View Full Version : Gouache book?

09-20-2006, 10:22 PM
Hi, I'm new to WetCanvas but have been lurking around for a little while.
Last week I made some watercolor journals in the hopes that I can sketch or paint something every day. So far, so good. I started with the idea of using watercolor and/or pen, but after looking at many of the journal sketch blogs out there I thought that I would give gouache a try as well. I do watercolor, not as well as I would like, but I try. My grandfather who was a commercial artist, used gouache so that is the medium I was used to seeing. But I kind of thought that gouache was like poster paint and not taken seriously. I'm glad to see it is still around and seems to be making a come-back. I recently purchased white, black, red, yellow and blue qouache. I wanted to limit myself until I could see how it worked. I really enjoy working with it so I want to buy just a few more colors that I can't really make by mixing. I made myself a small pallet for my gouache from an Altoids can and pans made out of polymer clay coated with floor acrylic. I posted the instruction on anther thread, I think it was in one of the watercolor learning sites. I couldn't figure out the best spot for it. Anywho, I've been looking around for books on using gouache and don't seem to be having any luck. Does anyone have any suggetions on books or websites or other areas of instruction. Thanks:wave:

09-21-2006, 08:38 AM

I found a book at my library that was helpful. It's limited to one artist's style, but still the only book I've found that's dedicated to gouache techniques:

"Painting in gouache" by Monahan, Patricia
Publisher: Studio Vista, 1993
ISBN: 0289800803


09-21-2006, 09:38 AM

I found a book at my library that was helpful. It's limited to one artist's style, but still the only book I've found that's dedicated to gouache techniques:

"Painting in gouache" by Monahan, Patricia
Publisher: Studio Vista, 1993
ISBN: 0289800803

Meg I found the same book here (translated into Dutch). It is limited in a way, but gives some great ideas on different techniques for working with gouache.

Best thing to do is just jump in and give it a go... IMO.


09-21-2006, 12:25 PM
I have two- one is by Daniel Tennant- a paperback published by Walter Foster.
Another one I like is by Pamela Kay.

both are older and maybe out of print, but you might find one on places like ebay and such.

Richard Saylor
09-22-2006, 05:11 PM
I have Rob Howard's book on gouache. It is out of print, but places like amazon.com can probably find a copy.


Studio on the Prairi
09-24-2006, 04:26 PM
About your desire for titles of books related to gouache: a few years ago I was given the challenge of making a calendar with the high school seniors for an art grant, so went with gouache because it was reputed to be great for making prints. Fell in love with it! But, alas, there was little I could find in the line of books. It's as Judy says, "Just jump in and give it a go!"

Since that time, I, too, found PAMELA KAY'S book on gouache [it's beautiful!] There is a short segment in the book, CREATIVE WATERMEDIA PAINTING TECHNIQUES, various artists, published by North Light. Good advice there, too. A chapter in WATERCOLOR PLUS, edited by Ray Balkwill has good advice, too. HOW TO DRAW & PAINT IN WATERCOLOR & GOUACHE by Stan Smith has a short chapter but I'm not as impressed with it as the other books. I shall check out the ones mentioned by others that I haven't seen.

This year the challenge is with the 5th & 6th grades, so again we will use gouache. I can hardly wait!

Good luck to you as you move forward experimenting with a great medium! BTW - poster paint it's not!!!


10-03-2006, 03:28 PM
Just to add my recommendation for the book by Pamela Kay - not really a "how to" book, but inspirational nevertheless.

Alachua Artist
10-04-2006, 01:15 PM
Just remember that gouache is NOT watercolor. It will handle completely differently. And as far as it not being a serious medium, well nobody ever told me that! :)

There are several good books (already mention) that can talk about technique and such. Your best teacher is your own brush. Work with the gouache: thin it; keep it thick; layer it; just play. It's a wonderful paint.

06-18-2007, 01:11 PM
Hi All, I'd like to recommend three books I have on 'gouache' and all are excellent.
(1.) 'Gouache For Illustration' by Rob Howard ISBN 0-8230-2165-3,
(2.) 'Water Media: Processes and Possibilities' by Stephen Quiller and Barbara Whipple ISBN 0-8230-56-3 (watercolor,acrylic,gouache and casein)
(3.) 'Pamela Kay a personal view GOUACHE' by Pamela Kay ISBN 0-7153-0289-2
Unfortunately, there are not many books out there on 'gouache'. I've been painting with gouache for several years and love the medium.
Here is a link to one of my favorite 'gouache paintings' my doggie K.T

06-18-2007, 02:02 PM

Thanks for the book recommendations! *off to the library*

I love your portrait of K.T. I hope you post more of your gouaches here!


06-19-2007, 02:14 PM
Hi Meg, thank you for the nice compliment on my portrait of K.T. I hope you find the book you are looking for at the Library. The Rob Howard book hopefully is still available. You might also check with some finder online book stores also www.alibris.com comes to mind.
Wanted to also mention I visited your web site and loved every minute!

11-12-2007, 08:33 PM
I have Rob Howard's book, "Gouache for Illustration".

04-28-2008, 12:58 PM
Rob Howard's book, "Gouache for Illustration" is great and very very useful.
It is full of informations for all levels of competence.
It is well written.
It has tons of pictorial examples.
It is very sound artistically.
It is incredible that such an important book is out-of-print.
Especially since there are so few instructions books about Gouache, not to speak of good instructions books.
Avoid the Paramon at all costs. Avoid all Paramon books.

04-28-2008, 03:02 PM
I've heard from Rob that he has been working on an e-book that can be downloaded with new material. Don't know the staus of that.

05-03-2008, 10:38 AM
"But I kind of thought that gouache was like poster paint and not taken seriously" !!!!

I dont think Eugene Galien Lalou would agree with you if he were alive today. He produced wonderful paintings of views around Paris (France that is). There is a terrific online gallery "REHS gallery which contains a virtual gallery of artist paintings, containing a significant number of Lalou's paintings (in goache).

To date I have mainly painted in watercolour, with a slight diviation into pastels, but I am about to try Goache, so the comments re books are extremely opportune. Thanks to all

05-03-2008, 10:46 AM
If anyone is interested the link to the REHS gallery http://www.rehs.com/ . I think it is a very good site and all the images I have looked at have a very high resolution.

Cheers :wave:

09-14-2008, 01:14 PM
I found one in the library and ordered it through Amazon. Appears to cover everything. "Painting in Opaque Watercolor" by Rudy Dereyna, ISBN 0-8230-3776-2

08-17-2009, 01:41 PM
I recommend "Learn to Paint Gouache" by Moira Huntly, Harper Collins ISBN 0 00 412347 6. Moira covers the various techniques and contains may fine examples.


08-20-2009, 08:02 AM
I would add to the above recommendation of the Moira Huntly, which I found at a second hand book dealer's a while back.

She makes an interesting suggestion for the base layer of paint, mixing it with a little acrylic glaze (Daler Rowney make this), so you can play around with pure gouache layers over the top. I haven't tried this yet, as I'm a beginner in this medium too. I've seen 'acrylic gouache' available in Jackson's catalogue, but I have no idea what it's like, and it may just be another type of acrylic paint.

When I have some disposable cash, I'm going to try Schminke Horadam gouache. It has more permanence than the various brands of 'designer' gouache, including Schminke's own. (Also, I think 'designer's gouache' smells awful. Are you listening, Winsor and Newton?!) M Graham also make a real 'artist's gouache'. I'll have to give that a miss, because the pound has fallen so far in relation to the dollar that I can no longer afford to import art materials from the US.:(

Good luck!

08-26-2009, 05:59 AM
Schminke's Designers' Gouache are basically very good. Schminke Horadam are perfect, right. But their Designers' can be very good, lightfast, permanent, not much value-change after drying, handling, etc..., too, if you avoid picking up the colours which are made with dyes and not only with pigments. Must be 20 % of their range. They're quickly recognizable as being the very bright, almost neon, new colours, with not classical names like Raw Sienna or Deep Ultramarine. If in doubt, though, consult the composition on each colour. They're very nice, though, for commercial work where permanence is not a priority.

Old Tex
09-01-2009, 12:39 PM
If anyone is interested the link to the REHS gallery http://www.rehs.com/ . I think it is a very good site and all the images I have looked at have a very high resolution.

Cheers :wave:

Watercolorfan, you don't have your name in your profile, but I'm guessing you also suggested looking at Lalou's work at REHS on my blog. I've been there, and his work was absolutely wonderful. Anyone serious about gouache should look at his work. The style is in some ways dated, of course, but when you really spend time studying it, there's a lot to be learned in his gouache paintings. Be sure to look at the sizes as you marvel at the "detail".

06-25-2010, 09:23 PM
It was very interesting to learn about Eugene Galien-Lalou in these threads! The possibilities of gouache often make me think that this is the most under-rated medium available.

For those into a 'tighter' look, (book illustrations etc) you may be interested to know that Angus McBride used gouache almost exclusively. I am often impressed by the textures and effects he could achieve at his best. He never used an airbrush, but still achieved blurry effects by pushing thin layers of gouache around with a slightly damp brush. There is some info on his technique in "Warriors & Warlords: the Art of Angus McBride" ISBN 1-84176-640-2