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Old 10-10-2006, 06:17 PM
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HarvestMoon HarvestMoon is offline
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Question Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

I noticed that Holbein makes both Watercolor Gouache and Acrylic Gouache. Acrylic Gouache really throws me for a loop. Isn't acrylic opaque to begin with? I thought that was sort of the point of watercolor gouache, to be opaque vs transparent? The washes are sure much easier and more solid in color than watercolor (thank God).

Has anyone tried the acrylic gouache and how is it different from acrylic?

thanks - confused in the Hills of Texas
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:33 PM
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Richard Saylor Richard Saylor is offline
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Re: Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

The usual denotations of transparent and opaque just don't apply when it comes to paint. Acrylic paint is no more opaque than any other medium. Its opacity depends on the pigment and the pigment concentration. The same is true for high quality gouache (which does not use opacifiers). The differences between acrylic and gouache are due to the binder/medium. Acrylic uses an acrylic polymer emulsion, and gouache uses gum arabic. Acrylic has a tendency to have a glossy or satin finish, whereas gouache is matte. Acrylic gouache is essentially acrylic paint which contains an additive givivg it a matte finish similar to gouache. It still has sort of a plastic look, however, and it is somewhat water resistant when dry, unlike true gouache. This is an advantage for layering/glazing but not as convenient for blending.

Transparent watercolor is so called merely because it is formulated to be used transparently (diluted with lots of water). However, it can be used like gouache if desired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvestMoon
I noticed that Holbein makes both Watercolor Gouache and Acrylic Gouache. Acrylic Gouache really throws me for a loop. Isn't acrylic opaque to begin with? I thought that was sort of the point of watercolor gouache, to be opaque vs transparent? The washes are sure much easier and more solid in color than watercolor (thank God).

Has anyone tried the acrylic gouache and how is it different from acrylic?

thanks - confused in the Hills of Texas
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:58 AM
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Richard Saylor Richard Saylor is offline
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Re: Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

Here is a painting done with Holbein acrylic gouache. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/atta...2&d=1156225557

Richard
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:50 AM
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Re: Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

Thanks so much Richard!!!! Cool painting too- and there is a constant debate in watercolors about using acrylics there.... makes your head spin. But I LOVE the look, feel, and control of the media that I try for with watercolor too- I have always mixed mine thick and make everyone over there cringe at least a bit. They like FLOW....LOL
cheers,
Linda

Last edited by HarvestMoon : 10-11-2006 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:08 AM
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Richard Saylor Richard Saylor is offline
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Re: Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvestMoon
Thanks so much Richard!!!! Cool painting too- and there is a constant debate in watercolors about using acrylics there.... makes your head spin. But I LOVE the look, feel, and control of the media that I try for with watercolor too- I have always mixed mine thick and make everyone over there cringe at least a bit. They like FLOW....LOL
cheers,
Linda
Thank you, Linda. Many of the great watercolorists have made the traditionalists cringe. Keep on keeping on and you'll be fine.

Richard
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:54 PM
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JamieWG JamieWG is offline
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Re: Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

It seems to me that since mediums are indentified by their vehicles, acrylic gouache is acrylic. Gouache and watercolor are distinguished by the gum arabic binder, which among other things, keeps them soluble. I think "acrylic gouache" is a misnomer. That's like doing an acrylic painting and calling it an "acrylic oil" because it can look like an oil painting. I'm not saying it's not a great medium, just taking issue with what they call it!

Jamie
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:29 PM
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Re: Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

Yeah, and now there are water-soluable oils, water-soluable pastels, etc. Sometimes I think we need ONE catagory- ART- but that would be no fun LOL
cheers,
Linda
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:03 PM
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Re: Watercolor Gouache vs Acrylic Gouache

I've used Holbein's Acryla Gouache (their brand name) as well as traditional gouache. The Acryla Gouache is basically an acrylic paint but it has additives to make it dry matte --but there's a little more to it. You have a bit more blending and reworking time with the Acryla Gouache than you would with regular acrylic paints. Dry paint can be reworked (a bit) if you rewet it within a short time after it has dried. The maximum reworking time I've found is about 10 to 15 minutes after the paint has dried, and this varies with the colors. But the longer it remains dry, the more difficult it will be to rewet and rework it. It isn't quite as impervious to water as normal acrylics once it has been dry for a long time. It's dried surface is more fragile than regular acrylics, but not so much as traditional gouache.

You can use the Acryla Gouache to do a bit more building up (impasto) and texturing without fear of it flaking or cracking. Since it is pretty much an acrylic paint, it remains more flexible when dry so you have a bit more leeway when choosing the type of painting surface/support you want.

If you apply traditional gouache too heavily on a non-rigid support, you run the risk of your paint cracking and flaking off if the support flexes or expands. It is fine when used very thinly on surfaces like watercolor paper.

Generally, the Acryla Gouache doesn't have the excellent handling qualities of true, traditional gouache. It also lacks the covering power and opacity of some of the best brands of traditional gouache (like Winsor & Newton). There are trade-offs when choosing one over the other. If you want to be able to paint over dried areas without fear of lifting the color beneath, then the Acryla Gouache (or other brand of acrylic gouache like Jo Sonja's) will be very helpful. But traditional gouache is far superior for handling qualities, color intensity, and lovely, velvety-matte finish.

Beverly
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