leaves were painted with shades of green

and at this point I was very happy

I decided to start laying in the background with black

and knew right away I’d made a mistake

I kept going, but it only got worse as I got impatient and sloppy

At this point I stopped and walked away…

it was definitely a hot mess!

And then I had an idea 💡…

black gouache

Gouache is opaque watercolor

you can thin it out like watercolor if you want,

but it dries as an opaque layer like acrylic

Once the whole background was filled in it looked much better

I added more details and color to the blooms

To finish I did some loose ink outlines with a fine liner pen

“Night Rose” 9″ x 12″ watercolor and gouache on Fabriano 140 lb. hot press watercolor paper

Have you ever painted with gouache?

My experience is almost zero

so if you have any tips they would be much appreciated!

Try something new and Be Fearless!

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

 Sundays on Silverado/  Love Your Creativity 

 What’s for Dinner/ Between Naps on the Porch 

All About Home/ Common GroundFollow the Yellow Brick Home

  Oh My Heartsie Girl / Turn About Tuesday 

  Karin’s Cottage Linky Party / Creative Crafts / Crafty Creators

 Full Plate Thursday/ Creatively Crafty/ Thursday Favorite Things   

Happiness is Homemade

20 Responses to “Fearless Friday, Saving a Watercolor with Gouache”
  1. Very beautiful! I really love the colour contrast.

  2. Jenna, the rose at night is beautiful. I love your watercolors. What you call a hot mess looked wonderful to me. Happy Friday!

  3. So beautiful! I painted with gouache in college, once, but don’t really remember it much.

  4. Julie says:

    I love your beautiful art work Jenna. Thanks for sharing how to paint it. I hope you enjoy the weekend Jenna.

  5. You’re right — you saved it. Interestingly enough, it clicked something into place for me from one of those workhops I did during Sketchbook Revival. The background (black) went in last…. and it was so uneven — like yours. Now I know what to do. (And I remember that the workshop was supposed to be gouache but I did w/c because that was what I had available! Argh! (And your painting looks great!)

  6. lghiggins says:

    You certainly lived on the edge this Friday. I wouldn’t have had any idea how to save that painting, but rescue it you did. Great job!

  7. pattyanneart says:

    The gouache worked out so well. Great idea, Jenna! I’ve played with gouache a little bit. Sometimes I’ll use it for added highlights at the end of a painting or places where things ended up too dark. You can also use white gouache and tint it with a little watercolor.

    • Yes, it would be great for highlights…I bought a set of gouache paints a few years ago, and haven’t spent much time with it, I need to experiment with it and learn some new tricks!

  8. You always make it look easy. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. thefrenchhutch says:

    Jenna, I love the dark background and how the color pops! Lovely……….

  10. Kim says:

    Jenna, I love watching your paintings come to life – its so interesting! I have no idea what gouache is, but whatever you did, the finished product is beautiful!! Happy Monday!

    • Thank so much Kim, gouache is similar to watercolor but it’s not as transparent. It can be thinned out with water to look like watercolor, or applied with only a little water to be opaque.

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