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!


120 thoughts on “Watercolor & Gouache Sketchbook Tour

  1. Wow, all of them are so colourful and have a fun element to them. Most are minimal, I especially loved the mountain and the lion. Well done. Also, nice job on the self portrait, portraits are not easy at all.
    You are so talented/hard-working. Well done πŸ™Œ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re really good at watercolor and gouache paint. Maybe you can work a little on the human face and figures.Still, your drawings are beautiful.Why not try to draw on the canvas? I am sure the result will be good. I wish you success in art and blog lifeβ™₯️


    1. Why thank you! And ha, yes, I DEFINITELY need to keep working on my portrait drawings. πŸ˜› I have done a few canvas paintings, but I generally prefer sketchbooks because they’re simpler (and cheaper). Canvases are so fun, though! Thank you for the comment!

  3. Oooh, those look amazing! I really like the birds (I might be slightly obsessed with birds as I am with flowers XD). And the donuts look SO realistic! My suggestions for another drawing is either a bowl of broccoli or a camera. πŸ˜€


    1. Thank you so much! Birds are great. πŸ˜€ My brother Logan and I both went through a phase where we were OBSESSED with birds, and I still think they’re such beautiful and fascinating animals! I’m still obsessed with flowers, and that will probably never change. πŸ˜‰ Thank you! And HA, those are great suggestions! “A bowl of broccoli…” :’D I might just have to do that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay. And I used to think I could draw! Girl, your art is amazing!!! The first one is so pretty! (Love that style!) And the second one is so cute and squishable!

    I do most of my sketching on copy paper. Not sure how it compares to a sketchbook, though. It’s been forever since I actually did some painting.

    Hmmm… how about a log cabin scene? Or pine trees! I love pine trees!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. D’aww. ❀ Well, of course just because I draw differently than you doesn't mean you can't draw, or I would be hopeless (thanks, Instagram XD). πŸ˜‰ I love the first one too!

      Copy paper is a perfectly good choice for sketching. *nods approvement* But yeah, sadly it is an awful choice for painting. Which is sad, because copy paper is much cheaper. πŸ˜›

      Ooh, great suggestions! Thanks so much!


  5. You are so talented! Wow!! How do I choose a favorite? From the self-portrait (😘) to the beautiful wildflowers, the LION mane, the landscapes, and the perfect β€œblob” people (truly I need you to illustrate for me one day). Well done! You are gifted indeed. Keep the faith always! πŸ’š

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are so gifted, dear! It’s so hard to pick a favorite! But I would have to say the wildflowers that you said you had made into stickers was one of them.


      1. I started painting again couple days ago. It’s not as great as yours but in time hoping to get there πŸ¦‹


  7. Really love all of the paintings, they’re awesome!!! But if I had to pick a favorite I’d have to say the ocean waves, I’m partial to the seas. Also like how you used half a photo and painted the other half. Nicely done!!!


  8. These are all so beautiful! I really love all the ones where you used bright colors! There’s just something so satisfying about it! πŸ˜€ Wondermous post! πŸ™‚

    -Laura ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are Soo beautiful. I think you are far better at watercolor than I am. I should stick to charcoal, it’s my favorite. I really loved the bluebird and hmingbird… Some of the landscapes are stunning too (beach and waves especially so.)


    1. Aww, thank you! But don’t worry about being “as good as” someone or making your art look like theirs. If you enjoy it, go for it! πŸ™‚ Wow, good for you – I haven’t done a lot of charcoal. I love those too! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. WAHT? WHT? WHAT?!!! This is AMAZING! Wow. Goodness. You have so much incredible talent, Allison!! I need to come take some art classes, pronto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *grins* THANK YOU FOR THE SWEET COMMENT. And oh my that would be such fun! My goal is to make some online classes one day so my blog readers CAN take lessons from me! πŸ˜€ But I have too many other projects going at the moment. Maybe next year. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow….these are fantastic! I love all the ones with flowers, but especially the wildflowers one….those would make great stickers (and I’d totally buy them from you!)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Very nice work! It seems that lately you’ve been honing in on your unique style, which I think is great (but that’s just my observation from afar). Those first two watercolors are so whimsical and pretty, and the little self-portrait is a great representation of yourself. I also really like all your landscape scenes. The simple color palettes you used with them is quite pleasing.
    Have you ever considered drawing garden scenes? I think a picture of a cucumber vine growing up a trellis would be fun. That’s probably just because I like gardening, though.
    Thanks for sharing your work!


    1. Wow, that means a lot! I’ve always wanted to have a unique style but I’ve never felt like I accomplished it. So I’m glad you see at least somewhat of a style appearing. πŸ˜€ Ooh, a garden scene would be so much fun to paint! Thanks for the suggestion and lovely comment. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, I really love that quote from Les Mis! I only know the musical so I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. πŸ˜›
    And that ocean painting is so pretty! ❀ I like that colorful lion paint splatter one too. It makes me think of Aslan.
    I actually kinda like the brown and yellow clean-out page on the left. If you don't look at it directly it kinda looks like crinkled gold foil? At least to me. πŸ˜›
    The magazine cut out paintings are all gorgeous! The mountain one reminds me of Alaska. πŸ™‚
    I love all the bears! They're all so cute! Especially the one chasing the butterfly. And the shape of the one on the right kinda looks like Winnie the Pooh. XD


    1. Me tooo! Ha, yeah, often the books have good quotes that don’t make it into plays or movies.
      Thank you so much! YES, it makes me think of Aslan too. Huh, really? Well yay! I’m glad you like that one. πŸ˜›
      I love those too!
      Hee hee, bears are adorable. XD And hey, it does!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You’re so good with water colors! Water colors look so neat, I just wish I could have a set of them. And, I have to admit, I was hesitant to comment when I saw the mountain of comments you already have.


    1. Aww, thank you so much! You can buy a great set of them on Amazon for about $20 – I can give you a link if you want. And oh my goodness, never feel like you shouldn’t comment – I love hearing you guys’ thoughts, including yours. ❀


  15. Wow!! So beautiful. Especially loved the landscape paintings!!

    I’m currently using the bienfang mixed media paper. But, the paper tends to fold when I paint. Will try your recommendations!


  16. Oh lovely! I just started painting watercolor. I got a lot of inspiration from this post. Life is so good when painting. Thank you for sharing your beautiful paintings!β€οΈπŸŒˆπŸ™


      1. Hi Allison! Thank you for encouraging me! I will definitely keep painting. I have a question about your painting and hope you don’t mind to answer. I love your hummingbird with flowers painting. It’s so beautiful. I am wondering how you paint those black fine lines? A pen or brush? Did you draw the fine lines first then put in the watercolor paint? Or you paint the watercolor first then emphasizes the fine lines? Thank you for your help!
        Smilingaries πŸ™‚


        1. Oh, of course! ❀ Sure thing. So, I first made a sketch with a pencil; then I used a micron pen (a fine-tip waterproof black pen) for the lines, erased the pencil, and then added watercolor! I love using microns or other waterproof pens for "sketches" with my watercolor. πŸ™‚ If you don't have any waterproof pens (just test on a scrap paper to see), just add the lines at the end after everything is totally dry so the lines won't blur. Hope that helps!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you so much Allison for sharing the techniques of your painting! That’s so helpful! I will try to find a waterproof pen. At the same time I will keep painting πŸ™‚ I painted an ice cream by copying the one in your post last night. It was fun and sweet. I want to paint more frozen sweet treats and later post on my blog πŸ˜‹ Thanks again!❀️


              1. All right, dear Allison, I finally finished my frozen treats painting and posted on my blog. smilingaries.wordpress.com
                I hope you like it. And please please tell me something you think I can improve πŸ™‚ Thank you!
                P.S. I saw your post about your vacation. That’s so wonderful! You have such a sweet family ❀️


                1. I loved your art!<3 Honestly I don't really know what to tell you as far as what to improve – I think you're doing great and I hope you will keep practicing!
                  P. S. Aww, thanks! I love my family. ❀


                  1. Thank you so much Allison! I am so happy to find inspiration from your blog and I appreciate we can chat about arts through blogs! It’s wonderful ❀️ I will certainly keep painting 😊 BTW, I ordered the waterproof Micron pens and it will arrive today. I am excited to try it soon πŸ˜ƒ


  17. I love the messy pages because I was too, sometime I just wanna show the final outcome but some messy pages are part of my effort! πŸ™‚


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