Photgraphs and write-up by Peter Johnson
The programme promised a demonstration in Gouache so to see a table laid out with "Pentel Acryl Gouache" came as somewhat of a surprise. Peter told us he had been painting for 23 years, the first 5 in studio which he now regarded as a "waste of time" since discovering his true passion which is painting outdoors (80% of his work). He never modifies work painted outside once back in the studio.
There were several large paintings on display. For me, it was the still-life of apples and a jug that had the most impact.
So why was Pentel Acryl Gouache so special ? Peter liked its handling properties, its luminosity and its versatility. For example, he passed round one painting of a horse's head where spirit based varnish mixed in as an experiment made it look like oil paint. In contrast another painting, of an evening seascape, had a very light watercolour effect. He said it does not go plastic when thick - acrylic does. He likes to mix on the paper and finds that using glazes and washes keeps the painting still luminous even after several layers. He told us that each successive wash takes longer to dry than the previous one.
Peter's demonstration piece was inspired by Turner's Fighting Téméraire. He used the paint in a thick watercolour style, which had similarities with conventional gouache.
His highly entertaining talk was interspersed with many little tips and quotes. For example:
Pentel Acryl Gouache is sold in boxes of 14 colours. One box was given away as a raffle prize on the evening and there were others available to buy. Peter's demonstration piece was also given away to one lucky member. It was a most enjoyable evening.
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