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Old 01-23-2009, 04:16 AM
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maggie latham maggie latham is offline
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Hello everyone,

I’ve just re-read this entire thread….and have to say I don’t know what all the fuss about W&N paints is all about

I have been using them for years (have tried other brands but always go back to W&N)…..and have no problem with either the richness of colour, application of paint or paint consistency.

…….So, as W&N have been getting a bad wrap in this post I will reiterate: For me, both W&N gouache and watercolour paints (tube variety) produce rich and consistent paintings.

Even though out of print, Rob Howard’s book ‘Gouache for illustration’ compares several different brands of gouache on the market

Maggie
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:27 AM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

W/N makes excellent gouache, but they didn't always put lightfastness ratings on their tubes, so I stopped buying from them. If gouache is going to be used for fine arts as well as designer colors, then I think it needs to have a permanence rating on the paint tubes.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:07 AM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Other painting media have certain specific advantages, but gouache has a surface texture and appearance which ventures into the mystical and cannot be duplicated by anything else. I love the handling properties of acrylic and its endless possibilities for glazing effects, but it is impossible to approach the freshness and immediacy of gouache with acrylic.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:15 AM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

They have the permanence and ASTM lightfst ratings listed on their website Thankfully, they now list the pigment info too, which for the longest time was not offered.

I have to admit that I haven't bought their brand of gouache in years, so maybe it's been improved. The handling of the paint always struck me as a bit poor, rather stiff or short. Thery also have a strange latex-like odor that other gouache doesn't have. All that plus their tiny size tubes makes me avoid them, but if you like it then by all means enjoy them.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:41 PM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

I usually use Oils and am learning Acrylics. I have always relied on gouache and watercolor for "studies", but have never really thought of them as anything more than a practice tool. Recently, though, I have been giving them full credit as a great medium to use for permanent art works.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:39 PM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbclemons
They have the permanence and ASTM lightfst ratings listed on their website Thankfully, they now list the pigment info too, which for the longest time was not offered......
Yes, but if you just happen to be in an arts and crafts store, gravitate over to the painting supplies (which I always do), browse the (overpriced) gouache (which is always W/N), and see a color you want to try, you can't really expect a store employee to supply you with any technical information. Of course, it's not hard to guess that Burnt Sienna (or such like) would probably be the usual bombproof pigment, but how about Chainsaw Crimson Splatter or Quinacridone Putrefaction? Since W/N has adequate pigment information even on tiny tubes of watercolor, the lack thereof on gouache suggests that perhaps they do not think of that product as a fine arts medium.

Once I impulse-bought tubes of W/N Primary Red, Yellow, and Blue. When I got home, the first thing I did was look 'em up on the W/N site. The yellow and blue were tame enough, but the red was really weird, and the permanence rating was B. (In W/N's rating system, AA is best, A is next, so B is pretty poor, rather allergic to direct sunlight.) That red will surely knock your eyes out, though! It's almost as pretty as Opera (another unfortunate fugitive).

Richard in NC
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:47 AM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

I just discovered this thread and have followed it with keen interest. I work mainly with oils and acrylic (more with acrylic recently) but I have heard a lot about gouache and most of what I've heard are all good things. I once tried them out and wasn't so impressed with them. But I guess I have to keep at it to get the best out of them.

One question has been cropping up in my head though and it is "Must gouache paintings be preserved behind a glass frame?". In order words is there anyway of making them waterproof?
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:40 AM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Hello everyone,

http://www.winsornewton.com/....link to W&N website

Just been checking out the W&N website....so here goes as written on their site........... (maybe more information than anyone really wants to read (lol)

7. How permanent or fugitive are Designers Gouache colours?
Permanence in the main refers to lightfastness. Some of the most vivid pinks and violets are only moderately durable, more suitable for designers artwork than fine artists who want greater permanence. The latter should choose only the colours rated as permanent. Do not mistake any references to permanence on lower quality products if the meaning is waterproof. The fading of a colour is due to the pigment and the methods which are used in painting. The permanence of a colour is described by Winsor & Newton using the system of AA, A, B and C. AA being Extremely Permanent and C being Fugitive. Fugitive means ‘transient’, some fugitive colours may fade within months.
For permanent paintings it is recommended that only AA and A colours are used as these are not expected to fade. Light Purple has a B rating and Parma Violet a C rating, fading over a 10 year period would not be unexpected with these colours.

6. Should a Designers Gouache painting be varnished or framed?
Gouache paintings are best left unvarnished because the varnish drastically affects the depth, darkness and finish of the work. It would not be removable in the future either. If you want to varnish because of dusting off, use gum arabic in the future instead. For protection, frame the work behind glass. Gouache and all works on paper should not be placed in a frame directly onto the glass, as this does not allow for any circulation within the frame and condensation can build up, resulting in mold growth. A mount between the paper and glass allows just enough circulation to prevent this. Provided your linen inset is between the paper and the glass, it will perform exactly the same job as a card mount. The frame will not have any effect on the fading of the painting you describe.

The fading of a colour is due to the pigment and the methods which are used in painting. The permanence of a colour is described by Winsor & Newton using the system of AA, A, B and C. AA being Extremely Permanent and C being Fugitive. Fugitive means ‘transient’, some fugitive colours may fade within months.

For permanent paintings it is recommended that only AA and A colours are used as these are not expected to fade. Light Purple has a B rating and Parma Violet a C rating, fading over a 10 year period would not be unexpected with these colours.


This is also useful information from the same site:

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 matt finish makes for more accurate reproduction at 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 matt.
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.

What to use it on
Best results are achieved on paper. For flat artwork, use HP water colour paper or smooth cartridge paper. Use 140lb or 220g to reduce cockling, or better still stretch the paper first. Cockling is likely to be worse if you leave some of the paper unpainted. Pastel paper will give you the strongest coloured background but these papers are not generally as lightfast as artists’ colours. Try tinted water colour paper instead or colouring stretched paper yourself with gouache first.

Permanence
Permanence in the main refers to lightfastness. Some of the most vivid pinks and violets are only moderately durable, more suitable for designers’ artwork than fine artists who want greater permanence. The latter should choose only the colours rated as permanent. Don’t mistake any references to permanence on lower quality products if the meaning is waterproof.

Making gouache waterproof
Gouache can be made water resistant by mixing with acrylic medium. If you want to do this because colour is dusting off, see below. The more medium you add, the deeper the tone will become and you will reduce the characteristic matt gouache finish. Some gouache colours can react, the pinks and violets may change colour on mixing with the medium whist other colours may produce lumpy or gelatinous mixtures. Both these effects occur at the point of mixing on the palette.

Preventing gouache from cracking or dusting off
The high pigmentation of gouache leaves the minimum room for binder. If painting in multiple layers the binder may be absorbed by underlayers, resulting in cracking. Dusting off can occur if the colour is diluted with too much water, leaving only pigment on the paper. This is common when airbrushing. In both cases you need gum arabic. With multiple layers, add gum arabic to the colour, keep it to a minimum or you’ll get transparency and gloss, but the amount needed will vary from colour to colour. For airbrushing, dilute all the colours with a mixture of gum arabic and water.

Adding texture
Gouache is likely to crack if used in thick films straight from the tube. Textured brushwork can be achieved with gouache by using Aquapasto medium. Don’t use too much or you’ll loose mattness and opacity. Added texture is possible by using acrylic texture gels, but read the section above on waterproofing as that information applies here too.

Varnishing
Gouache paintings are best left unvarnished because the varnish drastically affects the depth, darkness and finish of the work. It would not be removable in the future either. If you want to varnish because of dusting off, use gum arabic in the future instead. For protection, frame the work behind glass.


Hope this clears up issues and questions......
Maggie
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:05 AM
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maggie latham maggie latham is offline
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

David,

OOOOps! Sorry I didn’t see that you had already posted the W&N website earlier.

Maggie
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:24 AM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Interesting read!!! It pretty much answers my question .

Thanks
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:16 AM
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Glass or Varnish or ... ?

Around fifteen years ago someone gave me a beautiful signed, numbered print of an Arctic Wolf (my favorite wild animal). It was unframed, but it had a mat and was sealed in shrink-wrap. I made a frame for it, and put it into the frame with the shrink-wrap intact but without glass. There has been no deterioration over the years. Maybe some kind of plastic food wrap would adequately protect a gouache painting, or maybe cellulose acetate, like the sheets used for transparencies for overhead projecters. The painting would need a mat to keep it from touching the protective material, but otherwise it seems like this should work, at least for small paintings, up to, say 8x10 in.

Richard in NC
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:43 PM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie latham
Even though out of print, Rob Howard’s book ‘Gouache for illustration’ compares several different brands of gouache on the market
Maggie

If you can find this book affordably by all means get it! I is well worth a few extra bucks, (not the huge amounts often requested). I bought mine off eBay for about 20 US dollars. Shop around for sure, but get it!!.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:15 PM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Are the colors Lightfast? Bearlette
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:16 PM
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Question Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Are the colors Lightfast? Bearlette

Last edited by Bearlette : 04-28-2009 at 05:18 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:26 PM
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Re: Why Gouache? Benefits? Why do you like it?

Has anyone tried Turner's Acryl Gouache? I watched a DVD by Micah Mullen recently in which he used these along with acrylics. I liked the effects very much.

They seem to be more expensive than good acrylics so I am a little timid about jumping in.

Also can gouche be varnished if a gloss finish is desired?

Lisa Toth
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