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This is another goauche resist. I have decided that I like this way of working and will be creating one every so often. The print of ink was so strong in this one that building up of color ended up looking  very simplistic and I didn’t appreciate it, at first. I looked at it for some time before completing it.  I went back into the background around his head and across the top and rubbed into it with a bristle brush and water. This gave the surface more of a textured and worn look to go along with the roughness of the ink design. I then added more water to the bird’s shadow to disturb the pigment there. It was too neat, at first.  This process of putting a painting up somewhere and looking at it for a few days has been something I have had to learn to do over time. When I first started painting, I just wanted to rush it done.

Directions for this technique can be found on Wet Canvas here.

Raji at  Artpearls has posted another gouache resist.


  1. One of the delights of your blog is reading about your process and seeing your humanity. You make me feel like I might be able to do it too. Lovely painting. Lovely story of how it was created. 🙂

    • Thank-you Yousei. could do this. What a nice comment about humanity. I treasure that.

  2. Another cool painting Leslie,
    I’m not sure what you are talking about on the resist.Is the black similar to a wax or is it like a masking?

    • Hi Ryan! Thanks for the comment.
      Step 1: do a drawing on 140lb coldpress paper taped to a board.Needs to be that strong.
      Step2: Where you don’t want the ink to show up, paint that area with permanent white gouache (the gouache is the resist). Let this dry overnight. If it is the least bit wet the resist won’t work as well.
      Step3: With large brush lay a wash of ink (waterproof)over the entire piece
      and allow to dry thoroughly
      Step4: Rinse piece under tap water. the ink will begin to roll off the gouached areas.
      Click on the blue link in the text on the post here Ryan. Her directions are great. This is something my students really liked. Yours may also.
      Step5: I wait for the above to dry and then I paint the white areas with watercolor.

  3. This is breath-taking, Leslie! I love the pinks and corals you used! WOW!

    • Thank-you Beth. The pinks were light washes of winsor newton brown madder and the coral colar was the same brown madder with raw sienna and burnt umber added to mix on the paper. However, the remaining gouache in the fibers of the paper affect the resultant color in these.

  4. Oh! I LOVE this!!! I love the colours. I’d love to wear that bird! I mean, Your painting on a skirt or a sarong. Lovely. And You are crazy generous to post all these ‘how to’s’. When I get a little more settled, I am going to learn some of this. I think I said this to You before, but I had no idea watercolour could be SO vibrant. Thank You and Namaste. 🙂

    • Thank-you Bliss. Now that you mention it, the strength of these resist paintings does lie in their print quality look. They probably would look really nice on fabric. Thanks for that insight! I don’t feel as though I’m that generous as I am just sharing what I. Everybody adds their own twists on these exercises and then NEW art is created. I really enjoy seeing everone’s different take on these things so “have at” anything you can glean from these techniques. It would bring me joy.

        • blissbait
        • Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:12 am
        • Permalink

        I will! Thank You! 🙂

  5. So the watercolor is going to stay when painted on top of the white gouache???
    Stunning! I love the bird, and what great colors!!

    • yes. The watercolor stays on top of the gouache. The ink washes off. It’s fun to create these because you really don’tknow what you are going to get.

  6. Nice job on the bird. I really like the worn out look of this painting.It does look like block painting. I think i must try to make time to try your method. This is very interesting. Thanks for your detail steps.

  7. Thanks Francis. I like that worn look also.

  8. A lovely painting as always.It is so charming.I guess we have found another fan in gouache-ink resist painting. I just completed one though it took me a very long time to finish it. I was too impatient and I skipped the underpainting this time. While painting, I wished I hadnt done that. Well, you learn better from your mistakes. 😀

    • Thank-you Raji. I think the underpainting might add another value to the finished result and offers more variation to work with. I’ve done it both ways, now. I think there are certain subjects that lend themselves better to this technique. I can see and old weathered window or door looking fantastic rendered this way.

  9. Hey Leslie – I think this all hangs together nicely – even with the striking contrast between the bird and the background – I like the glow in the water in the middle of the painting – cool work

    • Thanks Stephen. I like your tag. You look like the official Plein Air painter that you are. It was going to have more glow, Stephen, but it fought with the bird’s head so I had to darken there.

  10. Beautiful work Leslie. I love the reflection of the bird in the water. Great job again.

    • Thanks Heather. I pulled one of those “let’s see what happens” like you like to do in that reflection. It was too detailed, at first, so I plopped water in it.

      • Sometimes you only need the mere suggestion of something in order to make it effective. My tutor keeps telling me to leave things as they are, and not to overwork something. He’s generally correct lol.

  11. This has come out so well – love the effect of this technique and the colours you have used.

  12. Hoohoo! This is an exciting result – you’ve really demonstrated the gouache/ink resist technique so well here – stunningly effective – reminds me of fabric batiks that I used to make with hot wax and dye. WONDERFUL picture Leslie.

    • Thank-you June. Someone else said on one of the previous ones that this technique looked like batik….another said block print. It is fascinating to me because of the unpredictability of the outcome.

    • All things nice..
    • Posted December 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply


    Another beautiful painting, I love nature paintings and the background colour is so eye catching, blue is my favourite colour too.

    All things nice…

  13. Leslie, this long billed bird is a beauty. Love the water and the reflections. The pink in the bird and the rest of the colors are so vivid.

    Really great!

    • Thank-you, Carol. I liked the pink also. I struggled mightily with the background on this though and still don’t know if I like it. Guess I live and learn.

  14. Beautiful – I love the print-like quality of this. You’ve managed to make it look like a Japanese woodblock print.It’s both striking & refined.

    • Thank-you Sonya. That’s what I like about these. This would be something that older kids could do if you don’t mind the waterproof ink and the fact that it would require two days of class at least. Can be messy though but lots of art is.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Waterlily Series No.7 « Art Pearls on 01 Dec 2009 at 12:56 pm

    […] talented artist,  has  just posted another wonderful gouache resist painting. You will easily fall in love with this technique once you learn how to do […]

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