Week 11- Activity- Student Choice (Gouache Painting)

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This week, I experimented more with my new-found favorite medium, gouache!

Actually,I started using gouache after being inspired by this class. I wanted to make the piece for this week extra-special so I worked with some charcoal and colored pencil as well. The pictures above show the progression of the painting. All in all, it took me about seven hours to complete, mostly because of the fine lines and detail. I have done a few cherry blossom paintings before and my boyfriend wanted me to make him one. This activity finally gave me the motivation to do it. He asked me to do black and white cherry blossoms with doodles in the background. He recently started a second job as a sushi chef, so I thought I’d make my painting Asian-inspired. I decided to use red as an accent color to make the whole picture “pop”.

First, I used red color pencil to draw an outline of the Mandarin writing and the cherry blossom branch. The three characters at the bottom say “I love you”, the two above that are “perseverance”  because relationships take a lot of overcoming obstacles. I drew a yin and yang because he is the light to balance me out. On the right side from the top, the characters represent our Chinese zodiac signs, saying “Dog + Pig” because he is the year of the dog and I am the year of the boar. Plus, I thought it was kind of funny. The characters below that say “Together Forever” and the one below that is “lust”. I already knew I wanted to incorporate a lotus flower so I placed that around the lust because lotus flowers often symbolize fertility. After I outlined all of this in pencil, I painted with gouache and filled in the lotus flower with charcoal to give it a different texture and more dimension.

After all this, it didn’t feel complete, I needed more to the back ground. I then searched “Chinese paintings” on google and found that many had two birds. I wanted my birds to be in flight and moving in a circular pattern around each other to resemble “Infinity”. I had them circle the forever characters to give it an “always and forever” meaning, explaining the infinity sign I later added in. I painted the birds in gouache as well. I then decided I loved the look of the charcoal and wanted more of that. I thought the picture looked to feminine for my boyfriend and decided “What’s more masculine and Chinese than a dragon?” I outlined the dragon in gouache and filled him in with the charcoal to give him synthetic scales. Then I added a few doodles to compliment the scheme in gouache and viola!

I had a lot of fun with this painting and will be experimenting more with gouache in the future.

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