We worked with Artist Minnie Small to bring you a new Artist How-To Video Series focused on gouache!
If you’re new to gouache, this is a great 3-video series to help get you started and follow along with Minnie as she explains what it is, tools needed to use it, tips and techniques to get started, and demonstrates a gouache painting while narrating with tips along the way.
Read some general info on gouache below and scroll down to watch all 3 of Minnie Small’s gouache videos.
WHAT IS GOUACHE?
Gouache is often described as opaque watercolor. It is a water-based paint and is similar to watercolor but has a higher density and higher levels of pigment. It can be layered and creates bright, vibrant colors. The paint has a lovely matte finish and quick dry-time. It can be reactivated by adding water which is handy for reworking a painting that has dried or reactivating dried paints on your palette. You can add varying amounts of water to gouache as you’re painting to achieve different levels of opacity. After a bit of practice with this medium, knowing how much water to use with it starts to become second nature.
WHAT IS IT FOR?
It’s bold, matte colors make it great for illustration and fine art painting. Many calligraphers also enjoy using it for brush lettering.
WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED?
If you’ve painted with watercolor, it’s likely you already have the tools needed to use gouache.
- Goauche: High-quality gouache paints work best to achieve full opacity and solid, even finishes that aren’t streaky.
- Paint brushes: you can use the same brushes you’d use for watercolor. Brushes that are smooth and flexible work best
- Palette for mixing paints (our 300 Series Palette paper contains removable sheets of a palette surface for easy disposal and a fresh new palette surface each time you paint)
- Water for cleaning brushes
- Watercolor or Mixed Media paper: Using heavier weight papers that are manufactured to handle wet media such as a mixed media or watercolor sheet is best. Papers in the sketch & drawing family are not manufactured to handle water and wet media applications and won’t stay flat. Cold press (textured) or hot press (smooth) watercolor papers both work well and depend on your preference. Minnie uses Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Cold Press paper and Strathmore 500 Series Ready Cut Watercolor Hot Press paper in her gouache videos.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Follow along to Minnie’s videos to see all of her tips, techniques, and a demonstration of creating a painting using gouache:
Video 1: Introduction to Gouache
Video 2: General Gouache Techniques
Video 3: Gouache Time-Lapse Painting
See more videos from Minnie on her YouTube Channel.