The Artist Behind the Art: Chao’s Glorious Gouache Masterpieces

"No matter if it looked good or bad, I was still happy because each painting I make is always better than the last one." - Chao, on how she views art as what it's supposed to be: a fun learning experience.
Ever since she was a kid, Chao has always understood art. At an early age, she knew that it was the ultimate love of her life, and she would stop at nothing to dedicate her time and energy to creating.
Beautiful gouache paintings of landscapes and flowers hanging on a wall

"My name is Lê Bảo Châu, but you can call me Chao. I have been painting for 12 years now. I am an interior design student, and just finished my graduating project! Ever since I was eight years old, I have always loved art. When I was really young, I saw my sister, she was painting, and I adored it. I wanted to do what she did, so as I grew up, I watched Youtube videos and self-taught myself. The more I got exposed to art, the more I fell in love. My heart pounds, and I feel happy."  

It is said that when you love what you do, you do work that people love. Chao's passion for art certainly translates into her creations, and we just can't get enough of it!

Her expert use of gouache and watercolors are just marvelous. All those years of watching Youtube videos certainly helped her blossom into a great artist who loves to paint flowers and landscapes.

A gouache painting of a beach sunset with pink and blue hues

A beach landscape at sunset

"I love to paint landscapes, and most of them are about nature, flowers, and animals. I mainly use watercolor and gouache. I do paint in acrylic too, but watercolor and gouache are quicker. I can do everything really quickly, with these two mediums, in less than two hours. I must work with these fast media because I am usually busy with my studies and schedule. Acrylic tends to take more time with mixing colors and layering."

If you ever get the chance to meet with Chao, consider yourself lucky because talking with her is like conversing with the brightest ray of sunshine. Like her projects, she emits a positive and cheerful aura. No wonder why her audiences love her art - she is a classic example of art imitating life. 

"My favorite flower is daisies. I love daisies the most because they are a common flower that is found and known worldwide so people can relate to daisy artwork. Plus, they're not too flowery, and they're also easier to paint!"

Find the best gouache set for artists here at Artistry by Altenew!

Artists' Gouache Set - Strolling Through New York

While many of us dream of a chance encounter with Chao to nitpick her creative brain for inspiration, she looks forward to meeting the one person who has had the most significant influence on both her art and life: 

"In 2020, I found an artist who inspired me to do gouache, and it changed my life. Alex Sprouse. His painting of gouache is really amazing, professional, and impressive. His art changed my life and my perspective on my city, Ho Chi Minh. 

Before I met him, I felt uncomfortable living here due to the chaos and noise of the city. Then one day, I saw one of his gouache artworks that portrayed a scene from Ho Chi Minh City. He painted a corner and a small house. He looked at this city from a different view, a special side that I never knew. Thanks to him, this city is much more beautiful in my eyes now, and now I feel happy."

Looking at Chao's artwork with fresh eyes, too, you'd wonder where she gets the inspiration and time to make such aesthetic pieces. After all, as an interior design student and full-time artist, it must not be easy juggling the best of both worlds!

A gorgeous tulip painting made with embossing paste

 Embossing Paste

"I am crazy in love with art, so I don't have time to watch movies. After I get done with school, I use my spare time and relaxation with art. Art entertains me. I spend time scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest to see how people look at the world. 

Sometimes, I also take pictures when I go out and paint. I used to do plein air painting, such as houses and buildings, but it's very hot in Vietnam. So I photograph some scenes and do the work in my studio instead. I also love Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli art - he is my most favorite artist ever!" 

If you have admired Chao's impasto effects and her elegant brush strokes, here is her advice on how you can achieve such heights of beauty on your canvas for yourself: 

"There are many different levels to being an artist. You can start by learning and finding material on Youtube. They have teaching content all over the place. You have to be patient. It's never going to be the same with the artist you love. The recipe and secret is to believe in yourself. Painting is not hard, but believing in everything you're painting is the key to your success."

A sketchbook showing two beautiful panels of painted gouache flowers

Beautiful pink and violet flowers

"I paint in every color, but my favorite palettes have color contrasts. I do cold and hot. I also do pastels.

I am not afraid of any color! *laughs*

Chao wasn't always the kind of flower artist that she is now. You should know that her first-ever artwork was Sailor Moon! How cute is that? She truly came from an innocent and humble beginning in art, and she embodies that childlike devotion to art until now. 

"My first ever art project was Sailor Moon. I drew a Sailor Moon painting when I was 8 or 9 years old using pencil and crayon."

All in all, Chao is living the best kind of life, the one that is spent in the creative pursuit of adventure, imagination, and hard work. 

"Just remember, it all boils down to hard work. Love everything you do, and trust yourself. "

Get Inspired by Chao’s Captivating Art! 

You can follow Chao on her Instagram, and check out her beautiful artworks.

Stay tuned for more inspiration from other artists like yourself! If you want to be featured on our blog, please send a message via email. 

Our blog is a platform for artists and creative individuals to showcase their talents and share their experiences with others. We believe that everyone has a unique and exciting story to tell. So don't hesitate - send us an email today and let us know about your fantastic work and journey! We can't wait to hear from you! 

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