Month 2 Tutorial - Green Fields

Sarah Burns Studio X Craftamo
Gouache Subscription Box 2

Part 1: Unboxing, Supplies, Swatching & Color Mixing


Materials in Box #2:

  • Paper
  • 2 brushes
    • 1 inch Flat
    • #4 Rigger
  • 3 colors
    • Moss Green, 
    • Viridian, 
    • Cadmium Yellow

Color Swatches and Mixes

Before doing the demo, take some time to explore your colors. Make tints of each color by adding white. Try diluting the colors as well to see what they look like.

Mix some basic colors like green, orange, and brown. Make some variations of brown and grey as well. Add in colors from box 1 to increase the variety of colors you can mix. Pay special attention to mixing different greens. Take notes about what combinations of yellows and blues you use, or how much of a certain color you add.

Swatchs and Color Mixes

You can mix on a ceramic plate (or even paper plate). Anything non-porous will work. I often use the plastic tray from my watercolor palette. Some people recommend using enamel coated trays.
Note: the paint might stain plastic dishes or trays.

Part 2: Reference, Drawing & Color Concept Sketch

Value Sketch & Color Concept Sketch

Before doing a completed painting, it’s often helpful to explore the ‘layout’ or composition of the scene with a value sketch. With pencil and paper we can get our ideas down quickly and make different versions until we like what we see.

I keep my drawings VERY simple, and sometimes they are just line drawings. Go into as much detail as you need - each of us will be different. The whole point is to make a drawing that helps you figure out your scene.

Next, we can do a small version of the scene with color. I use this as an opportunity to try different color combinations. I look at both my reference and my value sketch as I make decisions about what colors to use. Sometimes I make some decisions in the moment that lead me in a new direction.

Part 3: Green Fields Demo

My final painting:

I hope you enjoy this demo! See you next month!

What’s coming in Box #3

In Box 3 we will be painting a forest!

Supplies included in Box 3:

  • Paper
  • 2 brushes
    • ¼” Flat
    • #16 Round
  • 3 Colors: 
    • Burnt Umber, 
    • Alizarin Crimson, 
    • Primary Cyan

Brush Care 

When you first receive your brushes, there will often be a protective coating on the hairs to keep them in shape during transport. Simply dip them in water for a few seconds to soften it. I usually clean mine with brush soap as soon as I receive them (and again when I’m done painting)

Never leave your brushes in water for too long. This could cause damage. Let them dry on a flat surface. As you continue to use your brushes, it's important to clean the hairs now and then, especially if you use many staining colors like phthalos or quinacridones. White can also start to clog up the hairs. I usually wash my brushes with brush soap every few uses, or whenever I think the brush needs a refresh.


Don’t forget to join my Discord chat server! You can share images of your sketches/painting and enjoy a sense of community. Or if you’d like to share your work with me on Instagram, use the hashtag #sarahburnstutor so I can find you.

Additional helpful resources:

Brand new to gouache? As you discover questions about gouache, I hope to answer as many as I can. For now, you can start with this blog post which goes very in-depth about what gouache is.

If you want even more instruction, I often post free tutorials on YouTube. Otherwise my Patreon is a great resource to learn even more. 

Additional suggested materials:

I use lots of different gouaches, papers, sketchbooks, and palettes for different purposes.

You don’t need anything extra right now, except maybe paper as you will probably run out of that first.

Craftamo sells extra paper (same as what is in the boxes) and it’s very affordable. 

Otherwise, I have lots of recommendations. I keep an updated list of all my favorite art supplies here.

How I use and care for my brushes: video

This video shows all the brush types you will receive over the course of the 12 month subscription. At the end of the video I show how to care for your brushes.