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 Replies to “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.

    1. 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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