Mixing watercolour and Gouache and portraits of Claudia….

About twenty years ago when I was living and working in the Magical Town of Crickadoon,  (Crickhowell, Wales), I found myself experiencing a block….it happens…it’s quite normal.     The key is to find ways of moving through the block…..

The three ways that help me to do this, are – walking – visiting museums and allowing myself to PLAY.

In this instance, I set up long tables in my studio with large sheets of paper….and began to throw paint around…..anything, just to get the juices flowing.    I wet the paper, adding a mix of watercolour and gouache and watched with great excitement as the transparent watercolour mixed with the opaque gouache……Bingo….I had broken through the block:)

Initial sketch of Claudia – using watercolour/gouache on a gouache colour ground.460616_10151667714060396_2124306232_o

Until this point, I had only used transparent watercolours on white or tinted papers, but now with the opaque quality of gouache, I was able to paint off of  colour grounds.      Plus I loved the interaction of transparent watercolour with the opaque gouache. 

Claudia (2)966762_10151667716350396_601004219_o

I would urge anyone who feels a little stuck, or is just beginning to paint….to PLAY.        

It is not necessary to use expensive watercolours or paper….newspaper, brown wrapping paper, wallpaper lining, and inexpensive paints will do…..the key is to just do it. 

Claudia has been my Muse since 1977….460151_10151667716765396_353524529_o

The following portraits of Claudia are using different mediums….

Charcoal sketch of Claudia – Claudia is an actress and so projects many different personas

20-11-15 - 1 (951) 

pen sketch of Claudia working on her computer in Paris20-11-15 - 1 (276)

watercolour of Claudia, Wales 199520200218_123136

Small oil sketch of Claudia when she visited me in Wales20-11-15 - 1 (324)

The first portrait I ever painted of Claudia when she was 17 years old and living with us in the USA.    She is now in her fifties and a very successful director of theatre and actress.          oil on canvas. 10996105_10153048192965396_8451570209771699384_o-3

To finish  -a watercolour/gouache sketch of a magical hummingbird. 


A Bientôt

8 thoughts on “Mixing watercolour and Gouache and portraits of Claudia….

  1. olganm

    Gorgeous! Not sure I could say I’ve ever experienced a block with my writing because I haven’t dedicated myself to it full-time for long, although it’s true that sometimes you get stuck at a certain point in a story. And the ideas can come from anywhere. These days, a lot of what I see in blogs can inspire, although normally going for a walk or a drive helps… Love the fluidity of your images. Happy weekend and thanks for the hummingbird!

  2. snowbird

    What an amazing muse, I just love the energy and vitality in the paintings, and the hummer is amazing too. I totally agree, the only way to break a block is to play!xxx


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