Gouache paint is back in style, and it is storming the art world right now. So what better time to give you some gouache hints, tips, myths, and tricks to take your painting to the next level. The name “Gouache” (pronounced goo-ash) dates back to 18th century France, however, some sources suggest it was used as early as ancient Greece and Egypt. Famous artist Paul Klee is known for his incredible work with gouache.
First things first, let’s bust some myths!
Myth: Gouache paint can only be used by experts.
Truth: Gouache paint can be used by artists of any experience level – even total beginners! Think watercolor, but with a matt finish!
Myth: Gouache paint is hard to use.
Truth: Gouache paint is versatile, it can work for a range of projects, and those projects can be as complex or as easy as you choose!
Myth: Gouache can only be used on paper.
Truth: Gouache can be used on a variety of surfaces, like paper, cardboard, and canvas!
Zoe Ingram, a Scottish artist, illustrator, and author of Oh My Gouache has many years of experience in the graphic design and art world before joining our fantastic list of authors here at David & Charles. We sat down with Zoe to chat about all things gouache and get some helpful hints and tips for getting started with gouache.
Tip 1: Get what you pay for – if you buy the cheapest option of gouache paint, it is likely to be more binder and less pigment heavy – go for a medium price range or above, for my book, we used Winsor & Newton paints.
Tip 2: Start with a small range of brushes. Recommended paintbrush sizes to start with are 0, 2,4,6,8,00, and 000.
Tip 3: A ceramic plate is perfect to use as a palette – it’s smooth, and easy to mix your paints on!
And, last but not least, tip 4: Using hot-pressed paper helps the paint glide across, making it far easier to work with.
Oh My Gouache, is the ultimate beginner’s guide. Featuring 11 beautiful projects, Zoe guides you step-by-step to make each one a true masterpiece. You’ll be head over heels for this painting technique in no time. From birds to bugs, hand lettering and abstract pieces there is something for every interest in this book. Get your copy here:
Techniques & Tools
You can use a wide variety of items from around the house to create fantastic marks on your work, from pencil erasers to elastic bands, string to scouring pads, there’s no household item that can’t be turned into a painting tool when it comes to gouache. Zoe talks you through the process of mark-making, to add extra depth and texture to your work using the simplest of items. The key thing to remember is that anything goes, any item can be used for mark-making or texture creating. Take your time to experiment with anything around the house you have, practice on spare paper before starting a main piece, and be creative with it.
If you’d like to learn the art of painting with gouache, you can find Zoe Ingram’s book, Oh My Gouache here.