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When Paint Goes On Like Butter

Sometimes an illustration takes twelve layers of paint and lots of annoying changes of heart. Other times, the paint goes on smoothly and does exactly what I had in mind, “like butta.” This one Is turning out to be a butter illustration.




I’ve been using Holbein Acryla Gouache for many years. One of its best qualities is that it can be layered over and over without getting muddy — that means I can experiment with placement and colors without worry. It’s wonderfully changeable, flexible, and keeps its brilliant saturation through lots of layering. Lately I’ve been enjoying putting down a transparent layer and then building more opaque ones on top. It also has a velvety matte finish. I’m not getting paid to say all this, I just lovvvvvve acryla gouache, that’s all.





Transparent watercolors have made their way into my studio too, lately, especially for comics. For that kind of work I like the ink outline to remain dark and clean, and for the colors to just wash transparently over the ink. More on that later.

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Airlie Anderson
Airlie Anderson
18 août 2019

Thanks John! Your giraffe is great — you’ve got chops!

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John Burton
John Burton
18 août 2019

Like butter... or melted chocolate! I'm a recent discoverer of gouache and when I mixed a deep brown for giraffe spots, it looked, felt, and even spread just like melted dark chocolate. Super luscious. Made me super hungry and fall in love with gouache! Haven't done acrylic gouache yet but I'm enjoying learning how to work with the idiosyncrasies of gouache. Your mini blogs are great, keep it up! :)

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