Gouache in pans? An experiment
In last month’s sketchbook overview, I mentioned my renewed interest in gouache paint, which I had not used since high school. My first choice has always been acrylic paint with its beautiful colors, textures, and almost unlimited creative options.
I don’t know about you, but now and then, I can get lost in time watching art hauls and color-swatching videos. I must have been living under a rock because suddenly, so many artists seem to be big fans of acrylic gouache- and I had no idea what they were talking about.
A quick search online- but no local stores offering it- made clear that it’s a type of gouache paint with some qualities of acrylic paint. So it should dry matte, but be waterproof after drying. Sounds great, as I do like the matte finish (easier to draw over and scan), but it was the realization that gouache can be reactivated after drying that sparked a new idea: mixing a few colors of gouache for my travel/sketchbook set.
PS: my biggest frustration with the gouache that I have is that it’s in pots. It is completely impossible to get paint out without contaminating the other colors. Next time I will buy tubes.
On location, I mostly use watercolor as it’s easier to bring, and it doesn’t destroy brushes with dried paint like acrylic does. But watercolor is transparent, and sometimes I just want something more opaque.
I’ve been looking at the Kuretake (Gansai Tambi) watercolors which apparently feel more like gouache than regular watercolor, but in every set they offer there are some colors that I love and some that I will probably never use.
So I ordered some watercolor pans and started mixing a few colors myself.
I only have yellow, red, cyan, and white- so colors are a bit limited, but still plenty of options!
Oh, and nothing fancy going on, I just scooped some paint out of the pots and smeared it into the pans- then mixed it with a nail (a metal one, not my fingernails obviously).
I love making a mess 🙂
So how did it turn out?
Cracked, but useful so far 🙂
I’ve been using it a few days after mixing and it felt completely dry, but it was reactivated immediately after brushing the paint with water. The creaminess of the gouache gets lost of course, but for me, it’s enough, and it’s still more opaque than watercolor.
I consider this experiment a success,… so far 🙂