How I Paint with Gouache in my Brown Paper Sketchbook

A friend asked me to do a step-by-step on my sketchbook painting technique.

The point was made that one rarely sees the underlying drawing or the build up of paint in an artist’s work–just the finished product. I have posted step-by-steps of my niece’s murals and cottage cards, so here goes another.

Pony_1

I drew the pony with a 3H pencil. It is hard and light and good for the underlying sketch.

Pony_2

Using gouache as if it were watercolor, mainly burnt sienna and cobalt blue, I added the 1st set of darks.

paints

I use a smallish palette of colors, mainly primaries. I love gouache because it works well both transparently and opaquely.

paintpots

Using cobalt blue and yellow ochre I filled in a background.

Pony_3

The pony’s spots seemed kind of flat, so I washed some orange over them and added darkest darks using  a small liner brush with indigo and burnt sienna.

Pony_4

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Full Circle with Baby Bear Counts One: Part 1

Making a book is a long road.  

The idea, the writing, the revisions, the further revisions, the submission, the offer, the contract, the negotiation, the signing, the dummies, the finishes, the year of waiting…

And it came to a satisfying, and timely, conclusion for me yesterday. 

I got my finished, bound book in the mail…BBCOFinishedBook-web

…along with a super sweet note from my editor, Andrea Welch, at Beach Lane Books

Every book begins somewhere and mine began visibly with the 1st dummy.

It will change enormously, but page 2-3 started out looking like this on my 1st thumbnail storyboard.

BBCOStoryboard_1_pg2-3

I enlarged that little thumbnail and experimented with adding the text.BBCO2-3-type

But the text seemed squashed so I shifted the bears around,

dummy2-3_web

But now, to make the story fit, I had to leave space on page 2 for the copyright and dedication.

BBCO_2-3

So the final composition sketch looked like this.

BBCO2-3

And the finished print like this!