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Tag Archives: gorilla

I learned about goauche resist, first, from Art Pearl’s site about a year ago. I have done several. It is a lengthy procedure but well worth the time spent due to the interesting images that can be created with it.  I took the time to outline the procedure in the event that someone would like to try this.

The above is the drawing  from a photo of two gorillas I found on wet canvas.  I thought it would lend itself well to this technique.  I have used Arches 140lb coldpress paper for these but see no reason why rough or hot press could not be used. I do think it demands 140lb paper because it takes a beating in the process and lighter papers may not hold up.

In the second step I ” LIGHTLY!” wash in some color. This aids in the application of gouache to the surface because it helps you to see where you have applied it. If you don’t do a light underpainting, first,  you will need to continually tilt the work in order to see where you have painted the gouache.

The third step involves applying white gouache to the portions of the painting that you do not want ink to settle into. I used permanent white gouache and added enough water to it so that it was creamy, not pasty. Too watery and you may not get enough coverage.  This is the lengthiest step. I allow this to completely dry before going on to the next step (several hours, if not overnight). 

The next step is to cover the entire piece with waterproof black ink. I use a large, soft, flat brush, reserved for ink, in order to not contaminate my watercolor brushes. I start at the top and work down the piece ensuring good coverage. I “DO NOT”  dip this brush in water during this part of the process as it will weaken and lighten the ink and possibly lift some of the gouache.  Be patient and don’t stroke over and over the resist with ink while it is still wet as this may also cause some of the gouache to lift.  I then allow this application to completely dry. The ink I use is fairly thick, so drying time for this stage is longer than for the gouache stage.

After the ink is completely dry, several hours to overnight, I wash the piece under water and gently stroke the surface with a sponge. This washes off the gouache and the ink where it was applied. I have found that you can decide where to stop with this stage. More scrubbing reveals a lighter resist.  Once again, wait until this stage completely dries before applying watercolor.

   finished painting

I then paint the resist with watercolor. There is some back and forth with lifting and layering as some of the ink does run off into the paint leading to a more opaque or grayed-out appearance. 

I think what I like best about these is that it offers, yet again, a different look to works than had I simply painted this image start to finish.