Small Gouache Paintings

After completing the week 3 assignment for Get Your Paint On, I hit a bit of a wall, and wasn’t sure what to paint for Week 4’s assignment on composition. My painting table lay untouched for many days until I spied a stack of “scrap” watercolor paper that was left over after I prepared paper for a bookbinding project. I tore the leftover strips of paper into squares, somewhere between 5 to 6 inches in dimension.

For me there might be nothing less intimidating and more inviting that a small piece of blank paper, especially paper that I’ve categorized as “scrap,” so it wasn’t much of a leap for me to pick up a piece and start painting.

Colors and shapes have been on my mind a lot lately, and I seem to be pursuing a couple of types of arrangements in these recent paintings: either very organic or very geometric.


I’ve played with swooping lines in the past, and most recently I sketched out some “ordered swoops” in my sketchbook, so decided to paint a variation of this idea.

I painted this free-form without previous sketches, or the help of a grid which would have made the whole thing more symmetrical and regular, but it was more about just getting color on the paper, and seeing what I could do.

arrangement of triangles
Also no previous sketches for this, although I had a general idea of how I wanted the triangles to be arranged. I came up with the various decorative lines as I was painting them.

geometric forms
This one evolved as I was working. I wanted it to be roughly symmetrical, so as I had an idea for a shape, I’d add it, then re-evaluate and come up with the idea for the next shape. The detail lines were added at the end.

I’m really enjoying making these paintings, and I have a few more sheets of these scrap papers, so I imagine I’ll paint a few more soon!

9 thoughts on “Small Gouache Paintings

  1. I am completely captivated by the triangles. (Particularly that second to last painting). But then I’m VERY partial to white space, teal, and similar color families right now.

    • thanks! i’m glad you like the triangles. i know they are very trendy right now, but i can’t help myself. It’s kind of funny–when I finished the second to last triangle painting, stepped away from it and came back to it again, I was surprised by how small it was! All the paintings are about 5.5in square. Maybe that one needs to be re-made, bigger.

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