Learning gouache and "trompe l'oeil"

This winter term has been all about color—from colored pencils to watercolor to acrylics and now gouache. (More to come on those other techniques later!) I had never used gouache before this term, though some artist friends had warned me I would love it. It’s a water-based paint, but more opaque than watercolor so you can really build up layers and color.

For this assignment, we had to depict a collection of items in a “trompe l’oeil,” meaning it would fool the eye into looking realistic. That meant it took a long time to get all the details in there—nearly 40 hours on this project. I chose a subject that is important to me, plastic pollution, and it made it easier to spend so much time on it. I’d love to do more work like this in the future.