There is no better feeling for an artist than the feeling of confidence you get from using the language of painting like a musician uses the language of music.
When you are aware of the purpose of every brushstroke you make.
When you know how to use all the power of the pigments on your palette and mix the amazing colors you see in the surrounding world.
When you can draw and paint things that inspire you while filling your paintings with color and light.
You might struggle with drawing and limit yourself to the subjects that do not require great drawing skills.
You want to use all the power of the pigments on your palette, but every time you try to do an impressionistic piece, the colors seem to merge together and lose their strength.
You want to see light coming from your paintings, but don’t know how to achieve that.
You try to paint the moments that inspire you, but instead of capturing the essence of the subject, you end up getting caught up in details, spending hours on the location when the lighting condition keeps changing. You want to paint faster, but you are not sure how to.
The creative process is a highly personal journey and every artist is unique. As an artist, you can do what you want with your art, but there are certain rules that you need to be aware of if you want to create unique and exceptional artwork.
Every painting medium has unique characteristics and requires a specific approach. But it's not just mastery of a single medium that improves an artist’s work.
Painting is a complex language consisting of a set of guidelines every artist should know. These are the precious principles the master artists have used successfully to produce their masterpieces. You can break the rules in your work, but that should only be done intentionally and not out of ignorance.
The most exciting thing about these principles is that to apply them in your painting you don't have to rely on talent; you only need to use your natural abilities to observe distances, angles, contrasts and colors.
You can apply them to any painting medium be it oil, acrylics, soft pastels, watercolor or gouache.
Artists tend to define themselves and their work by the medium they use. However, you are free to try any medium you may be interested in. Trying a new medium forces you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to grow artistically.
Before I discovered gouache, I had been painting with oils for a decade. I had also been experimenting with soft pastels, watercolor and acrylics. I’ve always wanted to see more color in my paintings and make them look alive at the same time. Every medium I’ve tried has brought something new to my approach to painting, but gouache changed everything. The day I tried it for the first time, I realized that it was the medium I had been looking for all those years. It didn't even feel like a painting medium because I couldn’t see the glare on its surface, nor the texture of the brushstrokes - nothing stood between me and the velvety colors in my painting. It was like using the colors straight from a rainbow.
My experience with gouache has changed my approach to oils and acrylics and it has completely changed my understanding of color.
It has the opaque qualities of oil, but it can easily be cleaned up and stored away.
It allows you to paint in layers like acrylics, but it doesn't dry permanently, so you can make changes to your painting at any time.
It dries to a matte flat finish with the brilliance and opacity of soft pastels.
You can just as easily travel and setup gouache as with watercolors, without such a strong need to plan and reserve whites.
Gouache is the perfect medium for exploring the possibilities of your color palette and practicing different painting techniques. Not many artists are aware of the amazing properties of this medium and the possibilities it offers. It can deeply transform you and your work.
on painting with gouache
Use a simple drawing technique which will allow you to draw anything and map your paintings easily.
Loosen up your paintings naturally.
Mix colors with confidence, understanding every step and the role of every color on your palette.
Analyze your subject and simplify its complexities.
Paint diverse subjects using the same painting approach.
Design a successful composition.
Use different types of contrast to achieve a strong visual impact in your paintings.
Achieve a powerful effect of light in your paintings.
Fill seemingly gray shadows with color and light.
Achieve the illusion of space and depth in your paintings.
Develop your observation skills to make your work look realistic.
Paint from photographs without copying them.
"Your demos are really informative. I’m loving this online format. It’s great to be able to go back and watch your demos again and again or stop and back up when needed. You are a terrific teacher. I can tell how much thought you have put into this workshop." — Corrine, USA
"It is amazing how concise and clear your explanation is - no matter how many books I read, only after your lessons somehow it clicked. Your commentary is so detailed and precise - it helps a lot with understanding the principles I thought I knew before... But theory and practice are two different things and you made practice more pleasurable and fun! Fantastic course!" — Sonia, Canada
In this module, I’ll show you a simple drawing technique that will make it easier for you to draw not only landscape and still life, but also people, animals and other complex objects.
You’ll be surprised to learn that you don’t need to spend years in drawing classes to draw well!
In this module I’ll explain how to find the right consistency of your gouache so that your colors stay opaque and vibrant.
You will learn how to correctly use water for painting with gouache and apply gouache in layers without causing the colors to mix between layers.
I will also show you how to soften edges and use a dry brush technique to make your paintings look more interesting.
We’ll discuss the major elements of color theory.
I’ll show you how to mix clean and bright colors using a limited palette of six colors.
We’ll also mix rich and colorful grays using the same palette.
Then, you will learn how to use a full palette of colors to work faster and preserve the vibrancy of your colors.
Once you have learned the fundamentals of color mixing, I’ll explain how to analyze the colors in a subject by asking four key questions that will help you mix the exact color you need every time.
In this module you will learn how to efficiently use value and shape to tell a story in your art.
I’ll explain how to break the painting process intro three simple phases, each of which will naturally lead your painting to completion.
We will apply the three-phase-approach to paint a landscape and a figure.
I’ll show you how to achieve clarity and create the impression of reality in your painting.
I will also help you understand the role of detail in painting and how to know when your painting is finished.
In this module, you will learn how to achieve a powerful effect of light in your painting.
I’ll show you how to use local color to keep the colors in your painting strong and vibrant.
We will also focus on how to paint colorful, yet realistic shadows that will help you create the illusion of strong light, depth and three-dimensionality.
You will discover how to manipulate the temperature and saturation of your colors to bring your painting to life.
In this module we’ll paint a sunlit street of the coastal village of Sesimbra.
You’ll learn how to simplify a complex scene and show light in your landscape, filling the painting with color.
I’ll show you how to make your landscape painting look realistic and full of life, without overloading it with details.
This module will be dedicated to still life painting.
We’ll paint a colorful, floral still life arrangement.
You will learn some tricks to create connections between different objects in your painting.
I will also show you how to paint light and shadows on different surfaces and keep your painting clean and vibrant.
Painting figures can seem intimidating, but it is actually no different than painting other subjects. In this module we’ll use the technique of focusing on shapes, colors and values to paint a figure.
I’ll show you how to simplify a figure, breaking it down into simple shapes.
You will learn how to understand skin tones and show light on a figure.
I’ll also explain how to use the balance of color temperatures within and between the objects in the scene to make the scene come to life.
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"This course is absolutely amazing. I have attempted several online courses, and this one has held my intense interest from the beginning. Thank you for such excellent work." — Barbara, USA
"Somehow, the way you teach suits me far better than workshops, books or DVDs have done, and so much is now falling into place and making real sense." - Caroline, England
"I was interested in learning from Lena Rivo because I admire her paintings so much, from her delectable color palette to the sparkling highlights she achieves. As a painting instructor myself, I believe that art education is a lifelong process. There is always something I can learn from another skilled teacher. Lena has developed an extensive course that works well for a student of any experience level, from beginner through professional. She offers a good range of fundamentals (contour drawing, color theory, and paint handling) and shows how to develop your artist’s eye. By looking for abstract shapes, positive and negative, you learn to draw and paint what you truly see, and to compare shapes with one another to accurately represent your subject. As the lessons progress, you develop skills that easily transfer to more complex subjects, because the basic principles are the same. Even though the course demonstrates the use of gouache paint, what I learned could be applied to oil or acrylic, as well. I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to paint realistically with any opaque painting medium." — Cindy, USA
WHEN YOU ENROLL IN GOUACHE MASTERY IN 8 WEEKS, YOU GET ONE YEAR ACCESS TO THE COURSE, INCLUDING:
8 modules with over 14 hours of HD video recorded from two different angles: top view and behind the shoulder view to make you feel as if we are painting together in the same studio. You will be able to see how I wash my brushes, mix the colors and apply them on the paper.
Step-by-step video tutorials with detailed explanations. The length of the lessons vary from 5 to 35 minutes.
Photo references as well as printable line drawings for every demonstration (If you aren’t a confident drawer yet, you will be able to download my line drawings and print them off, trace them to your watercolor paper, and paint with me).
The opportunity to share your achievements with other students (Inside the course you will be able to share the photos of your paintings and communicate with other students in the discussion section under each video).
Questions & Answers. This is a SELF-STUDY course and the course will teach you everything you need to know to become a better painter. However, if you have doubts, you will be able to ask questions in the discussion section inside the course and get the answers from me and other students.
Most painting courses are designed to teach you how to paint a certain subject, like still life or landscape, or figure. My main goal is to show you how to paint different subjects using the same painting approach so that you don't limit yourself to certain motifs and instead paint anything that inspires you.
We will paint landscapes, still life, flowers and figures in this course. I will help you to learn how to analyze your subject and use color and shapes so that you can paint anything, no matter what the subject is.
Painting a landscape or a seascape can be exciting because they require you to create the illusion of reality and a sense of atmosphere within them.
Still life is a powerful subject because it allows you to use your color palette in its full strength. Strong colors elicit strong emotions in both the artist and the viewer.
Figure painting allows you to tell a unique story that will resonate with the viewer because the presence of a figure in a painting forms an emotional connection between the figure and the viewer.
Switching between different subjects is beneficial for artistic growth and makes an artist’s life more inspiring and interesting.
Also, this course is all about painting light!
I have always been obsessed with capturing light in my art. I have spent years trying to figure out how to achieve a convincing illusion of light in my paintings by studying the works of master painters. These master painters inspired me to try new approaches and techniques that led me to attain a deeper understanding of light and color in art. In this course, I will share everything that I have discovered during my “painting light” experiments with you. In every demonstration in this course, I’ll go beyond the fundamentals of painting and I’ll explain how to analyze your subject and use your color palette to achieve realistic effects of strong light in your paintings.
Gouache mastery is a digital SELF-STUDY course. All of the video lessons, photo references and PDFs are available to you in my course portal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’ll have ONE YEAR ACCESS to the course which is plenty of time to go through the material and do the exercises multiple times!
You can do the course from home, from anywhere in the world, and on your schedule!
This Online Course is designed to fit around your schedule. The lessons are available for you to watch when it’s convenient for you. You can practice and watch different segments again and again. I am sure you will get more and more 'aha!' moments as soon as you slow down and start enjoying the process. You’ll have access to the course for one full year on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
No need to attend in-person workshops. All you need is an internet connection!
You’ll never miss a beat. Go at your own pace and complete the lessons on your own schedule.
The honest answer is, it depends on you and your current situation. If you spend a few hours a week working on each module, it will take you about 8 weeks to complete the course. I think 40 or 60 minute painting sessions are optimal for learning and practicing new skills. Your brain has to be fresh when you are painting, so I suggest you take your time and paint only when you are full of energy. Gouache is not like oil or acrylics, it doesn’t dry permanently and can be reactivated with a damp brush. You can stop painting at any time and return to the work when you feel recharged.
There’s an introductory video explaining how the course works, and all the videos after that go through the material in easy-to-follow lessons, so you never feel overwhelmed.
There is no rush and no right or wrong amount of time, because you have ONE YEAR ACCESS to the course!
to know how to get the most out of the incredible gouache colors.
to be more confident in your skills as an artist in general.
to use your color palette masterfully understanding the role of every color.
to simplify subjects in your paintings and make them more eloquent.
to make your subject look more realistic and alive.
to learn how to capture light in your paintings.
to make your paintings colorful and loose.
to be able to paint any subject that inspires you.
to display your work and be proud of your art.
Gouache Mastery isn’t for you if:
you are not ready to put in the work. It takes time to master the new skills. I am giving you all the tools you need to become a better painter, but you will improve only if you dedicate time to do the exercises and practice the new skills.
you need a course that teaches you how to paint portraits. I will show you how to simplify and paint human faces in this course, and the approach I teach can be applied to painting portraits, but painting faces will not be the main focus of this course.
“This is a lot of money for me to invest in my art… “
This course is my answer to numerous requests for workshops I have received over the past few years.
This course will save you the hassle of going to in-person workshops, which cost a lot of money: plane/train/bus tickets, hotel reservations, meals at restaurants, and taking down and repacking your art supplies. Even after all of the effort you put into attending the workshop, you often can't see or hear the instructor because of background noise and distractions.
An average duration of an in-depth workshop is usually about five days. This time has to be distributed between the instructor’s explanations and the students’ practicing. Workshops end quickly and do not offer enough time to absorb and practice the new material.
In this course, I will guide you through the process of creating a painting, starting with the fundamentals of drawing and color mixing and moving towards more advanced painting techniques. This will allow you to build your knowledge about painting gradually, understanding what you need to do and why, in a clear, step-by-step process.
In this online course I cover much more than what I could possibly deliver in a 5 day in-person workshop. You can move through the lessons at your own pace and instead of spending five days with me, you’ll have ONE YEAR of access to the content of the course, which is plenty of time to practice and watch different segments again and again.
"I thought long and hard before signing up for your course, but as soon as I started it I felt I’d made a great decision. I look on it as an investment in my art future. I’ve already learned so much and I love the crisp, clean layout. It’s a beautifully presented and carefully thought-out course." — Caroline, USA
"Love the way you are teaching us! Just "Excellent!" I'm learning so much from you, you're a wonderful teacher!" — Rosemary, USA
"You make your points very clearly and positively, so it is easy and enjoyable to learn from you." — Richard, USA
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Are the videos subtitled?
Yes, the videos come with English subtitles, which you can switch ON or OFF. I am not a native English speaker, but my students usually understand me clearly. If you find my accent too strong, you can always turn English subtitles ON in the video demonstrations in the course.
How does the payment plan work?
If you opt for the payment plan you will only be charged $217 today. After 30 days you'll be charged another $217, after another 30 days, you’ll be charged your third and final payment of $217. When your first payment processes, you will receive immediate access to Modules 1, 2 & 3. After your second payment processes you'll receive access to Modules 4 & 5. After the third payment, you'll receive access to Modules 6, 7 & 8. This schedule is created to give you adequate time to watch the lessons, do the exercises and absorb new material without being overwhelmed by the vast course content. Please note: if at any time you want to pay out your remaining invoice and access all the material at once, just send me an email!
When does this course begin and end?
The Gouache Mastery starts as soon as you complete your purchase! Shortly after your transaction is processed, you will receive an email with your login details, which you can use to access the course content immediately. This program is fully self-paced so there is no rush and no right or wrong amount of time to complete the course, because you have ONE YEAR ACCESS to the course!
Can I download the videos to my own computer?
No, the video tutorials are streamed, but as long as you have a high-speed internet connection, you can go through the lessons as many times as you would like to.
Will I get feedback on my paintings directly from Lena?
This is a SELF-STUDY course. Even though I am active in the course community, I cannot guarantee that I can give you individual feedback on the paintings you upload. You will be able to share and publish the work you create during the course with other students and communicate with them in the discussion section of the course.
What supplies will I need to take the course?
To take this course you will need a wide palette of colors of traditional gouache, an airtight storage palette for your paints, a mixing tray, a few acrylic brushes and a quality hot pressed 9 x 12 inches watercolor paper pad. A detailed list of materials will be provided in the Welcome Module.
Do I have to be able to draw to take this course?
Absolutely not! There is an entire module on drawing in this course. In fact, the less you know about drawing the easier it will be for you to start drawing using the drawing technique Lena teaches.
Can I take this course using another medium?
You can. My focus is to teach you the basic fundamentals: drawing, use of color, shapes, value and simplification. These fundamentals can be applied to any other opaque painting medium like oil, acrylics or pastels, but every painting medium has unique characteristics and requires a specific approach. For example, oils dry slowly and cannot be applied in layers like gouache or acrylics. Acrylics dry fast, but unlike gouache they dry permanently, which doesn’t allow you to soften edges in your painting like you can with gouache. So, if you want to take this course using a medium other than gouache, you have to be familiar with the medium and know its limitations. All the demonstrations in the course will be done in gouache. I will not explain how to use other painting mediums.
Do you have a refund policy?
I am confident that if you follow the steps outlined in this course, you will see amazing results. Having said that, I offer a 3-day refund period for all purchases of Gouache Mastery in 8 Weeks.
This refund policy is designed to give you 3 days to walk through the content of the course and decide if this course is for you. If you decide you don’t want to take the course, let me know before the end of the third day after the purchase and I will issue a 100% refund.
Hi, I’m Lena!
I am a professional painter with more than a decade of experience. Anything observed in this amazing world can become my subject. I always try to convey the illusion of light and atmosphere in my paintings and get the most from the colors on my palette. I paint with oils, acrylics and gouache. I use the same painting approach with any of these mediums. Having used gouache for several years now, it has gradually become my favorite painting medium. Its vibrant, deep and solid colors give me full freedom to capture the beauty of nature. I’ve been painting for almost 15 years, most of which I’ve spent experimenting with different mediums and styles trying to find the perfect visual language and painting medium to more beautifully portray reality with paints. I created this course because I believe we are all creative and everyone can find joy in painting with the right guidance and support. I am happy to share my knowledge with you!