Discovering Gouache

Somewhere in the aisles of Michaels, I discovered Gouache. At first, I struggled to pronounce the word (gwash) and when I finally figured it out, it took me yet some more time to understand its nature, its texture….its purpose! I simply couldn’t fathom why one would need gouache. Didn’t the world already have the transparency of watercolors and the opacity of acrylics and oils?

Anyway, I went ahead and bought a box of gouache paints mostly out of curiosity. But they just sat on the shelf. It was tough to reach out for them. Watercolors seemed so familiar, so comforting….And acrylics so smooth as they gracefully flowed over the canvas while the box of gouache, shy and awkward just sat there forgotten.

Alright! I had to give it a chance so I gingerly opened the box. The colors looked pretty on the palette, no complaints there. I quickly sketched a little scene and started working the paints onto the paper. Gosh! So this is Gouache! Colors – so vibrant, opaque and matte – I fell in love with them! I had to work fast with them (they dry up pretty quickly) but like the acrylics, they are quite forgiving… I could paint over the last layer over and over again and in doing so hide any mistakes or add depth to the surface. The only pain – the paint dries up really fast. In the end, my painting looked just like one of my watercolors except more opaque and bright. 

All in all, I enjoyed the experience and I will paint some more with gouache. But I guess watercolor is still my top favorite medium.

My very first gouache painting!

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