Gouache Paint

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Gouache is a water-soluble glue-based paint. It has a dense structure due to the white pigment, which is present in it. Also, gouache often becomes the second coating that an artist applies after the watercolor. It is used with such materials as paper, cardboard, primed canvas, tissue, plywood.

The kaolin and whitewash, contained in the paint, allows creating dense superimposed layers without stains and erosion. In such a way, one can paint in various techniques: glazing, artistic brush stroke. Besides, mistakes are easily corrected using an additional layer since it is acceptable to apply a lighter color on a dark one.

The finished painting is not glossy, which add softness and velvety. Also, once dried, it becomes whitish. However, gouache paintings must be protected from moisture, dust and direct sunlight.

It is better to start learning how to paint with gouache. Its properties allow you to correct the picture without damage to its quality. At the same time you do not need to rub off the errors since they should be covered with other colors.

What Is the Difference between Gouache, Acrylic and Watercolor?

Gouache Paint
Gouache vs. Acrylic

It is better for amateur painter to first learn how to use gouache and only after that get to work with acrylic paints, which are the tool for professionals. The difference between these two types of paint lies in several nuances.

Acrylic is less viscous than gouache paint. Besides, it is dense and easier to apply on the canvas. However, it dries quickly and requires dilution with water. The pigment in acrylic is more concentrated, which reduces the consumption of material. After drying, acrylic paints darken, while the gouache becomes lighter.

Another difference between acrylic and gouache paint is that, subsequently, acrylic cannot be washed out by water. It is impossible to wash off the dry acrylic paint from the canvas, or from brushes, or from the palette. Gouache paints, in turn, can be reused if one adds water to it. Thus, such a technique does not work with acrylic.

Gouache vs. Watercolor

Speaking on gouache and watercolor as types of paint, then first of all it is worth noting that the basis for both is vegetable glue, which is easily dissolved in water. However, gouache contains more glue as well as the coloring pigment then watercolor.

The main properties of watercolors are the softness and transparency of the paint layer, which emphasize the naturalness of color transitions, taking advantage of the whole variety of shades and halftones. Gouache, at the same time, is characterized by density, dimness and opacity which are great for bright, vibrant, color-saturated paintings.

Gouache does not flow on paper, thus the lines are clear. Meanwhile, one paints with watercolor on wet paper, which makes the picture blurry.

Watercolor is applied in several layers flowing one into another. When painting with gouache, only the upper layer is visible.

Gouache Paint Set

Types of Gouache

Like all the other types of paints, gouache could be also classified. Therefore, such types of gouache paint exist:

Kid`s paint

The concentration of harmful substances is reduced. It is permissible to use gouache from 3 years. It is used in preschool and school educational institutions, art classes.


Such paint is convenient for working with large surfaces. It is more liquid and its density is much lower.


This gouache paint is distinguished by easy application on the surface, matte, velvety. Therefore, the pigment is ground more finely. Soaking into a canvas, the first layer of artistic.


Such a gouache has an effect that allows creating an interesting decor for theater scenes or interior decoration. The colors are fluorescence, metallic, and mother of pearl.

How to Use Gouache?

To obtain an effective result it is worth observing the rules of paint application:

  • It is better to paint shadows with colors from the opposite sector. As a rule, one uses green, blue, purple shades. By the way, do not use black for this purpose.
  • Errors can be corrected after the canvas has completely dried. If you start to wash off the paint from a still wet ground, you can leave a dirty stain.
  • It is easier to paint with gouache using soft brushes. To shade the background take a weasel hair or goat hair brushes. Alternatively, you may use synthetic ones.
  • The first thing you should do before drawing is to make sketch with a pencil. The drawing of dark elements is paramount. For large planes, the wash technique is suitable.
  • For painting the landscape, use heavenly gouache colors in the upper part and the color of the earth cover below. The middle part remains the lightest. Once gouache paint dried, the background is shadowed with a wide base brush, slightly wetted.