Technique: 3 ways to paint with gouache

Gouache is a versatile medium and a favourite of designers and illustrators for centuries!
Learn more below

Gouache is the best of both worlds! Water-soluble, this opaque paint dries fast with a matte finish, can be used to paint light over dark like you would with acrylic and oil paints and can also be reactivated once dried like watercolours. Gouache is a versatile medium and a favourite of designers and illustrators for centuries! Here are 3 ways to apply this paint.

MATERIALS:

  • Reeves gouache set
  • Illustration board
  • Paintbrush
  • Palette
  • Utility knife
  • Frame

INSTRUCTIONS:

How to paint with gouache

Technique 1: 

Tiling is a painting technique well suited to gouache. With this technique, separate colours are added side by side on a blank surface. Add strokes of mid-tone, shadow and highlight colours next to one another. Add additional layers of tiles on top of the first layer, letting the base layer colours show through without blending the edges for depth and texture.

Technique 2: 

Chose a mid-tone paint colour from your palette. Apply a base layer of this colour to your painting. Once this base layer is dry, add highlights and shadows in lighter and darker hues.

Technique 3: 

Grisaille is a painting technique utilising a base layer of grey tones. This method results in a moodier painting with deeper shadows. Dilute a black or grey gouache colour and paint the highlights, mid-tones and shadows in shades of grey. Once this layer is dry, apply thin layers of colour over top. Even with only one top coat colour the image is transformed!

Try these techniques and more in your next painting. Gouache is great by itself or can be combined with watercolour. Experiment with gouache today!

TIPS

Clean up with water