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The Beginner’s Guide to Gouache Painting

The Beginner’s Guide to Gouache Painting

Getting Started with Gouache

So if you’ve ever tried painting before, chances are that you’ve come across popular paint mediums such as Watercolour, Acrylics and Gouache, Right? …Okay maybe not Gouache, but that’s a good reason to stick around and read The Beginner’s Guide to Gouache Painting till the end.

In this article I’ll be giving a brief Summary on the Gouache Paint Medium and how you can create art expressively with it. Even though you may not have heard this word before, you probably used something a little bit similar as a kid. This somewhat similar medium is the Poster Colour (though they still possess significant differences).

The Beginner’s Guide to Gouache Painting

What is Gouache?

First of all, let’s start with the pronunciation, because I already hear your struggle with this.

The word “Gouache” is of French Origin and is pronounced gwash or gwosh depending on your accent. The word was inspired by the Italian “guazzo” technique. The guazzo technique, though different from gouache, dries with similarly muddy, matte finish.

Gouache is a water-soluble paint that combines the best qualities of both watercolours and acrylics, for a paint that is quite versatile and easy to use. It is made up of a high ratio of colour pigment, a solid white pigment (e.g. chalk) and pus gum Arabic as a binding agent. In extremely simple terms, we can say Gouache is ‘Watercolour + Chalk’.

Gouache has a lovely, heavy, velvety texture that absorbs light rather than reflecting it, creating a very smooth appearance. This makes it ideal for opaque coverage. In fact, gouache is sometimes referred to as “opaque watercolour.”

Why should you try Gouache?

As mentioned earlier, Gouache shares important aspects with both acrylic and watercolour. Firstly, it becomes transparent when thinned with water thereby acting like watercolour paint. Yet, unlike watercolours, it can be worked from dark shades to light shades and you can paint in white areas.

Secondly, gouache contains a lot of pigment and is thick and opaque like acrylic paint. However, gouache allows you to return days later and alter the paint, unlike acrylics which can’t be reworked. All you need to do to rework a gouache painting, is to add a little bit of water.

The Beginner’s Guide to Gouache Painting
Gouache paint isolated on a white background

Thirdly, Gouache enables the artist to become versatile in his application techniques. Various techniques that work well with gouache paints are glazing, mixing media, wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, staining, reworking dry areas, dry brushing etc.

Finally, gouache paintings photograph well. This is an important quality for today’s digitally driven traditional artists (take some time to soak that in). You can protect your art by placing it in a glass frame or by applying an art fixative.

Now that you know the full powers of the gouache medium, we hope this article on The Beginner’s Guide to Gouache Painting has convinced you you to try this drawing paint in Nigeria. So, it’s time for you to have a hands on experience and fuel your unique creative style. Click here to get your gouache paints from the Crafts Village Market place now.

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