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View Full Version : what's the deal with gouache?


mudslinger
11-14-2006, 05:45 AM
hi all, i finally got around to checking out the gouache section here and i had a couple of newbie questions.
first, what's the difference between gouache and watercolor, not just in the mediums themselves but in their use? about all i know is that gouache is opaque and WC isn't...:rolleyes:

do both mediums use the same supports or can you use gouache on something other than paper?

finally, why is gouache included here and not with watercolors? is it that different from WC or is it just that there's enough to check out in the WC forum as it is? :p:D thanks!

Richard Saylor
11-14-2006, 09:07 AM
...what's the difference between gouache and watercolor...
Gouache usually has a higher pigment concentration than transparent watercolor, and it is normally applied more thickly than TW. Also, it uses a lot of white, which is abhorrent to the TW purist. Gouache is not necessarily opaque, just as TW is not necessarily transparent. The degree of opacity depends on the pigment and the pigment concentration.
...do both mediums use the same supports or can you use gouache on something other than paper?... Most supports which are suitable for TW or acrylic are okay for gouache. A gouache painting should not be flexed too much because the paint film is fairly brittle.
...why is gouache included here and not with watercolors?...It used to be included with watercolors, but it was moved here because it has a lot in common with casein and tempera. IMO gouache should be accepted as a legitimate watercolor technique, but it inspires fear and loathing in many TW purists who are not familiar with the history of their medium.

Richard