Thanks! This piece is one of my first where I actually figured pastels out! I layer a lot. I start out with big blocks of color and the fix, and then do a bit more detail, and then fix, and then more detail, fix, etc. It's also a workable fixative, so it's not as strong, but once you build up layers, it fixes just fine. It is a fine balance though, you always can overwork it. But yea, I'm glad you enjoy this piece! I envy your gouache usage! How do you do it?
Uhh... well I'm taking a story illustration class with some focus on watercolor. I've learned that you can't add it on too thick, which has helped me more than anything. The key is washes. Do a wash, then do another wash, then do another wash, etc. I can't claim that's exactly what I did for some of my work, but I know it works.