Some thoughts on lay­er­ing

ImagineFX - - Core Skills Gouache Layering -

To get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of lay­er­ing colours in gouache, we’ll look at how some of them be­have on light and dark val­ues. In the four swatches, I’ve taken the pri­maries and laid them on top of the white of the pa­per, a wash of opaque ti­ta­nium white, and black.

This de­sat­u­ra­tion is more ob­vi­ous when laid over black. Although they were ap­plied in a fairly thin wash, you can see that on their own, the pri­maries do dis­play some de­gree of opac­ity. The main ob­ser­va­tion that you can take from this is to avoid lay­er­ing darker val­ues over light paint. Save that tube of Ti­ta­nium white for the fi­nal stages. And when lay­er­ing lighter colours over darker ones, you may need to sac­ri­fice some vi­brancy in favour of opac­ity. Work in your mid­tones, then dark ar­eas, and save the high­lights for last. OVER BLAC K

In the sec­ond sam­ple, you can see that the first wash of Ti­ta­nium white af­fects the pri­maries that are laid on top. Where the two colours over­lap, they look duller and slightly more de­sat­u­rated than when ap­plied di­rectly to the pa­per.

In the fourth swatch I’ve added about 30 per cent Ti­ta­nium white to the pri­maries, and you can see that they au­to­mat­i­cally have bet­ter cov­er­age than be­fore. Un­for­tu­nately, this comes at the cost of their sat­u­ra­tion. If I were to ap­ply this prac­ti­cally then I’d use a pure hue on the white of the pa­per, and add Ti­ta­nium white for bet­ter cov­er­age on dark ar­eas.

The three swatches of pri­maries are at their bright­est when laid di­rectly over clean, white pa­per. Pri­maries on pa­per

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