A-Z Challenge: G is for Gouache

To me right now, gouache still feels a bit… well… gauche, I suppose… Very like those old powdery poster paints we used to paint with at school, turning out paintings that looked permanently flat and matte and almost chalky-opaque. Yet recently online I’ve seen some truly beautiful paintings done in gouache, so I know it’s definitely possible to create ‘proper’ art with this medium.

I’ve learned that gouache paints are surprisingly versatile, they’re water-based so can be used effectively along with (or instead of) watercolours, dry really quickly but can easily be reactivated and reworked, and can also give good solid-body coverage a bit (but not quite) like acrylics – technically the best of both worlds, what’s not to love so far?

So although on paper I realise it should probably be the perfect medium for me, I’m still struggling a bit with it just now so am really not feeling it too much at the moment. I’ll keep on trying, though, in the hope that given time and experience, gouache grows on me…

For this year’s April Blogging through A-Z Challenge I’ve decided to follow the art-inspired theme of me, now in my 60th year, exploring and experimenting with how to paint using acrylics, gouache and watercolours. After a couple of false starts this is a relatively recent journey I began in earnest a few months ago. So far it’s been an even split between fun and frustration, getting to grips with all these new painting skills, but I’m determined to keep going with it this year and see where it takes me… 🙂


Light Touch Coastal Scene

Trying out a more delicate touch today on a water-colour coastal scene, starting off with some wax resist grasses to lighten the overall effect – I’m quite happy with the general feel of it now it’s dried, it’s certainly not nearly as ‘heavy’ a covering of pigment on paper as I’ve been painting with recently so it feels a little bit pale and insipid… But then again, maybe that weathered washed-out-ness is perfectly appropriate for a soft sea-scape?

Word of the Day: Coastal


Remember this tree stump? I first took a picture of it on New Year’s Day, floating in the sea not too far away from where it’s landed – or is it stranded? Either way it definitely looks like it’s here to stay 🙂

Frozen Shoreline

Who Won the Week for me this week has to be the amazing cold weather. This weekend the UK has been blasted by Storm Darcy coming over from continental Europe, and although here in Inverness we don’t actually have any snow lying at the moment, this was the frozen shoreline this afternoon, walking along the rocks and seaweed at low tide. Although the salt in the seawater usually means it doesn’t ever freeze this close to the shore, today to my surprise everything below the high water mark was covered with a thin crumbly layer of ice, which looked really weird!

PS The last image shows part of the rotting wooden timbers of an old shipwreck only ever visible at low tide 🙂