Gouache WIP – Socctopus

Next in my ambitious lineup of sports squids, I present… The Socctopus!

(OK, it’s not a squid, but the pun worked better this way.)

This is a another WIP showing my process from start to finish, but with paint instead of pencil. The whole thing is already posted on the WetCanvas gouache board, in case you can’t wait to see the conclusion.

Start: I made many many sketches and doodles, trying to decide 1) content 2) positioning 3) composition and 4) value.

Next: Value study. I was on lunch break at work and had only a sharpie and a blue highlighter, which work well for a 3-value study.

Then: In pencil, I sketched out the composition full-sized. This is on cheap typing paper and is 8×10″.

The colors I planned to use: Prussian Blue, Cadmium Green, Alizarin Crimson, and Lemon Yellow, all Holbein. I’ll also use white for highlights, but only at the end. The big “X” on the cad green means it can cause cancer if inhaled, so avoid licking it.

I transferred the paper sketch onto Cradled Gessobord, using the same carbon-paper method that I used for the Chiroopractor. The pencil lines transferred very light, so I washed in the dark areas (black sharpie in value sketch) with blue to help me keep my bearings along the way.

Next: background. I have been told that it is a good idea to do the background first. I am not exactly sure why, but I suspect it has to do with 1) integrating subject and background and 2) getting bored and lazy and deciding the subject looks fine without a background.

For the grass, I did a light wash of cadmium green (a great color for bright grass). I then mixed two greens – light and dark – and made the grass blades with a 3/0 brush. Once I had the area around the socctopus filled in, I ditched the teeny brush for a fan, and finished the background grass with it. I’ll add blades of grass on top of the octopus’ arms later, to integrate him with his surroundings.

That’s it for now. Conclusion: next week!

2 thoughts on “Gouache WIP – Socctopus”

  1. hi! just been dropping in via the colorist… it’s a very nice looking blog you’ve got and the octopusses (if that’s the plural) are very cool. i just got some gouache earlier this summer, but haven’t found time yet to get started with them :)

  2. gesa – thanks for stopping by! Glad you like octopus (es? i? whatever) ;) That’s awesome that you have gouache to play with. Which brand? If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask here or by e-mailing me. WetCanvas has some great posts in the Casein/Gouache forum too, but there isn’t too much activity there.

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