Artist’s Musings

a pair of geese flew by; outside my studio window; i’m glad elephants don’t fly

Sketching from memory of Chester County Field

  Sketch of Chester County Field at 720 AM. Acrylic gouache on paper over 1/2-inch thick birch panel, a little bit under 6 by 8 inches.

Sketch of Chester County Field at 720 AM. Acrylic gouache on paper over 1/2-inch thick birch panel, a little bit under 6 by 8 inches.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. There is a field along the way to Paoli Surgical Center. We have passed it several times on other occasions and it has always caught my attention. But even more so when we passed by it around 720 am. I could not stop picturing it in my mind. The field seemed aglow, the farmhouse lighted up by the morning sun in between tall trees. The two trees on the right looked gigantic in height and width. They towered over the farmhouse. I do not drive so I cannot make the trip whenever I desire and I have not spotted a safe spot to set up to paint without trespassing. So I did a sketch of it from memory. Sometimes I like working from memory instead of from life because I am forced to reduce everything to their basic shapes and colours.

This was done with acrylic gouache, which is acrylic paint with similar properties as gouache. That is, it is opaque and it dries matte. Unlike actual gouache, this acrylic paint, when dried, cannot be reopened with water. It is sealed for good. It is neither a bad thing or a good thing. Just different handling for the artist. As for me, I think I like it.

I have seen some waterbased medium works like gouache or watercolour covered in clear resin, and such method to seal a work worries me. Although the effect is beautiful, resin could yellow and crack over some period.

The advantage of using acrylic gouache is that I should be able to use two products from Golden to protect the work on paper—Golden Soft Gel as an isolation coat before applying Golden MSA Varnish (matte). Such is reliable over clear resin because Golden does thorough testings of their products for specific purposes, and they know what will last and what could damage your work over a short period.