Casein is a water based paint that uses milk protein as its binder. It shares many characteristics with gouache; both are water-based, opaque and dry to an appealing matte finish. Both dry quickly and can be used in concert with other water based mediums. Both are neglected step-children of watercolor and are somewhat on the fringes of awareness among painters — undeservedly so.
Partly, this may be because they don’t get much attention in popular media, and they suffer from a shortage of instructional material.
This is where contemporary painter, illustrator, writer and instructional materials creator James Gurney comes in. Gurney has long been an advocate of the use of casein and gouache, and his blog, Gurney Journey is one of the best sources of information of both mediums.
Gurney has just released the the latest addition to his excellent series of instructional videos on painting “in the wild” with water based mediums, Casein Painting in the Wild.
In it, he takes you through 7 location paintings, discussing the process in his laid-back, conversational manner, with lots of helpful close ups of paint application and brush handling, as well as occasional split screens of the subject and painting. He also discusses materials and gives and overview of the medium in general.
Though it’s focused on painting in casein on location, the techniques are applicable to gouache, which is readily used in conjunction with casein, and many of the basic principles he covers are relevant to other painting mediums.
Given the frequent $70 – $100 or more price range of other artist instruction videos, Gurney, by acting as his own camera operator and post production studio, can offer quality videos like this for a bargain price of $15 (for the downloadable version).
As always, the video is generously supplemented by additional material on the blog, such as a specific post about readers’ casein questions. There is a trailer and excerpt videos on YouTube as well as in several articles on Gurney Journey.
Like Gurney’s other instructional videos on water-based mediums, Casein Painting in the Wild leaves you enthused to load up your brushes and have at it, indulging in the unique qualities and pleasures of this unfairly overlooked method of painting.