“Walk Alone” - Gouachepainting on Black paper "The Black Sketchbook" - by Niharika Garg

Gouache is very versatile medium, which can be used to paint Illustrations, Typography, Print designs etc.. When choosing a composition for a painting, always remember, a painting should tell a story. And all the elements, big or small, play a vital role in bringing it together. The indian artist Niharika Garg chooses a Landcape picture based on her mood as well. But mostly it must be a picture which connects with the audience as well as she can connect with! Because that is how she can makes it her own!!!


  • Colours: DESIGNERs GOUACHE in Indian Yellow (206), Scarlet red (314), cerulean blue (447), cadmium yellow hue lemon (203), Ivory black (788) and opaque white (199)
  • Paper: e.g. black textured paper 352 g/m2 (available in various sizes and formats) or Sketchbook "The black Sketchbook" (see below for more information)
  • Brushes: e.g. Escoda Perla Barcelona round brush no. 8, Princeton Select Angular brush no. 1/4'' and Liner brush size 0.
  • Pen: - e.g. ink pen from POSCA or Calligraphy Ink or Waterproof white ink. And Manuscript Leonardt Copperplate & Shadow Dip Pen & Nib Set.

Beforehand a short description of - The Black Sketchbook:

The Black Sketchbook is very SPECIAL to me. I was always on the lookout for something similar, to express my creativity on. However, that quality, that size was unavailable to me, so I decided to CREATE it myself! And I can proudly say that we now have different sizes and formats available in the same. Availabilities via instagram @The_Black_Sketchbook

I use my sketchbook not only to create paintings in my STUDIO, but also for Plein air studies. Can you imagine how much fun it is to use The Black Sketchbook and Schmincke Gouache together during Plein air studies? You must definitely try. Because now The Black Sketchbook is available for International shipping as well. Let's start to paint now!

Step 1

First, I tape my paper with masking tape

Step 2

Then I sketch the composition I'm going to paint, using a WHITE gel pen.


White Ink (waterproof) using a Nib Pen (this paper can sustain Ink very easily as it´s a Multimedia book).

Step 3

Start by painting the major colour (medium tone) in the composition. Here, it is a mixture of Indian yellow and a tiny bit of Cerulean Blue. I generally use an Angular brush for this. However, for certain areas I use a round brush, too. Notice below, I have also added lighter tones of the same shade, using opaque white, in certain areas, where sunlightis falling. And in certain areas I add a bit of Cadmium yellow light and Scarlet red too, to give tonal variations.


Keep the consistency of Gouache CREAMY to achievethis level of brightness. Also, after it has completely dried,you can add another layer on top, using the same colours. We are only blocking the major shades right now, we will add layers later, if required. However, my style of painting is to add the required colours in one go and NOT layer it too much... keeping it minimal!

Step 4

Next, I paint the river and the mountains and basically therest of the areas. Again, I paint the first layers with differenttones of Cerulean Blue and a bit of Scarlet red.Notice how I am leaving out a few areas in black. That's themagic of The Black Sketchbook, that I can LEAVE OUT a fewareas and it would only ADD to the overall composition.

Step 5

Time for details now. I am going to use a Fine liner brush for this. Details means, generally, a lighter tone combined with a shadow, which can be achieved by adding white and black to the mid-tone that was added earlier. And I do not paint details everywhere, mainly on the bushes to give them that extra texture because for me they add a character to the composition. In fact, I use different strokes to highlight them even more.

Notice my brushstrokes being minimal. I am not overdoing it, just painting them to suggest that they are there.

Step 6

The final steps - Time to add the final details and the trees in the foreground, which is the darkest colour, too. It is made using cerulean blue, scarlet red and ivory black.


Leave out a few areas untouched! It underlines the overall aesthetic of the painting. Also add black wherever required, to hide any mistakes that might have happened! But do this at the very end to ensure it doesn't mix with other colours.

Step 7

Let’s take off the tape, this is my most loved part, to see the clean edges of the sketchbook, around my work!

Finally, add your signature (if you feel it’s done, if not we can always come back after a while for a fresher perspective).

The artist

Niharika Garg:


Facebook: @NiharikaGargArt
Instagram: @niharikagarg

More about the Black Sketchbook:

Instagram: @The_Black_Sketchbook