Forest, Part 4: Gouache Color Study

Finished my color study for of the landscape. I didn’t put the bears in because I started this study before I went to the zoo to get my bear reference and I wanted to work out everything behind the bears first.

I used a 4×6 piece of thick watercolor paper that I’ve had lying around for years now. It has a bit of texture, but it didn’t bother me. I like to paint the color comps using gouache paint. Gouache dries within seconds, so blending is difficult. This forces me to mix every color tile and put it down next to the previous color tile. Kind of like paint-by-numbers, but without the numbers.  I create the numbers. Gouache is similar to watercolor, but it’s more opaque and you can reactivate gouache with a little bit of water. Watercolors can’t be reactivated. Once they dry, they are dry.

My main focus with this color comp was the sunlight coming through the trees creating a glow. I wanted to transition from warm trees on the left to cooler trees on the right. Also, wanted the rim light on the rocks to be believable.

Next step – Figure out the placement of the bears! I went to the zoo and got 350 pictures of grizzly bears. It’s gonna be fun looking through them all and thinking about how they can fit into and improve the composition.

Next – Part 5: Placement of the Bears


Subscribe to my newsletter for updates on new content.