Love Acrylics And Watercolours? Get The Best Of Both Worlds With Our Gouache Paints!
Whether you're soaking up the sunshine with some plein air painting or have a dedicated indoor studio space, our high-quality gouache paints by Eraldo Di Paulo and Art Spectrum are a fantastic choice to bring your next artistic vision to life.
As a wonderful combination between watercolours and acrylics, gouache is a water-soluble paint that is opaque and richly pigmented with the ability to be diluted and reworked with water after it's dried. Thinned down or built up, gouache is a flexible medium that's great for experimenting with for both beginners and professionals.
Riot Art & Craft is your online one-stop-shop for gouache paints and art supplies. We've got everything you need to begin, from individual tubes and paint sets to easels, paintbrushes, watercolour pads and canvas panels that are gallery wrapped, triple primed with gesso and ready for you to work your magic!
What Really Is Gouache Paints?
Gouache paints are often called 'opaque watercolours' as they share characteristics with both watercolour paints and acrylic paints.
Like watercolours, gouache is water-soluble and made up of a binder called gum arabic that allows it to be diluted with water and reactivated after it has dried. However, gouache has an additional white pigment in it, usually acrylic or clay, that gives it an opacity similar to acrylic paint with a bright, matte finish.
This unique quality makes this medium incredibly versatile as it can be thinned down for a bright, translucent look or built up in layers for something bolder and blended long after it's dry for the desired result.
An Introduction To Gouache Painting
If you're new to gouache painting, you might be wondering what surface it works best on. As a watermedia that's similar to watercolour, gouache works best on watercolour paper or thick drawing paper.
The absorbent nature of this paper allows the paint to glide and blend easily, while locking in the colour and vibrancy. Gouache has a creamier consistency than watercolours and is more vibrant due to the higher pigment count.
Typically applied with a paintbrush, it's also great when used alongside other mediums for a mixed media project, such as oil paints, oil pastels and acrylics.
Gouache Paint Sets
Our Eraldo Di Paolo and Art Spectrum paint sets are the best way to dip your toes into gouache painting. They're also great for advanced artists who want to ensure they always have the essential shades on hand for blending and mixing custom colours. From black and white gouache to must-have hues, we've got:
1. Ultramarine blue
2. Burnt sienna
3. Burnt umber
4. Titanium white
5. Yellow ochre
8. Viridian and much more
Gouache Paint vs Acrylics
While traditional gouache paint has the same opacity and brilliant vibrancy of acrylic paint, it differs in that it can be thinned down to resemble watercolour and reworked with water long after it's dried for greater flexibility.
Acrylic gouache is an acrylic paint that's designed to look like traditional gouache. One of the most popular types of acrylic gouache is acryla gouache by Holbein. This medium combines acrylic with gouache for a result that's flat, matte and more opaque than traditional gouache but can't be reworked after it dries.
It can also works well on canvas due to its acrylic paint properties.
Similar To Watercolours
Gouache paint is typically referred to as a cousin to watercolour paint. They're both water-soluble and can be blended and reworked with water after they've dried. However, gouache is much more opaque than watercolour due to the added white pigment.
This makes gouache bolder and more vivid than watercolours with a thicker, creamier texture that allows you to build up layers for a bold, matte look. It can also be thinned down with water to achieve a watercolour result that's fluid and almost transparent.
A paintbrush is the most effective technique for applying gouache onto a surface as it can adequately hold a good amount of paint and water for blending and filling in. Try these popular types of paintbrushes and discover the different results you can get with each one:
1. Waterbrush and Aqua Brush - A water brush or aqua brush is shaped like a pen with bristles at the end and a container to hold water for blending and applying water-soluble paints. They're great for shading, detailing and layering gouache. Shop our flat and round aqua brushes by Art Studio for a fun and easy way to capture fine detail.
2. Acrylic and Oil Paint Brushes - These paintbrushes work well with gouache and you can experiment with a range of sizes and shapes. Watercolour brushes are also fantastic as there made to hold water and paint for easy blending on paper.
3. Best Synthetic Brushes - Synthetic brushes are great with gouache as they're soft and flexible which allows the gouache to glide fluidly over paper with less visible brushstrokes. We have quality Taklon paintbrushes in round, flat and more by leading art brands.
4. Airbrush - Gouache works well with airbrushing as it can be thinned with water to cover large areas quickly with a highly opaque finish.
5. Best Paint Brush Set - Our paint brush sets by Eraldo Di Paolo, Holcroft and Artists First Choice are cost-effective and convenient. They come with all of the essential brushes in different shapes and sizes, including flat, round, shaders, filberts and fans for every type of stroke.
How To Paint With Gouache Paints
Whether you're a beginner or a professional, gouache paint is a fun and flexible medium that allows you to experiment with many different techniques. This allows you to develop your own unique style and take your art to the next level. Try these popular techniques:
1. Glazing - Thin gouache with water and paint a wash layer over other colours for shadow and depth.
2. Dry Brushing - Load gouache onto brush, wipe it off and apply dry to a surface for a bold, textured result.
3. Wet-On-Dry - Add a layer of wet gouache to a dry layer or surface for an opaque, matte effect.
4. Wet-On Wet - Apply wet gouache to wet paper and watch the paint bloom beautifully for a soft, ethereal look.
5. Gradients - Merge colours by sweeping one shade of gouache into another and blending them so that you can't see the divide.
Our Art Spectrum gouache paint is available as a convenient paint set of 6 basic shades to help you get started with gouache. With three essential hues in primary blue, primary red, yellow ochre and primary yellow, along with the standard white and black, you'll have everything you need to start creating custom shades and experimenting with gouache paint!
Best Paper For Painting With Gouache Paint
Watercolor paper is the most commonly used surface for gouache paint.
It's heavier weight and absorbent nature means it holds water-based paints very well and colours show up rich and vibrant. When watered down, gouache doesn't sink into this paper as much as watercolour so you have more control over the shapes and lines you create.
You can also use a thicker type of drawing paper or illustration board.
Our huge range of watercolour painting and drawing pads by Eraldo Di Paolo, The Art Studio and The Paper Mill are superior quality, acid free and suitable for gouache paints, as well as watercolour paints, watercolour pencils and other mediums.
Preventing Gouache Painting From Cracking
Unlike acrylic, tempera or oil painting, gouache paint can't be applied too thickly onto a surface or it may crack over time. This can happen when not enough water has been used to dilute the gouache before applying it to paper or if an under layer absorbs some binder from a wetter layer causing the newer layers to crack.
For this reason, a palette knife isn't suitable for gouache painting. Instead, use a paintbrush to apply thin washes of paint onto the surface and gradually build up layers to get a bold, vibrant look.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gouache Paint
What Is The Difference Between Watercolor and Gouache Paint?
While gouache and watercolour paints share similar characteristics and consist of pigment and a water-soluble binder, there are some key differences:
1. Gouache has additional white pigment added to it which makes it more opaque than watercolor paint
2. It has a thicker texture and higher density
3. Gouache dries completely matte
4. Dries quicker and can be built up in layers using a paintbrush
What Is Gouache Paint Used For?
Gouache can be used on canvas, but it's typically used on watercolour paper by artists and designers to create boldly coloured works that have a flat, opaque finish. Our Eraldo Di Paolo gouache paints are:
1. Highly pigmented
2. Have a creamy texture that can be diluted or applied direct to paper
3. Available in rich hues for blending and mixing
4. Quick-drying and can be reactivated with water
Is Gouache Paint The Same As Acrylic?
Both gouache paint and acrylic are water soluble, can be thinned down with water and have a similar opacity. However, gouache differs from acrylic with these characteristics:
1. Unlike acrylic painting, gouache can be rewet after drying and reworked
2. Gouache can't be applied too thickly as it will crack
3. Gouache has a creamy, matte finish while acrylics have a slight sheen
4. Watercolour paper is the best surface for gouache
5. Gouache is easier to blend
Is Gouache Good For Beginners?
Gouache paint may not be as popular as watercolours or acrylics, but it's a great medium to experiment with if you're just starting out painting. Here's why:
1. It's forgiving. Simply rewet dried gouache and keep working it until you're happy
2. It can be thinned down like watercolours or built up like acrylics in vibrant layers
3. It's great for small paintings using a watercolour paper pad before moving onto larger works