Table of Contents
- About this Piece
- What is ACEO?
- Trout Have it Made
- A Studio Piece
- Gouache is truly versatile
- Quick Links
About this Piece
••• Purchased for Collection •••
What is ACEO?
Trout Pool is an ACEO collector card. I’ve explained what they are in detail in this post. Basically, they are collector card sized paintings (3.5”x2.5”) with a following of collectors worldwide.
Trout Have it Made
If you are very observant you might catch the similarity of this painting to another, larger oil painting called Forest Stream I. I enjoyed creating that painting so much I decided to repurpose it as “Trout Pool ACEO” so I could write a bit about how Nature’s surface beauty usually veils far more than meets the eye.
The occupants of this trout pool beneath the small waterfall for instance, are blessed with ideal surroundings. Insects from the upper canopy are blown into the water by the wind or rain. And in certain seasons insects hatch on the forest floor and even beneath the water. They emerge and drift about, some landing on the surface of the trout pool. Where they are promptly taken as sustenance.
So, aside from having a delightful cold water habitat, trout have their food served to them from Nature herself. Their only adversary being humans, and their location usually being somewhat to very remote, they pretty much have a good life. All that veiled by the beautiful flowing water and scenery taking center stage. Likewise for lizards, salamanders, frogs and good ol’ worms. They are there, we just don’t notice.
A Studio Piece
Forest Stream I is currently available and hanging in the studio. So it was easy to reference it to paint Trout Pool ACEO. Using a large reference painting to paint an ACEO collectible card can be a challenge due to the huge difference in size.
To make it easy to transfer the image I used the ages old grid method with a modern twist. There is an app called “CopyIt” available for iPad and Mac that loads a pic of any painting upon which you want apply a grid. You then lightly pencil the same grid (only proportionally smaller) on your blank ACEO card.
Now you have easy reference from the large painting as it relates to the grid and the small painting as it relates to the grid. This makes it simple to transfer the rough sketch to the ACEO card.From there I painted in watercolor washes to get the rough layout down. Then followed that with gouache (opaque watercolor) to finish the little painting. Painting with gouache is similar to painting with oils, only in the finished result. The techniques and methods are very different. Gouache being much faster to dry and allow layering. It’s a really fun and handy medium once you master it.
Rather than purchase a set of gouache paints, just purchase titanium white and zinc white gouache and use your existing watercolors to mix your colors. Titanium white will give you absolutely opaque colors. I use zinc white to develop steam or fog passages since it’s semi-transparent. Here’s a good example of a zinc white mist effect with titanium white opaque used in the waterfall and stream in another ACEO painting.
Gouache is truly versatile
Whether you’re painting en plein aire, sketching in color or working in the studio, you will find gouache readily adapts to the situation. With a very simple watercolor kit and a tube of titanium white and zinc white you’re all set. Watercolor sketchbooks or paper are ideal for gouache since its water based. Hand Book journals make a nice outdoor format for either sketching or formally painting gouache landscapes outdoors. Likewise for Moleskine watercolor journals.
I like the non-watercolor Hand Book Journals for sketching in watercolor and gouache. Even though the paper is thin, it takes lightly applied wet media well, and when dry, buckling is minimal. If you’re going to be heavy with the water the go with the watercolor journals of either Hand Book or Moleskine.
I really like the portfolio size Moleskine watercolor journals because they are larger. Watercolor blocks are also a great option indoors or out. Arches watercolor blocks and paper are hard to beat for wonderful handling of watercolor and gouache.
By the way, all these links are products I use daily and I’m not an affiliate to any of the vendors. They just happen to be the best prices I’ve found and provide great service and products. They are my go to suppliers.