Wednesday, 4 March 2009


9"X8"Gouache on cover-stock

Sitting down on my bed to fold a mountain of laundry the other day I was sidetracked by my new gouache paints. I only have primaries so it is a bit of a challenge getting the colours right but I am loving the fact that I can use white for the highlights. I did this with virtually no preliminary drawing, it was mostly just an exercise in painting fabric, the pillows at the end of the bed and the various things hanging on the back of the closet door provided lots to study.

For the uninitiated, gouache is a water-based medium but is heavier and more opaque than watercolour. It has larger particles and there is also an additional "opacifier", usually chalk, the ratio of pigment to water is also much higher. In traditional transparent watercolur technique whites and lights are always created by leaving areas unpainted or thinly painted and allowing the white of the paper to show through. Gouache is used more like oils or acrylics and highlights can be added later with white or light coloured paint sometimes called "body colour".