My cousin, who is an amazing artist, has been working with gouache on brown paper. She sent me a photo of a recent painting and it was so gorgeous that it caused me to paint the day away on brown paper. I used photos and sketches from my recent trip to Yosemite as reference material and really had to think hard about color and composition. Painting on brown mid-tones is really different than painting on black or white.
As I worked, I had to shift from building the sketch around darks, as I do with the black paper. Thinking about the mid-tones seems to be key to working on brown paper and I think I was most successful in the sketch above, which was also my final sketch of the day. My goal for the next few gouache sketches on brown paper will be to leave larger amounts of the paper unpainted and to use more white.
Here are three other gouache sketches on brown paper from today: