Watercolor + Gouache Exploration

Watercolor + Gouache Exploration - student project

I really enjoyed the techniques and tips in this course. I was able to explore with all 3 mediums and concluded that GOUACHE is for me! While watercolor was very soothing, it's not something I would necessarily pursue as a primary medium as it's a little too loose for me. I did very much enjoy painting leaves in watercolor though.




Improv. Vs. Planned


Watercolor + Gouache Exploration - image 1 - student project


The painting on the left was the improvised painting, while the one on the right was planned. Overall, I prefer the planned version (especially in the colors of the leaves), however the unplanned blooms are looser and more expressive, which I prefer.


Monochromatic vs. Color


Watercolor + Gouache Exploration - image 2 - student project

Watercolor + Gouache Exploration - image 3 - student project

I liked seeing how the colors could bleed into one another (wet on wet) and also how I could have more control by waiting and using a wet on dry technique. While I liked the color, I LOVED the monochrome.

Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry


Watercolor + Gouache Exploration - image 4 - student project


This exploration was STRESSFUL. :) I think the loss of control in the wet on wet technique was hard for me, BUT overall, I do prefer how it looks (although I hated it until it was dry). Not my favorite paintings by any stretch, but this was a good experiment.



Watercolor + Gouache Exploration - image 5 - student project


I didn't paint separate things, though I have in the past for various reasons. I actually do very much enjoy the challenge that comes from creating a full composition in one go. Both techniques work for me depending on the final application I envision.



I didn't stick to the exercises, but kind of just went for it using the techniques Dylan demonstrated. 


Watercolor + Gouache Exploration - image 6 - student project


Left painting: "Together" composition. Wet on dry technique.

Center painting: "Together composition. Wet on dry technique. Used more water mixed into the gouache to get a more "watercolor-like" effect.

Right painting: Wet on wet AND wet on dry techniques. Used both the full brush and the tip of the brush. Added splatter for a little detail to get the dimpling of the orange skin to come across.




I picked up some great techniques in this class. I also went through and created color charts for all my watercolor and gouache which I had never done before and it's already proving to be so helpful.

I prefer gouache over watercolor for work that I plan to "do something with", but watercolor is very therapeutic.

I prefer a wet on dry technique.

I prefer a mostly unplanned composition. I am able to let my mind be a little more free and my strokes echo that in more expressive marks, which I like.

Thanks Dylan!

Kayla King
Abstract artist + secret illustrator