Last figs before pruning, gouache in journal
Last figs before pruning, gouache in journal

I tested the Holbein Acryla Gouache Mixing Set with the last figs from my tree before it got pruned for the winter. Working with the Acryla Gouache seems less like gouache and more like a somewhat more opaque, matte acrylic paint. I’ve been told it works well for underpainting under regular gouache or even oil paints. You can also use acryla gouache over regular gouache to correct problems, which I tried in the painting below.

Daffodils in gouache and acrylic gouache, 8.5” x 11.5” on hot press paper
Daffodils in gouache and acrylic gouache, 8.5” x 11.5” on hot press paper

I painted these daffodils in gouache on hot press paper (which I don’t think works well for gouache…not sure yet). Then I added acrylic gouache over the top to try to fix the mess I made because I had been lazy with drawing the ellipses on the glass…got a little over confident and thought I could just whip them out. But I couldn’t, hence massive corrections and then just giving up.

It’s so simple: get the drawing right first!

Art, Gouache, Painting
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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Hi Jana, It looks as though gouache is a real adventure. Long ago i bought Henry Gasser’s book on gouache but I have not ever tried the paints, though i have a few. Stayed mostly with oils. But, I did find Grumbacher Gamma Grays on ebay which were recommended in an old art book for doing a painting in various grays, and I have found them great to use…just add water. Originally, the Gamma Grays were for and maybe still are for re-touching black and white photos. I do like the figs and the daffodils are pretty. Is gouache a dryish paint? Doesn’t seem to have much gloss. God bless, C-Marie


  2. Those Gamma Grays sound really cool. I have some neutral gray oil paints and acrylic paints in a range of values and they’re great for studyiong value or doing monochrome paintings. I wonder if the Gamma Grays are gouache since they’re water-based. Gouache is basically watercolor except it has more pigment and is opaque when applied with an amount of water that makes it the consistency of cream. It’s lush and lovely to work with and you’re correct, it dries with a matt finish. That’s what made it such a popular media for illustrators, advertising artists and designers before acrylic or digital—it photographs beautifully because there’s no shine or texture as with oils and yet it can be painted to look very much like oils, and it dries very quickly. Another advantage I find with gouache is that mixing paint is quicker and requires less hand and wrist strength, a nice feature as I get older and body parts get cranky from time to time.



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