Watercolor & Gouache Sketchbook Tour

Hello, dears!

Yayyyy, an art post! These make me so excited that it’s hard to refrain from ending the title with an exclamation point. πŸ˜› I still have three or four blank pages in this sketchbook, but I figured that was close enough to make a post on it. πŸ˜‰ I mostly filled this sketchbook with gouache and watercolor paintings, but added a few sketches and some different art mediums too.

Okay, let’s get to this huge load of art! I hope you guys enjoy and can find some inspiration for yourself!

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Okay, this is going to get super long if I talk in-depth about each piece, so I’ll just add brief captions occasionally. I love this first-page painting! So glowy and pretty. ❀ I made this with my Arteza sketchbook and Arteza gouache.


If you’re bored, here’s a simple and fun art idea: make some colorful blobs with watercolor or whatever else, then add features and details with a pen when they’re dry. πŸ™‚


I made this into a sticker sheet on my shop. I think it’s my favorite yet!


We were making thank-you cards at church for the Sheriff’s office, and one of the ladies there wanted me to make my dying-marker-sunflower-art into a set of cards for her! πŸ˜€ So I repainted it with goauche and printed out some cards. I might add them to my shop eventually, but I don’t know… do people buy art cards anymore?? Anyway, I like this page as it is.


These are designs for a special custom sticker sheet commission! I added the blueberries and clementines stickers to my shop as well. See them here.


One of my few non-painted pieces. πŸ˜› Isn’t this Les Miserables quote great?


I am NOT great at drawing people, at least without a reference So here’s an example of one of the many practice/draft pages my sketchbook is filled with. I like the little character design sketch on the right.


I literally counted 7+ ocean paintings like this one in the sketchbook. :’D I’m not great at water painting, so I had to practice a bunch for some art lessons (one in the co-op I teach at and one for some art tutoring lessons I just started).


A little sketchy self-portrait. πŸ™‚


Some test sketches on the left (with another ocean painting), and a page painted with the negative painting technique on the right.


I’m not showing you every page of this sketchbook because 1) that would take way too long, and 2) a lot of them are just boring messy sketches and drafts. This is one of the more interesting messy pages, but yeah… there’s a LOT like this. Just so you know, for all the pretty, finished pieces on Instagram, artists have messy pages and messed-up pieces. Bad art is part of being a good artist. πŸ˜‰


I made this quick spread to clean out leftover paint I had in my gouache palette. XD I love being inspired by the colors that collect there.


Another random clean-out-my-palette spread. I did a quick abstract version. I don’t care for the left page, but the right turned out kinda neat.


I often look up reference pictures on Pinterest, but I recently discovered how fun it is to paint from a magazine picture! I have a bunch I cut out, just waiting to be painted.


This is another magazine-reference painting. I absolutely love the tones and color palette in this one!


Here we have a hydrangea poodle on the left (although you can’t really tell…) and some flower bears on the right. πŸ˜€ I don’t really like any of the bears except the first big one on the left. SO SQUISHY I LOVE IT.


I just thought of a random illustration style, so I tested it out with a couple of quick portraits. πŸ˜›


This is a sad looking swatch page but AHH, I recently got the Himi jelly gouache set and I love it so far! The colors are so bright, opaque, saturated, and much easier to use than my Arteza set mentioned earlier (which is also pretty good).



This is the last painting in my sketchbook, also made with the Himi gouache set. I’m working on a new set of envelopes to add to my shop, so I’m basically going to fill the rest of the sketchbook pages with doughnuts. πŸ˜‰


That’s all the art for today! This sketchbook was mostly for casual paintings or drafts and practice pieces. I’ve been making some bigger pieces and projects I’m really proud of, but I’ll save those for another post. πŸ˜‰ You can see a few at my newish website, thecolorboxstudio.com, or on my Instagram page @thecolorboxstudio.

Which page(s) did you like best? What is your favorite brand of sketchbook to use? Any suggestions for what I should draw next?

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!


122 thoughts on “Watercolor & Gouache Sketchbook Tour

  1. I think Arteza watercolor book is great for gouache. Despite being marketed as a watercolor notebook, the pages flourish with gouache, especially if I don’t use too much water. Whether it’s a crude painting or a mixed media effort, the paper holds up really nicely. So far, none of my paintings has bled over to the opposite side of the page, allowing me to work on both sides of the page.


    1. I agree! In my experience, gouache works great on watercolor paper since, after all, it’s technically opaque watercolor. And yes, it does work well on this Arteza watercolor sketchbook! It’s nice that the colors don’t bleed through.


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