In contrast to the watercolor stage, where I was slopping down the paint willy-nilly, during the gouache stage, I spend a lot of time mixing. This is especially true at this point in the painting, where I'm making the little tiny details. I'll spend ten minutes mixing the color, make a couple brush strokes, spend another ten minutes adjusting the color, make another brushstroke or two, and so on. In fact, most of the time, the painting is shoved off to a corner of the table, and I'm just looking at my palettes.
One of the tricky things about mixing colors with gouache is that it changes value as it dries. Some colors lighten, some darken. But the great thing about it, as opposed to, say, acrylics, is that dry gouache can be re-wetted. So, if you have enough palettes (no, I don't consider the amount pictured to be enough. And, yet, I'm embarrassed to buy more), you can keep all the colors you've mixed and dip into them when mixing new colors.
And here's the painting as it stands today. This is not a scan, but a digital photo taken under sunlight; I was trying to avoid the weird color casts I was getting from my scanner. The result is a little washed out. Le sigh. Reproduction is hard.
I haven't looked at this thing since December, and I now see several things I'd still like to adjust. But I don't know that I'll get around to it. There's always the danger at the end of a piece that you're not making constructive changes, you're just fussing with it.
All in all, it was a fun side project, kind of a palette cleanser after wrapping up the final McGraw-Hill job. If I ever get a decent scan of the thing, I'll probably make postcards.