top of page

"Bend in the Stream" by Charley Parker


"Kuerner Hill" by Charley Parker


"Shady Bank" by Charley Parker

All images courtesy of the artist

Monthly Meeting and Demonstration


November 15, 2023 (Wednesday)

1:00 P.M. – 3:00 PM

November 28, 2023 (Tuesday)

10:00 am - 3:00 pm

DEMO:  Charley Parker, Gouache

Charley Parker Biography:


Charley Parker studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, with a major in painting. He paints in gouache, oil, and casein as well as sketching in ink and watercolor, and is a member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society.


He has been represented in numerous juried shows in the Philadelphia and Wilmington area and has contributed articles to and Drawing magazine. He is also the author of the popular arts blog, "Lines and Colors".


In recent years Charley has been teaching workshops and classes at the Delaware Art Museum, the Delaware College of Art and Design, and Jester Artspace.


He teaches one and two day workshops or six week classes in plein air painting in gouache or water mixable oil, still life painting in gouache or water mixable oil, and landscape painting from photographs in gouache or water mixable oil.


He also teaches two day workshops in urban sketching and one day workshops in perspective for urban sketching and plein air painting. You can find listings on his teaching website,




For my presentation, I will give a brief overview of the medium of gouache, its use and comparison to other painting mediums, and I will do a small demo painting in gouache from a photograph.




The workshop will consist of landscape painting from a photograph in gouache.  I will do an additional demonstration of gouache painting techniques, brushwork, paint consistency, layering and texture. I will be using a limited palette of four colors, from which a wide range of usable colors can be mixed, and I will demonstrate color mixing with a limited palette. 


I will provide copies of a landscape photograph for participants to work from, although they are welcome to bring their own.


After the initial demo/discussion, I will go around and work with each individual participant.




Paper: Reasonably heavy paper suitable for watercolor: at least 140lb (300gsm) would be best. I prefer a hot press or vellum surface for gouache, but cold press is OK. Rough or “not” is too rough. Gouache sits on the surface, like oil, rather than sinking into the paper like transparent watercolor. For a short workshop, it can be advantageous to work small, 5x7, 6x8 or 8x10, although participants are welcome to work larger if they prefer. Gouache lends itself well to working small and capturing fine detail.


Brushes: short handled synthetic brushes intended for acrylic or mixed media use are best for gouache, stiffer than for watercolor, but not as stiff as for oil. I recommend:

½” flat

¼” flat

#6 round

#2 round

Brushes close to these sizes are fine. Ideally, having two of each size, or similar sizes, would be convenient. Using one for dark colors and one for light will reduce the amount of brush cleaning needed in the process of painting.


Container for water: plastic peanut butter jar is good, a disposable cup or something of similar size is fine.


Small spray mister: This is for keeping the paint wet on your palette. Gouache is at its best consistency if it is right from the tube or kept wet. Once dry, it’s more difficult to get the best degree of flow and opacity. You can get these from art supply stores for less than $3; you can often find them in drug stores or other local stores.


Watercolor palette: any watercolor palette will do — provided it has more mixing space than wells. We will be using a limited palette of four colors (plus white) and mixing a range of colors from them. If you happen to have a small “Masterson Sta-wet palette”, as is often used for acrylic, this is what I use.


Pencil and sketchbook: for making an initial composition sketch and for laying out your painting.




Communal paint will be provided for the workshop. Participants are welcome to bring their own, but I will be providing and teaching color mixing with these colors:


Permanent White (Titanium White)

Ultramarine Blue

Perylene Maroon (Winsor & Newton) or Alizarin Crimson

Cadmium Yellow Light (or Pale) - genuine, not “hue”

Burnt Sienna


When buying your own gouache, I strongly recommend “artist” or “professional” grade, not student grade (you can tell the difference by price comparison). Any of these brands have a line of professional grade gouache: Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache, Holbein Artists Gouache, M. Graham Artists Gouache, Schmincke Hoardam Artist's Gouache, Da Vinci Professional Gouache.


Note: so called “acrylic gouache” — like  “Holbein Acryla Gouache” and “Turner Acryl Gouache” — are not gouache, but a form of acrylic paint. They can be nice paints, but they are not actually gouache.

bottom of page