Gouache with gouache

Here’s the difficulty of painting tubes of gouache with gouache. If you squeeze out pigment before you do your drawing, you run the risk of having the gouache dry into hard mounds by the time you’re ready to paint. If you decide to wait and instead squeeze the pigment out after the drawing is done, it’s hard to place the tubes back in exactly the same position unless you move them one by one, very carefully. Not an insurmountable feat. Simply a minor inconvenience. Sketched on Stillman & Birn Nova series, 3.5 x 5″.


28 Comments on “Gouache with gouache”

  1. Paul says:

    Shari, I think you did an admirable job here! Have you tried the Schmincke brand of gouache made in Germany? It is of excellent quality, highly pigmented, lots of single pigment tube colours, can be allowed to dry in pans and re-wets very well. Roz Stendahl is a big fan and you can get lots of great tips about using gouache (and a wide variety of other media and papers…) from her blog at: http://rozwoundup.com/blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Paul, Thank you so much for all this info. I haven’t tried the Schminke brand of gouache yet. These first tubes I bought were in the sale at the art store, and since I wasn’t really sure I would like using them I didn’t want to invest too much. Plus Schminke paints are hard to find in Montreal. At least where I shop. So… something to try for sure. I like the idea that they rewet well. And I am really enjoying my gouache experiments!
      As for Roz Stendhahl, I love her work and follow her on Instagram but never realized that her website and blog are a treasure trove of information.Thanks for reminding me to have a look. I can see I have a lot of catching up to do. Again, many thanks.


  2. Carol says:

    Hahaha! That’s really hilarious, Shari! : )


  3. Hi Shari,
    i also follow Gurney Journey and have noted many good tips for artists working in gouache including squeezing the color out on a wet surface such as damp terry toweling. I have only worked with white and have no real experience. I’ll be curious to see what works for you..


  4. Jan Elliott says:

    Also Nathan Fowkes has some great gouache paintings online.


  5. -N- says:

    I am expecting some gouache in my stocking . . . Caran d’Ache I think. Are you using acrylic gouache rather than watercolor gouache? Anyway, I always think of the tales of Madeleine and Bemelmans’ work, which I have loved since forever. And thus, gouache! Keep on painting – love to see your posts.


    • What could be better than a gift of art supplies?? Lucky you.
      Of course I know the Madeline books but never realized they were in gouache. I will have to take a better look! Thanks for this tip.


  6. joantav says:

    I can just picture you picking up each tube to squeeze it out and then carefully placing it back in its proper spot. lol This is great!


  7. Alison says:

    You crack me up! Very comical. Great shadows.


  8. TonyU says:

    Congratulations on rediscovering the luxury of time to spare! And thanks for starting my day with those lovely bright colours and a chuckle too.


  9. SusanJ says:

    You did a great job! You can construct a simple wet palette from household items: a shallow watertight container with lid, with a piece of sponge cut to fit the base, wet and wrung out, wrapped in baking paper. The baking paper over the moistened sponge will keep your paint active through rearrangements, phone calls and minor domestic upheaval. For anything longer, just put the lid on the container. Looking forward to more gouache gems.


  10. My friend Nina has spent a good part of this year figuring out how to make her gouache portable in a creamy state: she mixes them up in a travel palette and carries them around like here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BcdUpilg4HE/?hl=en&taken-by=ninaapplepine


  11. This is so funny. I have recently sketched and painted several things on my painting table-including some tubes of paint,brushes, jars of water, etc. And I picked up things to use not even thinking till it dawned on me that I had changed my still life.

    I am enjoying gouache as it is a correctable medium but not oily like oil paint, and is still a watercolor if used diluted or combine them with transparent watercolor. I also want to try Schminke gouache paints- they sound useful.

    Do you like gouache better on tinted paper?


    • Hi Judy, Sounds like you are liking gouache too. Yes, I prefer the tinted paper because it gives you a middle value to work with, and I like when bits of the paper show through. Have you tried it?


      • Judy Sopher says:

        I have but I don’t always recognize the middle value. I try to start with the darkest values and then the lightest but it doesn’t go easily. I know I have to practice more.


  12. Janine says:

    With gouache, it’s a good idea to keep a mister bottle around and spritz the paints every so often. Gives you more working time. Another solution I’ve tried is using a damp palette. It’s a simple thing you can make at home. Take a shallow plastic box or tray, like a food storage one, and put a few damp sponges in the bottom. On top of that a piece of disposable wax paper palette, like the kind you can use with oils or acrylics. Put your paints out on the wax paper. That will also help to keep them damp from the moisture in the box environment. You can store the unused paint that way for a few days if you cover it loosely with plastic food wrap. I’ve also heard it’s good to store damp, unused gouache in the fridge to inhibit the growth of mold. If it does dry out, depending on the brand, you can reactivate with water like watercolors. I don’t know how well it sets in pans for travel b/c it does dry out quite brittle. Love the painting by the way. Looks like you are having lots of fun!


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