'Drawing is a great way of showing love for something,' Kushana Bush.
In this workshop students observed the highly detailed gouache paintings of Dunedin based artist Kushana Bush. Kushana's paintings are dense with allusions to the art of other times including Indo-Persian miniatures, Japanese woodcuts and Medieval European art history. Kushana shared personal anecdotes as she taught the students some gouache painting techniques.
'The thing I was most delighted in sharing during the workshop were detailed descriptions of the special tools and pigments that were traditionally used to create beautiful miniatures...the finest Persian miniature brushes were made with the neck fur of kittens affixed to a pigeon’s quill handle.' The students also learned how the the loveliest pigment in Mughal miniatures, Indian Yellow, was made by feeding a cow on mango leaves for a week and then drying their urine!
The students used pipi and tuatua shells as pallets for colour mixing. Before painting they decided on a colour palette and mixed and tested a range of colours and then Kushana talked them through gouache which involves a layered painting process. Students began by blocking in larger areas of colour using flat tip brushes, and once the paint had dried, they proceeded with over painting. Applying further layers of ever increasing detail using different colours and fine tipped round brushes.
Kushana says, 'No animals were harmed in my workshop, all my brushes and pigments are mostly synthetic. It is curious to ponder that some of the humblest of ingredients create the most scared of objects.'