I’ve been steadily adding to my collection of little gouache paintings. I’m sticking with the nature theme for now, and it’s working really well. I thought you might like to see a little bit of my artistic process, so I documented one of my paintings.

Ready to follow along? Here we go!

I started with a reference image from Google Images. I’ll often use Google instead of Pinterest when I’m looking for more obscure or specific images. Pinterest is full of lovely things, Google is full of random things. With the latter, sometimes you get guys in baseball caps instead of roses, but you’ll also get some good photos of roses. With the former… well… you might get some really lovely roses that aren’t even close to the type to put into the search bar.

Me, I wanted to do something native to my happy mountain heights. That meant a wild mountain rose.

This was the image I chose:

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Pretty, pink, and detailed. Mostly, I really liked how this showcased the entire plant instead of just the blossom. The finished piece needed to go in a 3″x3″ frame, so I was working a little smaller than usual. I started with a rough sketch, altering as it suited to my own fancies.

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Then I traced over the lines with a very thinned bit of gouache, just getting down the colors in my head and making sure that I had the ones I wanted.

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Now, I keep my pallet pretty dirty when I’m painting gouache. I like it when the colors get a bit confused; I think it helps add to the realism.

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Just take a look at how messy that is!

Anyway, I moved onto filling in the colors and playing with the shading.

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Then I finished up the details, erased the lines, dated and initialed it, and it was done.

Boom.

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And that’s the anatomy of my itty-bitty rose painting. Ta da!

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