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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > January 2020 > Go with gouache!

Go with gouache!

Barry Herniman chose gouache for this demonstration painting of a steam engine (a subject close to his heart) because of the versatility offered by the medium

I have had a love affair with steam locomotives ever since I was a lad. There is something quite emotive about these giant metal beasts as they charge headlong along the track or sit patiently, steaming and hissing at a station ready for the off. And the unmistakable smell of all that steam brings back memories of a bygone age.

Years ago I travelled by steam train to the National Railway Museum in York to see all the lovingly restored locos, which was a real treat. My favourite was the beautiful blue engine that was the Class A4 Pacific 4468 Mallard which, in its day, was the fastest steam locomotive in the world. It could hit a speed of 126mph, a record that was never surpassed.

Painting trains

If you seek out train paintings, you’ll find that there are some incredibly detailed works that have obviously been rendered by very enthusiastic train artists. However, my forays into painting trains have been to concentrate more on the mood and light of a certain scene rather than portraying an exact likeness. Although watercolour is my usual medium of choice I also love gouache, especially Schmincke gouache.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the first 2020 issue of The Artist. With a new year of drawing and painting to look forward to Paul Talbot-Greaves suggests 12 ways to help improve your watercolour skills throughout the year. Our four-page diary with the details and entry deadlines for all the main open competitions to enter will help you plan your year, while Bob Brandt's advice will help you maximise your chances of success. Watercolourists will enjoy Ian Sidaway's feature on painting the Rockies, Jake Winkle's focus on why good design is essential for an attention-grabbing composition, Julie Collins' colour-mixing ideas for winter trees and Jenny Wheatley's guide to choosing the best watercolour paper for your style of painting. Follow Robert Dutton and Soraya French and used mixed-media techniques to paint landscapes and flowers, plus Robert Brindley demonstrates how to capture light on water in pastel. With demonstrations in gouache, oils - including how to paint noses - charcoal and pastels, there's something for everyone, whatever your preferred medium. Why not make 2020 the year to try a new one with inspiration and guidance from The Artist?! Enjoy!