So much art, so little time by Dauby.painter Art

Gouache: The Art World’s Underrated Paint

Aliyah Lashley October 11 2023


You’ve heard of watercolour paint. You’ve heard of acrylic paint. But what is gouache paint? Well, find out!

What is gouache paint?

Gouache paint is comparable to watercolour paint but has more in common with acrylic paint as it’s opaque and pigmented. Commercial artists mostly use gouache paint for comics and posters. It was used by cinema and animation studios in the twentieth century to create an opaque colour on a cel with watercolour paint for backgrounds. It is often used for basic opaque painting techniques and is usually applied with airbrushing.

Why isn’t it more popular?

Gouache paint is not as popular as acrylic paint because it’s less durable and can only be used with paper and an illustration board; meanwhile, acrylic paint is more durable and can be used on many surfaces such as paper, canvas, wood, glass, metal, etc. Gouache paint is also more expensive than acrylic paint, so if you’re on a budget, acrylic paint seems like a smarter approach. Watercolour has less colour and appears lighter when it’s dry, while with gouache, the colour will be either lighter or darker; it’s somewhat random (see image below).

“I forgot again” by Dauby.painter Art

What can I do with gouache paint?

• As a beginner, it is recommended that you purchase a paint set with a limited colour selection. That way, you can become acquainted with colour mixing and its workings.

• The main colours of icing, white, and black paint make a variety of hues.

• Make sure that your paint is painted in a thin layer because gouache can get cracked when it’s applied too thick.

• Gouache paintings dry quickly so they can be rejuvenated by adding some water to the paint.

• Gouache can be used in combination with other art mediums, such as acrylic or watercolour paints.

Should I use it?

If you do, go for it. If what you read didn’t interest you, then don’t use it. You have to decide for yourself based on your financial situation and priorities.

If you want some gouache paint or want to try it out for the first time, here’s a link to Amazon.

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