Saturday, March 30, 2019

Traveling With Gouache

I am not a water medium artist.  I am pitiful at watercolors and I truly admire those who do it well.

I love to paint when I travel but do not do it nearly as much as I'd like.  Taking my oils is a fair amount of trouble, though I have fine tuned the packing process as best I can.   Here is how I do it-  Packing for a Painting Trip  My gear requires the use of a larger suitcase that is fairly heavy and must be checked.

I just traveled with a gouache set up for the first time.  Here I will share my experience.

Before the trip I took a 2 day class (through Horton Hayes Gallery in Charleston, SC). This was extremely helpful to me.  I already had the paints but had only used them once due to my frustration with the medium.  After the class I felt much more comfortable. Gouache is an opaque water color and it is easier than watercolors for oil painters because one can still paint dark to light and paint over mistakes.  Thinning with more water makes it transparent which allows more flexibility.  The colors come in 15ml tubes (white is available in 30ml).  A reasonable number of tubes will easily fit in the quart ziplock bag required by TSA leaving a little room for something else.  I was a bit put off by the price, but when gouache dries it can be reactivated with water, thus there is little waste.

To prepare for the trip I cut pieces of watercolor paper and taped them according to the desired sizes- 6"x6" and 6"x8".  I used the back of a used up sketchbook for my support and clips to hold the paper in place.  The cardboard, clips and a small stack of papers easily fit into a manilla folder for packing.

I packed a small watercolor palette that securely snaps shut, a variety of brushes in a rolled carrier, a collapsable cup for water, a rag (to dispose of at the end of the trip) and a small spray bottle for water to reactivate paint as it dried.  So this is the rest of what I packed, minus the rag-

No heavy easel or tripod.  No panels, just one piece of cardboard.  Oil paint is heavier than gouache and the tubes are larger.  I brought a carry on roller bag and a "personal item" per airline regulations and had no problem fitting this in.

Once there it was easy to get comfortable to paint.  My set up fit on a beach chair.  I, of course, fit on a lounge.

Here are two of my studies.  I plan to do larger oils using these and my photos.

I have a long way to go but learning will be fun.  Another advantage for me was that doing these quick small studies while traveling with non-painters made me more likely to paint. If you haven't tried this, go ahead!

My supplies-

Winsor and Newton designer gouache, set of 10 (plus I added a couple of colors I like to use and left the gaudy green at home) This is good quality paint.  Gouache set

Collapsible cups with lids (set of 4 so you can share) Collapsible cup

Small spray bottle- any drug store.

Watercolor palette (airtight) Palette

Brush set (mine came with carrier, don't know if they still do)  Brush set

I found this while researching products, haven't bought one but think I might.  Take a look-
Travel tote

Best gouache class ever-  scroll down on this link for info-  Gouache class- Charleston