Fun with Gouache

{Agapanthus at Villa del Sol}

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately doing small paintings in gouache,
inspired by James Gurney’s recent posts and videos.

I can fit everything I need into a little bag and can complete a little sketch in whatever time I have, whether it’s 20 minutes or two hours.

My watercolor kit includes a travel set of transparent watercolors, tubes of gouache (lemon yellow, cad yellow, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, viridian, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and permanent white), a few paintbrushes, a homemade palette, watercolor pencils, a pen, and a moleskine watercolor sketchbook. (Just add water!)

{Summer Reading}

I can pull out my things and be set up in minutes. I’m loving the way the opaque color gives me flexibility in how I build the painting. In this small format I can experiment and play around with different subject matter and different combinations of media.

{Classic Hume Lake}

(right detail)

(left detail)

{Keeping Watch}

{Boats at Rest}

I highly recommend checking out James Gurney’s blog, Gurney Journey. He has all kinds of clever and inspirational ideas for those who want to take their painting and sketching outside and work from life. So much fun!

Painting Hume Lake

For years I’ve been hearing about the beauty of Hume Lake, a Christian Camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We have many friends who visit every summer and I was commissioned to paint the view of the lake and the mountains earlier this year. Wewere finally able to drive up and explore Hume ourselves this week and I had a wonderful time painting the ever changing landscape.

Here are three of the five studies I completed in the three days we were there. I’ll be working on another Hume Lake commission in the coming weeks. What a privilege to capture the beauty of creation in a place steeped in meaning for so many.

End of the Day

7 x 11

oil on linen



Morning Blush

5 x 7

oil on linen



Seven Boats

14 x 11

oil on linen