What is gouache? Gouache (also spelled guache), is a method of painting using opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a gluelike substance. Gouache is one of the oldest mediums known to Western art, first used by the ancient Egyptians who used honey to bind their pigments. Ideal for capturing the effects of light and it continues to be used today by artists and designers in the film industry.
Who uses Gouache and why?
Designers – its ease of use and brilliance make it the most popular designers colour, hence the name, Designers’ Gouache. The matte finish makes for more accurate reproduction at the artwork stage.
Fine artists – use it in conjunction with water colour or on its own. Its brilliance and opacity give it solidity, excellent for abstract work. Strong effects also result from the contrast of working on coloured backgrounds which are left partly exposed.
Airbrushing – water based and great covering power make gouache popular with airbrush artists. It’s the high pigmentation which makes the gouache opaque and matte.
Calligraphy – gouache is used by calligraphers because of its excellent flow, opacity and permanence.
Marbling – the high pigmentation and Gum Arabic base make it a common choice with professional marblers.