Sunday

Gouache

GOUACHE by Cynthia Padilla


Gouache, applied opaquely or transparently, is an easy medium to learn and can adapt to many styles of painting. For the beginner just trying to add color to their repertoire, gouache might have all of the qualities to satisfy all needs.

Remember back to your childhood…painting with poster paint? Gouache is that beloved poster paint memory, all grown up?


Lay the color on thick and creamy and cover huge surfaces without a hint of brush stroke. There is no panic to paint fast and furious, as beginning watercolorists tend to do. You can even paint your entire background in first, and then put the details on top. It does not matter if the details on top will be lighter in color...gouache is an opaque medium.

Opaque
Unlike painting in transparent watercolors, gouache lies on the surface. This means that on colored grounds (even black paper) the paint color remains true and (if applied heavy enough of course) unaffected by the ground color below. Gouache paints dry to a smooth matte finish and the finished painting has a flawless sophisticated suede-like quality. Indeed gouache is frequently used in the design and illustration industry.

Transparent
Gouache is basically opaque watercolor and just like watercolor, you can achieve loose juicy washes. Gouache is made by grinding pigments together in the same medium as is used for watercolor and can be applied to paper in the same manner, remaining workable even after it dries on the painting surface.


Tips
When mixing to match, always test the color on the side and wait for it to dry. Darker colors appear lighter when dry, and the light color you were aiming for suddenly looks darker when it dries.

Caveat
Store or ship gouache paintings flat. Rolled paintings will crack. As a matter of fact, gouache applied too thickly or in too many layers chip or flake. This usually becomes appears too late..er uh, after your painting has dried.

Ready? Set? Paint!
Squeeze a dime sized bit of paint into a palette well. Add ½ to equal amount of water. Stir with an old worn out brush. The consistency should be creamy. Paint.

Gouache on your palette will last forever even after it has dried to hard bits. Simply spritz or re wet and you are back in business. So dedicate a palette for gouache and don’t wash it out.

Pronunciation
'Gwash' or 'goo-wash.'

Examples
Two paintings showcase gouaches special properties:
1. Opaque Coverage
[ Gouache painted on black mat board http://earthpetalwing.blogspot.com/2011/01/egg.html ]
2. Translucency (I didnt want 'transparent'...just a hint of sheer to signify a fragility of the butterfly's wing: http://earthpetalwing.blogspot.com/2011/01/butterfly-pipevine-swallowtail.html ]

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Copyright & Usage Information
Copyrighted material. This content in any form, cannot be reused, reprinted, or copied in any manner without the express written permission of Cynthia Padilla. Request at padillapost@gmail.com