Gouache on panel

Usually when I paint with gouache, I used toned paper, and that was my original intention last evening when I painted this bouquet. But I found a toned gesso panel in my filing cabinet and switched to that at the last minute. I don’t remember why I have it, but it was likely on a supply list from a workshop I took a few years ago.

I wasn’t sure how well this would work with gouache but it said on the label that it was good for oil, casein, acrylic and other water-based paints, so it seemed safe to give it a try. It took a bit of time to get used to painting on it because the surface is so smooth and not at all absorbent. The paint sort of slides around as you apply it. But what I loved about using it with gouache is that the pigment doesn’t dry flat or dull like it does on paper. In fact, it remained a little bit shiny in places.

I’ll admit, I jumped right into this without doing any research. I had already tried (unsuccessfully) to paint this bouquet in watercolour, and I wasn’t going to let it defeat me. So I grabbed the panel and started throwing paint on it (no drawing) out of frustration, but I quite enjoyed the experience, and I may have to try it again. There’s one more of these panels in my file cabinet.

I always find it hard to scan or photograph gouache paintings. The colour is never quite right, but it’s as close as I could get. The colour of the warm background is the board itself. Size is about 8″ x 10″.

18 Comments on “Gouache on panel”

  1. Karen Geraci says:

    This is gorgeous! I love experimenting with gouache since I have taken your course on skies. I especially like it on hot press paper in addition to toned!


  2. Frank Bettendorf says:

    I like the rather abstract quality that you achieved and the surface texture gives it a different “feel” than your usual watercolors. I’d enjoy seeing you do more ot these. Frank


  3. Karen Kubovchick says:

    I’m not getting an image



  4. Lynn Peterson says:



  5. Chris Rusk says:

    In this painting, I find it is so easy to see the true depth of the flowers (as they take up ‘space’).

    …and as always, I am fascinated by the way that you paint water and this painting does not disappoint!

    On one hand, it is definitely water in a vase, but in gouache, it also has such an interesting ‘abstract’ look about it too 🙂


  6. Brenda Staresnick says:

    Hi..I’m working w/gouache also on gesso panels..I like the gray! Please keep us up on your thoughts & progress about the panels!! Brenda from Texas


  7. Donna says:

    I like it! Very precise colors. I’m never pleaded with gouache but this was encouraging. Thank you. I’m working on you wet-on-wet flower class. It’s a chalk for me which is good.


  8. Mary says:

    This is beautiful. I hope you’ll do an online floral class in gouache using this style. Mary


  9. Judy Sopher says:

    Have to repeat a word used above-this is gorgeous. I love gouache and use it on hot press often. But never knew about panels. I got a laugh when you wrote you wouldn’t let it defeat you and started throwing paint at it. How about a class on that!


  10. -N- says:

    Experimentation is what makes new things happen, opens doors, and so on and on! Creativity is just this kind of exploration, and it does make for some fun art and new discoveries.


  11. Joy says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! So glad you shared this information about painting on a panel. I just purchased gouache paints and wanted to try something. Thanks so much.


  12. This is so bold, I love the energy of it!


  13. christina rude says:

    Love your gouache!
    Do more!


  14. This came out great!!! I love how much energy it has. Glad you did some experimenting.


  15. Nice painting of the bouquet. I really like the bold popping colours. It is nice once in a while using an opaque watercolour such as Gouache.


  16. I’ve looked at this painting several times since you posted it. There is something about it! Lost emotion and energy — a mix of your frustration and excitement perhaps? Even though it’s such a different medium, your signature is evident. It’s a beautiful painting.




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