Getting to Grips with Gouache – clematis & nastursium painting day

It was lovely to spend a day working once more with Barbara and Sandra.

Barbara working on velvety clematis leaves in gouache
Barbara working on velvety clematis leaves in gouache
Sandra’s nastursiums coming along nicely

The girls decided they fancied trying out gouache as they had not really done much with it before.

Be prepared to get messy!
Be prepared to get messy!

Our subjects were a rich deep purple clematis and a riveting yellow nastursium both climbing on a trellis or picket fence.

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To start we painted the skies by wetting the whole area first then dropping in glorious random patches of blue and tilting the painting to create soft, amorphous and totally natural looking clouds.

Gouache was playing nicely! So far so good!

Barbara’s beautiful petals
Sandra’s lovely nastursiums

Next we began working on the petals and once again we wet each area first to provide a damp environment into which we dropped rich colour and tilted this to spread the gouache around with minimal brushstrokes to beautiful effect.

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Gouache really is a friendly and malleable medium compared to watercolour. It can be re-wetted and re-worked.

It is not so easy to lift as watercolour but that is offset by the fact that you can paint over dark areas with light paint – which of course cannot be done with transparent watercolour.

As we built each petal with subsequent and darker, more detailed washes our paintings grew quickly with lots of satisfied oohs and ahhs from my students.

It was lovely to see them getting effective and pleasing results so soon.

I prepared worksheets of the demo we would do ahead of time so that they could be used during the workshop to support learning


Want to have a go of gouache?

To try a gouache or watercolour class just email me (Alison Fennell) at and I can email you my current programme and answer any special requests.

Painting Workshop Price guide

(includes tuition/full colour step by step demo worksheets/professional artist quality paints, paper and brushes and a coffee/tea and croissant on arrival!)

  1. Whole day for 1 to 1 tuition £65
  2. Half day for 1 to 1 tuition £32.50
  3. Whole day for 2 friends booking together £55 each
  4. Half day for 2 friends booking together £32.50
  5. Please note I do not teach more than 2 people at a time. Courses start at 9.30am and end at 4pm. Half days are 3 hours long


Look forward to hearing from you.

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