Books by Laura McGee Kvasnosky
Gouache Resist
Gouache resist is the media I use to paint the illustrations for Zelda and Ivy. It lends itself well to a strong line and bright palette. Warning: it took me years to get the results I wanted. On the other hand that very unpredictability is part of the fun.

  • 90# coldpress Arches watercolor paper
  • Watercolor brushes
  • Winsor Newton gouache paints: at least permanent white, golden yellow, winsor blue and primary red
  • Black waterproof ink – I prefer Speedball Super Black India Ink
  • Also helpful: a hair dryer to speed along the drying process

  • Step 1: First you make a drawing in pencil on the watercolor paper.
    Step 2: Next you paint with soupy gouache paint, leaving the pencil lines exposed. The colors can be layered, if you dry between layers. I usually work from light colors to dark, working with the paper to allow some texture to come through. Eventually you will wash it all down and see the bottom layer again. Before inking, hold your painting up to the light to be sure you have adequate paint everywhere you want it. A thin coat of paint won't hold out the ink.
    Step 3: When the paint is dry, cover the whole thing with waterproof ink. One thin, even coat. I use a 1" sumi flat brush to do this.
    Step 4: When the ink is dry, spray off the painting with water. I use a strong sprayer in my kitchen sink to do this, but a garden hose sprayer works well, too. The ink sticks wherever the paper was exposed. You may need to rub gently to lift the ink off all the paint. When you are satisfied with the amount of ink that has washed off, blot between paper towels then flatten under heavy books. After it dries, you can go back into the painting and make changes if you wish.

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