Ugandan Woman


Another in a series of paintings of Ugandan women and children (For more of these videos go to my Instagram page) using a guy_in_uganda photo for reference. After painting the initial image with watercolour, (as usual, very loosely) I’m using gouache mixed with a few drops of gum arabic (with water then added to get the paint to the right consistency) for the printing section. Printing this way is a liberating process; although there’s obviously some control over the kind of patterns I’m trying to create, it is also a little random, and printed marks have a delightful quality all their own that can’t be replicated by ‘hand’. The skin tones are mixed with vandyke brown, burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, the dress is hansa yellow medium and transparent yellow, the gouache printing is done with flame red, phthalocyanine blue, and a mid green mixed with brilliant yellow, phthalo blue and a a touch of red, the lighter green is linden green (handprint)

I have a couple of lidded acrylic palettes (TN Lawrence) as in the picture below, in which I keep these gouache mixes. Together with the pretty airtight lid the gum arabic keeps the paint moist for long periods; if it gets a little dry it is easy to recactivate with water. Inevitably, over time, the paint mixes get a little corrupted with other colours, which can sometimes result in a subtle surprise, sometimes in mud! The one below is new and the pigments still look fairly pristine.


Below is an an assortment of brushes that I’ll use regularly, at the moment it’s Chinese brushes, together with the Prolene sword brushes for fine details. Over the years I’ve worked my way through various types and brands of brushes; it’s all part of  the fun of the journey, buying and trying new materials and surfaces and is one of the things that can help get you unstuck when things are getting a little over-familiar and safe


17 thoughts on “Ugandan Woman

  1. Thank you for all fantastic painting and for your generosity to show your methods. I just love your methods and your way of painting. I hope You sometime will have a course 3-5 days, then I will come to Brighton./ Birgitta who had the opportunity to learn from you in Dalarna 😊

  2. I love your videos and your paintings. Thank you for sharing your methods and materials. I paint in gouache and I’m always trying to find ways to keep it workable and not dry up too quickly. I’m going to try your gum arabic tip.

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