Recently I have become absolutely enamored with Goache as an artistic medium. I love the outcomes, i’m seeing more and more people actively pursuing artwork using goache. It’s a very dynamic and fun medium to work with. There’s just one issue with it though… it has an intense awkward phase!

What I mean by “awkward phase” is that you’ll be painting along, and all of a sudden it starts to look BAD. One of the first things I find myself having to do is lay down big blocks of color where needed. Well, that actually translates to areas where the paint is really brushy, really a big nuisance. And the little voice of self doubt crops up.

“This painting is going to be one of your worst!” “You should just switch back to watercolor, you’re actually good at watercolor.” “Why are you doing this, you could be painting something else instead.” Just a huge clamoring, awkward cacophony of inner voice criticism surrounding this one medium. I wonder why it happens this way? For me, when I am working in watercolor, my tendency is to overwork what I’m painting, not to underwork it.

In college I had teachers who told me my biggest challenge is to know when to stop. That after a certain point every thing I do becomes a less interesting version of what I meant to do.

For me, it feels unsatisfying to stop.

I have this tendency to just do the MOST. I want to render the crap out of an apple, if I’m going to paint an apple. But my most interesting, successful works are actually more about the few choices I made, rather than the many.

This is a strange thing to say, but if you also suffer an extended awkward phase in your paintings, you’ve got to try and push through it! Just today I was working, encountered and awkward phase, pushed through it and now I have a painting that I’m much happier with than I would have anticipated. You can DO IT. Push through it!

With watercolor, everything is about restraint. With goache, everything is about excess. Don’t judge a goache painting by watercolor standards. They are sisters, not twins!