After I made 31 gouache paintings in January, I figured I’d let them be a group and achieve something….so after you check out the video, please feel free to pop over to my fine art site and bid on a favorite or two in the charity auction! Tap on the image below to get there.

Tutorial: 31 Gouache Paintings and what I learned from making them

Warning, this is a long one! I seem to have a lot to share lately, huh!?! lol!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

My biggest learnings

  1. Avoid using too much water! That causes lifting. Cheaper brushes don’t hold water so try more of those than the good watercolor brushes.
  2. Mix enough paint the first time. Nearly impossible to match in  2nd mix.
  3. Use colors more inventive than “out of the tube” – I think I may need to make myself a mixing chart to remember all the colors I found that worked well, like Hansa Yellow Deep + Permanent Green Light making a great olive, and figure out which blue made a good purple with Quin Magenta because I’ve already forgotten!
  4. Use bigger brushes and fewer strokes unless you want a 5 hour painting. If I’ll be going plein air sketching, I can’t dawdle like I’ve been!
  5. For the first pass, block in colors everywhere except whites or very lights to avoid lifting and muddiness.
  6. Watch out for green creeping into the orange paint for the shiny cherries! 

Missed some!

The bunny ran away with the sheep when I was shooting, so these two didn’t make it – see the IG post about how to paint sheep HERE, and the bunny HERE. Patrons saw today’s birch forest on my Patreon page….and I did fix those shadows on the snow on the fence!

Got gouache questions?

I’ve already filmed Saturday’s video, but….leave me your gouache questions! I’m new enough I hardly know what to ask, especially since I’m the type not to ask if something works, I just try it myself. LOL. 


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  1. Reader

    Hi Sandy, I’m sorry it was such a struggle but they came out beautiful anyway! The trick I’ve heard to get opaque layers on top, like white over a dark color is two-fold: 1) always start with thinner layers first, like your background, and make each additional layer successively thicker(less water) and 2) don’t scrub or go over top layers with lots of brush strokes BC it reactivates the bottom layers.
    I hope that helps and you are an amazing artist. I love your dedication to learning and sharing that knowledge with others. Beautiful work!

  2. Gab

    These are stunning Sandy.
    it’s interesting that cheaper brushes work better with goauche!


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