When wife gives you lemons, paint them… twice. I wasn’t really sure what I should do for my art session tonight, but I did know that I wanted to try out the Richeson Shiva Oil Paints I just purchased. I also wanted to get a direct relation between using oils and gouache so the best way I could figure to do that was to create a still life with lemons in oil AND gouache.
I really like painting with oils, I’m not sure it’s because of a general preference of if I just find it easier because of experience. For one thing, gouache cannot match the buttery thickness of oils or its blending properties, or, at least in my meager experience, it’s chroma intensity.
On the other hand gouache is better than oil in several ways. For one, you don’t have to deal with the darn glare on the painting while your working with it or taking pictures. Also, its much more portable. Plus they dry instantly, I can’t tell you how many paintings I ruined in oil because they were wet and I brushed up against them or it dropped in sand.
It’s hard to really say which is better, it depends on the occasion I guess. I will say that if your want to learn to be a better painter overall then starting with gouache and eventually moving to oil is the best bet. I wish I had done this years ago.
Richeson Shiva Oil Paints
I watched a Youtube video of Daniel Greene giving a lecture on his palette and I noticed that he was using the Shiva brand, so I figured they must be good. The youtube video has since been removed for copyright violation though, you can find all his videos here.
Anyway this is what led me to try the shiva paints and after only one painting I must conclude that I like them. But like all art materials they don’t make you a better artist and the difference between these paints and Gamblin, which I use normally, is minimal at best. I think the consistency is a bit better, the Shiva’s are slightly more fluid than Gamblin which allows me to paint thicker easier. After doing a short amount of research the Richeson Shiva paints are cheaper than Gamblin.
Still life With Lemons in Oil and Gouache Details
For the oil painting I used Richeson shiva oils, and a 5×7 inch gesso board by Speedball / Davinci. I wouldn’t recommend these gesso boards, I have since moved to Ampersand Gessoed boards.
For the Gouache painting I used M. Graham paints and a very cheap mat board. I found a whole stack of these at the art store for only 2 bucks. They were the holes cut out of mat boards used for framing. I only use this because I have no intent of selling my gouache paintings yet, and I just use them for learning.
Both Paintings Together
It definitely takes much longer to paint something in Gouache. I finished the only painting after 1.5 hours, but after an hour of working on the Gouache painting I was only about half way done. Maybe I will finish it tomorrow.
Lemons in Oil Setup
Lemons in Gouache Setup