Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

May 17, 2016 § 10 Comments


Hi-ho! Busy painting art for a children’s book in a technique that involves covering gouache (“goo-wash” an opaque watercolor) with a layer of waterproof ink. I learned “Ink-Resist” from its dubber and master developer, the late Dwight Harmon ~ artist & optimist extraordinaire ~ over thirty years ago. Since then I’ve painted a couple hundred paintings and illustrated over 350 book pages in this technique, so you’d think by now I’d know what a piece will look like after its rinse cycle at the kitchen sink…


I’m always surprised. Usually happily, though faces can be tricky.

Especially when they’re tiny. The gouache needs to be opaque enough to resist the layer of ink. The pressure of the water begins to dissolve the gouache, which runs down the drain pushing the ink off in flecks, leaving a colored stain. The ink sticks in places where the paper (I use 140 lb cold press watercolor block taped around its edges) was left blank (see photo 1), for a black line, or where the gouache was applied too transparently. This I forget if it’s been a while in between paintings. Especially eyes…


Three of the five kids featured in the book are on this cover piece. They wear the same clothes throughout the pages for easy follow, but I’m taking extra care painting over ink bloops so readers will recognize them by their faces, too. I know them really well. Been with me at my drawing table for a year. Their faces light up when they see me coming. Mostly we play Follow The Leader. And ~ you guessed it ~ The Leader…is me!

xo – Pierr


Click here to see the Face around the world.


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