Paint a Gouache Grid

 

Here's a really lovely way to paint a grid, and you can make the little boxes as perfectly square or as wonkily rectangular as you wish. The tape mask provides crisp edges when removed, which leaves you space to write or doodle or just enjoy that vast white space. You might also cut up these little abstracts, leaving an elegant white border, and use them as collage fodder or teeny tiny canvases for your doodles or self-portraits. The limit is your imagination, of course!

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Materials to Create Tiny Abstracts
in Watercolor or Gouache

Watercolor or gouache paint {here's a bit about the paints that I use}. I'm using tubed gouache in the video [mostly W&N and Maimeri and M. Graham]. The best way to describe gouache is semi-opaque or opaque watercolor.

And yes, you can do this technique with other mediums - try this with ink or acrylics. Results will vary with the medium and the way that the medium interacts [floats under, is absorbed by] the tape you choose. Also: There's a tutorial for creating landscapes with acrylics and a tape mask in the Index Card Explore Tutorial 6-Pack

Watercolor brush. I would suggest a good quality #6 or #8 size round watercolor brush for this type of work. Definitely use a brush made for watercolor rather than a generic or a mixed media brush. The brush makes an incredible difference, as I teach in my watercolor workshops. 

Watercolor paper. I'm using a huge sheet of Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor paper cut down into manageable sizes. You can order a pack of this at Blick or get the 300-series paper in a large tape bound pad. I would suggest good quality watercolor paper at least 140lb/300g weight. Test a bit of tape on the back to ensure that you can remove it without damaging the paper. 

Removable Painter's Tape. In the video I'm using yellow FrogTape; find it in the painting section at Home Depot or get at Amazon. The standard blue 3M painter's tape also works perfectly well! 

Here's the video with instructions so that you can see how I made these little works. You might also try this with a  limited color palette, working with the same palette in every section. Another option is to doodle on top of the abstracts.

This reminds me of the little abstracts that we do in the Tiny Museum workshop {although we make grids of abstract work, like tiny museum pieces, without the luxury of tape, can you imagine that!?}

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PS---> I'm going to start posting videos to YouTube from this point forward, and I'm working to upload the older videos that I originally posted at Vimeo over the years, but it's going to take awhile. Please follow me at YouTube to stay in the loop!