Yesterday was a little irl admin + early start, so when I got home later, I decided to relax by trying out a new art material! It's Miya/Himi Gouache which is really cheap, for what it says it is. I did a small swatch the previous day, and will be setting it in a super sunny window for about a month to see how lightfast it is, since there's nothing online about it!
In the meantime, I thought I'd take it a little easy by using just two colors (acid blue + white) to paint some fluffy clouds. I also used this opportunity to try out different techniques and papers, to see how they'd take- lots of testing!
Here's a little snapshot of the overall process: first, laying in the sky itself. I was experimenting with having the paper wet beforehand, and lifting out the blue with tissue and brush.
The next step was white! I was using the same large brush as what I laid in the sky with, and mixed it together with some of the blue to add in shadows. I was thinking about the masses of cloud as a 3d shape, adding in variations to keep them from looking too artificial. Its tough to make it look like there's no effort involved!
The last step was another pass with a much smaller pointed, round brush to add in smaller details. Working from the largest and most general shape to smaller and more specific is a good method to use, so that you don't get lost in the details too early on.
Here they all are as a set-- and yes, they were all painted at the same time! The extra two were done about an hour later- I wanted to try out one more kind of paper before stopping for the night! These are all unreferenced, but I was thinking about the art done by Kazuo Oga (Studio Ghibli's background artist) and impressionist and rococo paintings while working on these~
The individual sky paintings~ I did two painting per paper type
On 'I Love Art' Gerstaecker Watercolor postcard. This took to it well, but definitely pilled up when I was lifting the blue off! The himi gouache also settles into any texture on the paper, so in hindsight, it's better to work on as thick and smooth a surface as you can.
Plain paper, Leuchtturm1917 sketchbook. This is a thin paper for what I'm doing, but handles it well! I was aware of the thiness, so was less harsh with the blotting/lifting process than the others.
Crescent Render Sketchbook. I love this for markers, but it discolors slightly wierdly with lots of water the corners buckle up a LOT. Pilling wasn't too bad, but still present.
Canson, coldpress watercolor paper, 140lb/300g. This had a tiny bit of texture, but overall worked pretty nicely! Diluting the background with water, means that it's not as flat and smooth a finish as it should be- I'll have to work on getting the right consistency.
Strathmore Bristol, Smooth Vellum finish, 100lb/270g. This is a paper I use to draw comics on! It can take a bit of a beating, though it still pilled up. With this gouache, if you thin it out with water, you have to be careful about visible brushstrokes. It actually reminded me a lot of when I used to paint with acrylics, years and years ago.
Canson, smooth bristol 100lb/260g. I was a lot looser and stylised with these, which I actually really like. This was the smoothest of all the non-sketchbook papers, which made lots of the painting and blending process easier. I'm used to using watercolors, so using an opaque medium again took some adjustment. I'm still to do a bunch more tests with the Himi Gouache, but I gotta say, I quite like it!