studio vlog #6, using a LOT of gouache paint!

This month was full of painting, using up a lot of gouache and also giving me a lot of happiness! Enjoy!

You can also watch on and subscribe to my YouTube channel. There are subtitles available, and the transcript is below if you need to read as well as watch. I’d love to hear what you think, so leave a comment here or on youtube, or email me. Sign up to my email list as well for more at www.aratidevasher.com

I am not sponsored by any brands and nothing has been gifted by brands either (just some presents from friends and family).

Just ask any questions you might have in the comments! I’ll do my best to help you out.

Transcript:

Today is actually a great day, because it’s a painting day. I’m so excited! I’m not doing any admin today, except for answering emails, so yeah, very excited, yay!

Hi. I’m Arati Devasher. Welcome to another studio vlog!

Sometimes, I have an idea that I did quite a while ago for a silk scarf. Like I said, I used to paint silk, not so very long ago, and this is one of the ideas that I had. It was to make long scarves, which I did actually make a couple for someone, with silhouetted cats on it in different colours, and I also did a similar one for dogs. Actually, maybe one day I’ll show you the rest of the sketchbook, but this is the accordion sketchbook from Seawhite of Brighton*, in which I do – did – all my silk work. All the ideas for my silk work… so I had the dog collection and I had like all the ideas that I wanted to do, and then the main thing was the cats. So I thought that I would do this today, on paper, since I no longer paint silk. But sometimes this idea kind of niggles in your head for a long time and you absolutely have to put it down on paper.

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So I painted the background exactly as I would have done on silk, creating a lovely gradient, but with enough tonality that it still looked like one of my gouache paintings. I’ve developed this style over a few years, and I didn’t want to deviate too far from that. I did it in a red and this lovely blue as well. The idea behind these is that one is a deep sunset and the other is perhaps the early light of morn before sunrise actually happens, when the sky is kind of bluish, but the sun hasn’t yet come up. I wanted the cats to be sitting on wires and have as graphic a feel to them as I had originally conceived of in my sketchbook, and as I drew on those little scarves. I did an instagram live while I was painting the red piece and I really like how cheeky some of the little cats turned out. I tried to bring a little personality into them… some of them are facing each other having a conversation, and the body language is really kind of hilarious, isn’t it?

(music)

This month, I really really needed to tidy up all my product storage. I had literally just dumped stuff back into these drawers after the Crafty Fox Market Pop-up but I never actually sorted them out and put them back in their correct spots. So I took the opportunity to do that. Of course, my nosy studio pup had to know what I was doing every moment of it, and he kept wandering in and out and putting his nose into things. The greeting cards drawer in particular was in quite a lot of disarray, because I have quite a lot of cards now, and everything has to be stacked with its envelope. I have been thinking lately of rearranging this so that all the cards are flat, not folded, with the envelopes kept separately, but I’m kind of afraid I might actually forget to include them when I’m packing an order, which is why I’ve been keeping them together. The tea towels were pretty tidy; I just needed to sort them into the right order, and then I put some of the packaging for them into the same drawer as well. So all is now neat and tidy in these three drawers and I find that I actually do have space for more cards, more postcards and more tea towels, so I think I’d better get on with ordering some more and designing some more as well.

(music)

Orders were really scarce this month but I was particularly happy to be sending off this one. It’s my Gin Mandala art print… it basically is all the ingredients of a gin cocktail in a ‘mandala’ format so it’s very symmetrical and it’s placed on a lovely pink background, because it evokes memories of a lovely pink gin I once had. The thin blue border is a nod of course to Bombay Sapphire, a classic gin! This was also the first time I was using my lovely new golden yellow tissue paper. I ordered a bunch of it and I really, really love the colour. It’s kind of my logo colour as well which is why I got it, and I also managed to film a tiktok while wrapping!

(music)

These cat paintings aren’t finished, but I need the backing boards for the commissions I’m going to be working on, so I’m taking them off and I can always do the finishing later on a thinner board, because once I’ve painted it it doesn’t need quite as much support and it won’t ever be as wet as it was when I was doing the background. Of course, I tried to film a tiktok while I was taking off the tape but it was really difficult to do one-handed. Someone once told me that I should literally film everything I do because it’s always content that you can create for some situation or the other. Besides, I’ve pretty much watched my share of ASMR tape-peeling videos on both tiktok and instagram and I really do like them. I find them really relaxing! My new pet portrait commissions are once again A4-sized, so I’m going back to my lovely Cass Art watercolour paper. I do really like this paper. It has enough of a texture to create interest but not so much that the gouache doesn’t work properly on it. Did you watch my last vlog in which I drew these layouts? Now I’ve actually sketched out the actual size of the cat and the dogs that I’m doing and I’m going to transfer them using my transfer paper. I always use tracing paper to draw out the main layout because I don’t want to use any eraser on the final sheet on which I’m going to paint. I feel it really does change the texture of the paper, especially if I have erased multiple times, so I trace it on rather than draw it on in pencil. The gouache will cover all these lines in any case.

(music)

As you can tell from the title of this video, this was a very painting-heavy month and this is not the first time that I’ve had to refill my gouache* palette. In fact I’ve got to re-buy a couple of the colours already. I’ve used so much paint this month! Not that I’m complaining anyway, I always love a good paint haul; but because of my no-buy year this year, I have not actually indulged myself and bought more than I actually need. I have only replaced the colours that have finished or found substitutes for colours that I didn’t like. I might be a little less rigid with my no-buy year next year. 2020 was a pretty bad year income-wise, as it was for so many of us. Hopefully 2022 is better.

(music)

I’ve diverged a little from my usual colour palette for this particular one. The cat, apparently, has the sobriquet of ‘Emperor’ – that’s not his name, but that’s kind of what he’s called, so I thought purple was kind of regal and appropriate for this particular portrait. So, though I’ve already got a colour chart in my sketchbook, I wanted to try out some of the colours on the actual paper that I’m painting on, which is what I use scraps of paper for. Whenever I cut another sheet of paper down to size I always keep the scraps and then I utilize them in this manner. A further departure in this piece is that I don’t often use an underpainting colour, but in this one I feel like this sort of ‘flesh-tint’, as they call it, will give the white fur a better sense of depth once I paint it over the top of it.

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You might find these guys familiar and that’s because I’ve painted them before, in similar colours. This painting is for a different member of the family, who loves them just as much as the first person does.

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I’ve just managed to free up these two folders. They used to have our household paperwork; as you can see it’s labeled Zanussi cooker… sofas… I have no idea what that is… A’s something receipt… Kenwood Chef… all these things. We’ve chucked out a bunch of paperwork, which is all available in our emails or online. We didn’t really need to keep all that junk, so I have now two of these file folders available and I thought they’re perfect to keep my prints in, so that’s what I’m going to do now.

(music)

And these will go back in the biodegradable pack and be reused instead of being wasted to store prints in. And now everything is stored away in my cupboard which I have reorganized, yet again. I have managed to fit in all the paper drawers and everything is neatly labeled, plus I’ve got space in the drawers for seconds and work in progress and even my cello bags fit in.

(music)

A sketchbook tour of the Strathmore* Artist Tiles sketchbook was the next thing in order and I even ripped out a page partly to show you how perforated it is. I think you might already have seen this one on my channel.

(music)

Of course, my prolific painting streak continued. I actually had time to retry my Christmas cards that I kind of failed to do last month. I was more in the zone with this one and I think they came out pretty well, although they’re not yet finished, either. I have to still think about whether I want a background on them or just want to leave them white. I might experiment digitally and then see what I want to do. I really enjoyed painting so much this month. Usually admin tends to get in the way.

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To top off the month I finally managed to find made in the UK baubles that are bisque – so they’re ceramic that’s been fired once, that you can paint on with acrylic paint. These ones are handmade in Dorset and I’m really looking forward to painting them with the other delivery that arrived, which is a replenishment of my stock of fluid medium for acrylic*. I ordered it, of course, from my favorite Jackson’s Art* and it came in record time. I think they dispatched it almost the same day. I only ordered one little bottle of gloss fluid* because I’m not quite sure how that’ll turn out, but I did order a giant bottle of gold size* because I intend to gild these little baubles.

(music)

It was super exciting to get that delivery, finally! I was waiting for it for a few days because I had literally run out of fluid medium entirely. I have matte medium*, but the fluid one is what you’re supposed to use on bisque ceramics, which are basically fired only once. You can put glazes on them and fire them again, but I’m just going to use acrylic paint and then put a varnish over the top.

I’ll keep you updated on that in future vlogs as well, and if you’re interested in what else I got up to, here’s a playlist of all my vlogs that you can watch. In the meantime, thank you so much for watching and I will see you in my next one. Bye!

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