Trans­par­ent washes vs work­ing opaquely

ImagineFX - - In Depth Gouache Layering -

Above, I’ve painted two side-pro­files of the same char­ac­ter to show the dif­fer­ence be­tween us­ing the white of the pa­per com­pared to us­ing white out of the tube. The paint­ing on the left was done with trans­par­ent washes of black, and the one on the right uses opaque mix­tures of black and ti­ta­nium white.

If you want a nice range of tonal vari­a­tion, keep some trans­parency in the work. Use the white of the pa­per when­ever pos­si­ble: this will give you the bright­est, most sat­u­rated colours. But if you need to add some ac­cents to a dark area of a piece, use a thicker opaque mix­ture on a dry brush to avoid paint lift­ing and mud­dy­ing them. Here’s a crop of a paint­ing with some fairly bright high­lights on a dark back­ground. I needed to go over them sev­eral times to achieve good opac­ity.

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