Gouache woes

  • So I used gouache for the first time. I expected it to behave like watercolor just more opaque. But when I blotted the colors separated; leaving one of the mixed color on the page. Does anyone have any gouache stories or suggestions? I ended up trying to blot up the gouache and cover over with very thick watercolor.
    how to links or any other suggestions welcomed especially from @Lee-White

  • you can use gouache in a similar fashion as watercolor. There are exceptions however. Gouache is VERY sensitive to water. This means that once you get a passage done, if any water hits it in any way it will change. It is easily activated which is why it is also easy to correct mistakes in. You can use it diluted with water (like watercolor) but it really wants to be an opaque medium. This means that it tends to work well with very little water added. So it works well very thinned down (like watercolor) or it works well with almost no water in an opaque way (like oil or acrylic) but it really doesn't work well in between those two techniques. It will dry way darker than it looks when wet if you use a middle amount of water with it which totally sucks.

    It's a tricky medium. I tend to use it very opaque for details towards the end of a painting. I'm learning some other tricks with it now, but they are pretty advanced and experimental ways of working with it. It would be hard to explain them here.

    Good luck in your gouache adventure!

  • @Lee-White Thank you so much for your time Lee, be sure and make an SVS video once you have those tricks nailed down. As usual, you rock!

  • Gouache is known for being difficult to grasp, and I am no master, but i spent a good few months ruining my life trying. My only advice is to use it like acrylic when applying highlights, and to plan color mixing by working it out beforehand. Also, if you really want to see the magic of Gouache, try it on illustratiion board. It looks like it is lasered on, and leaves one of the most clean looking illustrations. It is actually quite remarkable to see the finished product on illustration board.

  • @Eric-Castleman Thank you Eric, what is illustration board? I haven't heard of it before.

  • Illustration board has a glossy finish, and the board itself does not absorb the paint. Also, doing a very wet wash won't produce anything but drops of water and paint, so it require a little bit of a dryer way of working. If you can get used to it, it really creates an impressive illustration.

  • @Eric-Castleman Thanks so much!

  • go to Pinterest and search "gouache on illustration board". Some rad illustrations there.

  • @Eric-Castleman Awesome!

  • note: illustration board shouldn't have a gloss to it. It does have less absorbency than watercolor paper, etc. It comes in hot press which is smooth and cold press which has a slight tooth to it. Strathmore 500 series is the best you can get. It works for most media, but it's a little pricey (but worth it).