December 2004 Demo

The demonstrator for the December demo was Barbara Donnelly. Her demonstration was called "Painting in Gouache".

The meeting was held in the Guild Hall at the First Congregational Church of Reading. The demonstration began at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8th

We have some photographs of the event in case you could not make it there in person. You can click on any of the images on this page to view a larger version of it. Then, use the Back button on your browser to return to this page.


Our president introduced Barbara to the attendees.


Barbara often does value sketches of her paintings
before starting the actual painting itself.
Here she shows us one of the sketches from her book.

Darks first

When painting in gouache Barbara puts in the darks first.
In this photo she is placing the dark shapes using blue and green.
She uses Windsor blue for this part because it is more permanent than cobalt blue.
By laying in the dark shadows quickly, she is able to
capture the direction of the light before it changes.


Next she puts in the midtone values.
Barbara uses oil painting brushes when using gouache.
Her pallette is the same as her watercolor pallette plus green.


Here is what the painting looks like at break time.

L, M, & C

Larry, Moe, and Curly discuss the progress of the painting.


Barbara turns the painting on its side to paint the masts.
It is easier for her to paint them using a horizontal line than a vertical line.


Here is the painting, finished and put into a frame.

Here is a bio of our demonstrator:

Barbara Donnelly

Barbara Donnelly received her formal training at Boston University. She has been teaching drawing and painting for over 30 years. Watercolor has been her favored medium for 20 years. She became captivated by watercolor after painting and teaching oil painting for many years. Continuing to paint in oils on occasion for a change of pace, she always returns to watercolor. Barbara conducts workshops at her gallery at 19 Harbor Loop in Gloucester.

Painting en plein air wherever her brush takes her in New England or abroad is a joy matched only by the quiet peace of contemplation of a carefully selected still life in the studio. These two ends of the spectrum result in very different emotions, subject matter and style. Barbara's travels in France reintroduced her to the possibilities of gouache. The opacity and immediacy of gouache brings an interesting element to travel painting, and she uses it much like oils. Working from dark to light, she establishes the structure of the design early in the process so that she can get to the finish more quickly than with transparent watercolors. Occasionally she combines gouache with transparent watercolor, but most often she uses it alone. At our demonstration she will paint a pure gouache. Barbara explains that "the elusiveness of watercolor is exciting because of the challenge it presents. There is always the element of surprise which holds my interest. It will be my lifelong quest to master it-in the never-ending search for the truth of Nature. That is the magic of watercolor and of art."

Barbara is an artist member of Academic Artists, American Artists Professional League, The Copley Society of Art, Guild of Beverly Artists, New England Watercolor Society, North Shore Arts Association, and the Rockport Art Association. She has received innumerable awards here and abroad.

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Last updated October 30, 2016