Monday, December 28, 2009


Greetings Virtual Gouache Land followers, I wanted to let everyone know that I have redesigned my website - Watersketch.com. I will be posting info regarding prints for purchase and upcoming workshops soon. It is still a work in progress but much easier to navigate.

Happy New Year

Link: http://www.watersketch.com/

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Tree trunk study from imagination. Ink, gouache, watercolor and small additions of chalk and crayon. 4x8 inches on fabriano cold press paper.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Imaginative landscape study with hunters approaching a lake side castle. Pen and wash with additions of transparent watercolors. I am trying out Winsor & Newton's large pan professional watercolors. Original on cold press Sennelier paper, 4 x 9.5 inches. This ratio is similar to a widescreen movie format like Panavision's 2:35.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Eroded cliff with exposed eucalyptus roots. 10x14", Canson -Montval watercolor paper. Limited palette with additions of red/brown ink, gouache white, light gray and transparent watercolors.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Small ink, watercolor & gouache sketch from life. A grouping of eucalyptus trees with various sapling undergrowth. Fabriano paper.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Large 24"x18" warm up sketch 20mins over abstract transparent doodles. This was a class demo while everyone was warming up. Starting very transparent then mix gouache into the wet washes.



Part III. Color Warm ups and example of sketch to larger color painting.





Gouache & Watercolor class Part II. (two images are from last year's class, the stormy cliff sketches and wide format gouache/wc image.





What a fantastic workshop last weekend up in Mendocino, California. There was 21 students who signed up and I tried to do as many demos as I could muster. We also had several hour sessions to sketch outside and take in nature. The focus of the class was to take these sketches and work on variation from memory in small warm up sketch paintings. Everyone was a good sport when some sprinkles rolled in. Wonderful work by everyone! Various sketches, photos of the area and workshop pictures to share.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Experimental composition with Prussian blue under painting and additions of India ink - pen work. Zinc white gouache was used to build up opaques. This is a hybrid of English and Dutch landscape influences from the 1600's to 1800's. (6x9 inches on Cold press W/C paper)

I will be going over techniques in my class this weekend on how to improve usability of outdoor rapid sketches and employing them in the studio for more elaborate small format paintings that capture complex lighting situations.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


To mix things up a bit I wanted to share an oil study I made this summer on the east coast. Pretty small, 5x9 inches or so, linen mounted on wood panel with a middle warm gray ground. Rapid painting on location. I love the lush greens in Connecticut and all of New England for that matter. There was so much rain in June, that this was a rare moment to brave the elements and capture a small slice of nature.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009






Some recent sketchbook entries.... some of these are master studies for warm ups. Pen & ink work as well.


On another note I wanted to give folks interested a heads up for a Fall workshop:

Greetings Art Enthusiasts!
I wanted to let you all know about a special fall workshop I'm teaching at the Mendocino Art Center.
Their website: http://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/PSS_Cart.54.LassoApp?category=189&feature2=Fall
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September 12 - 13, 2009
INTERMEDIATE - ADVANCED GOUACHE AND WATERCOLOR PAINTING WORKSHOP
Erik Tiemens

Class begins Saturday, September 12th. Two day weekend workshop meets Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Tuition: $180 (members may take a $25 discount on one workshop per year).

From the smallest thumbnail sketch to more finished works in the field, discover the importance of planning and seeing more options in your compositions, color palettes and tonal combinations before committing time on larger studio paintings. The workshop will go over techniques to previsualize your final idea and truly see the many options a location can inspire in a final painting. By combining the best of gouaches opaque-change friendly qualities with watercolors transparent subtlety, you can work more efficiently in capturing lighting, atmosphere and tonal information.

Material List Here: www.virtualgouacheland.blogspot.com

It's going to be inspiring to paint in Mendocino- I hope some of you can come!
Best, Erik

Monday, May 25, 2009


Today a stiff wind danced across a nearby coastal valley with rolling fog dissolving edges of this tree study. Sepia & burnt sienna watercolor washes with pen & ink on hot press Sennelier calligraphy paper - a nice lush vellum like surface.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Recent figure study in watercolor and gouache, with small additions of pen. 4"x6" hot press block.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


This is inspired by Thomas Gainsborough's sketches that show his interest in Poussin, Hobbema, Ruisdael, Wijnants and others. Gainsborough primarily used Dutch principles of design (with a touch of Fragonard), to create a unique vision all his own. I find it wonderful that he would compulsively find bits of coal, lichen and even broccoli plants for trees and then add mud/dirt to create invented landscapes as a model to work from. This he would set up on a small wooden table in his studio under candle light.

-Erik

Sunday, May 03, 2009





Developing compositions loosely with watercolor, gouache - Zinc white, with small additions of pastel and pen and ink on some of the drawings/paintings. Very rapid studies in the 4" - 6" range. Most of the work on Fabriano Ingres paper with a laid style of paper, along with Arches hot press 90lb paper.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Recent finished commissioned landscape painting. 45x60 inches - oils on linen support. I apologize for some of the glare in the photo.

Saturday, February 28, 2009



Sketch book detail of a grove study. Experiments with higgins sepia ink with fountain black ink as well. Dip pen with tinted washes on Ingres paper (Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal). I was taking a look at some of Ruben's pen and ink and wash studies, sometimes with chalk, beyond mind blowing!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Limited palette Frisian landscape with gray gouache (Daler Rowney brand), in addition Rembrandt pastels mostly in the clouds and transparent sepia, umber watercolors for the foreground.... gray primed panel as the foundation.

Today I saw some work by Salomon van Ruysdael (1602-1670, Haarlem) and was struck how thin and translucent the large water themed landscape was painted. He was the uncle of Jacob van Ruisdael considered one of the greatest landscape painters and a huge influence on Turner.

Small experimental riverbank study from imagination (4"x4") in gouache & watercolor. Chinese white was used from a watercolor line, rather than gouache. This was painted on a clay based primed panel that has an absorbent watercolor paper quality to the surface. Gum arabic used in the darker passages to increase depth.

Friday, January 30, 2009




Landscape study near the coastal farming town of Pescadero, California. Rough sketch to start with, pencil layout, washes and general steps to the finished painting. The sun went down fast and I darkened the foreground towards the end. Gouache & mostly watercolors.