Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Guache paint (an opaque watercolor) which I had begun to experiment with (see yesterday's post) was trickier than I had thought.  At first I added too much water which gave it the consistancy of watercolors, but with an added smear factor.  After some experimenting, I found the best results for the brightness I wanted was to wet it to the consistancy of tempra paint (think kindergarten).  I was able to layer it, but found that shading wasn't easy. Sometimes touch ups with colored pencil once it was dry helped.  Over the course of working on the books, I learned that this medium is fragile.... don't sneeze on it, it will spot! 

As I was painting the gray building in the background, I stumbled upon another difficulty.... This paint is very tricky to match if you run out of a color.  I ended up using a lot of the palettes shown above and premixed colors for both "Hello, Boston!" and "Hello, Cape Cod!". For some colors that I used a lot of like the grass or sky, I stored the paint in film containers, others just on the palette.  That way, if I had to go back and make any changes I wouldn't end up ruining the whole painting and it was a good way to keep the colors consitant throughout the books. The maroonish colors above were used on the red maples in both books.  I have film containers labeled "duck head", "baby duck yellow", and "duck beak"!  This was initially a bit time consuming, but a big sanity saver in the end!


Heather said...

At first, I thought that photo was something from your new diet! Ick!

Janet said...

your posts are like an art course for me. i think you should write a book about all the aspects of writing and illustrating a children's book or any illustrated book for that matter. i find the process so interesting. it makes me want to try it out myself. it also makes me realize that doing a book takes time, talent and discipline; all of which you have. Great posts!