Gouache is a medium that doesn’t get its due. Often looked on as a “less than” subset of transparent watercolor, or a “wannabe” substitute for oil, gouache has some of the characteristics of each.
Gouache is a form of watercolor, pigment suspended in gum arabic, and does give the ability to work in light over dark like oil and unlike transparent watercolor. Most importantly, though, gouache has its own character, allowing the artist to produce smooth, even tones, distinctive color and impart a graphic character to brushstrokes that can give gouache a unique visual appeal.
Larry Seiler worked for 17 years in acrylic and another 15 in oil, and though he apparently still works in both, he now prefers gouache for his small immediate paintings of the Wisconsin landscape.
Seiler’s colorful landscapes are often painted on black board or black prepared surfaces, and he frequently paints in an inset area, leaving part of the surface around the edges.
His gouache paintings are rendered in bright dabs of color with little blending, giving them a simultaneously painted and graphic feel. His compositions often include small streams of lakes and bright foliage, subjects that lend themselves well to the application of broken color.
Seiler has a web site on which you can find examples of both his small paintings and larger studio work, but it is on his blog that you will find the small gouache paintings.
His web site also includes step-by-step demos, an instructional DVD and CD Rom book, and information on workshops.
Larry Seiler’s son, Jason Seiler, is also an artist, known for his caricatures, character design, portraits and humorous illustration.
5 Replies to “Larry Seiler”
Thank you for sharing this. I have been on a quest to acquaint myself with gouache (I’m about 8 years out of practice with oil and have been looking for a new fix). So now that I’ve got all my tools in order, you’ve gone and blessed me with some great examples of what I can do with it! These make me miss Wisconsin (I lived near Madison for about a year)
Agree…”Gouache…doesn’t get it due”.Often thought of as a medium for studies and preliminary work. Syd Mead,among others,proves that gouache is a medium that easily stands on it’s own as a finished medium.And much like pastels, often gets “reversed” in how it’s viewed or thought of as a finished piece.Many pastelist’s see their work as paintings, not drawings(and rightfully so).Some see gouache paintings as drawings.Check out the work of Ruprecht von Kaufmann .The artist himself lists his gouache work under drawings category,not paintings.In Kaufmann’s case,this may be due to his own definition of the words paintings/drawings since his gouache and charcoal work look so much much like his painting/wax larger work,but seem to function as preliminary studies,but I’m not certain.Size (dimensions)of work too,sometimes dictates how much “respect” artwork gets as a finished piece(NOT rightfully so)but that’s another subject.
Thank you Lines and Colors for choosing Larry Seiler for your featured Artist this month. I became acquainted with Larry’s work through Wet Canvas, where Larry is a Moderator on many of the forums. I have learned to grow by listening to his comments on others work and also by his own work.
Larry is very knowledgeable about art and art history and shares it freely with our art community. Being a person who leans more toward a colorist myself, I was very excited to see Larry dive into the gouache medium. I love his work and enjoy the demo’s he post for us to share and learn. He is truly a gifted artist.
I very seldom turn to transparent watercolor, but time and again, especially when working on my ‘old paper’, I turn to gouache for the light over dark that I have to have to make the image pop. I have to agree with David Teter in part, because I chose colored pencil for its light-fast transparent character, but find the use of gouache comes in mighty handy.
I also am acquainted with Larry , from my time on the wetcanvas forums [ at times being a moderator as well ] as the saying goes ‘ small world ain’t it ‘ even in this vast online art world !
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