Gouache 101 · Tips and Techniques + Paper, Brushes and Cheap vs. Expensive · SemiSkimmedMin

Gouache 101 · Tips and Techniques + Paper, Brushes and Cheap vs. Expensive · SemiSkimmedMin

Alright you lot, welcome back to my channel.
So you know I’ve been talking about making a new ‘everything you need to know about gouache’
type video for a while now, and funnily enough, the other day, Strathmore Artist Papers, they
approached me asking if I would make a series of short Gouache 101 videos for their Youtube
channel. So they now have three of my videos on their channel but what I’ve done here for
you guys is just combine all the stuff from those videos into one video that’s slightly
more concise but also includes a couple of bits and bobs that I didn’t get round to mentioning
in those videos. So obviously you can go and check out those videos on their channel, I
would recommend checking out their channel anyway because they’ve got some really useful
videos on there. Just stay and watch this one first! Right, so to start off with. Let’s
get to know it medium a bit better. Gouache paint is an opaque, water-based paint. It’s
often referred to as opaque watercolour as it performs quite similarly but has a heavier
density and a much higher level of pigment which means it can be layered and it also
packs an impressive colour pay-off.
Other notable features of this paint are its velvety matte-finish, fast drying-time and
its ability to be reactivated with water once dry; which is pretty handy if, like me, you
have a habit of letting your paints dry on the mixing palette, or if you want to rework
a particular section of a finished painting. It’s a medium that can be used for a lot
of different things. It’s bold, flat, poster colour finish makes it ideal for use in illustration,
and its versatility means it’s also a popular fine-art medium, as well as a favourite for
calligraphers. If you’ve been using watercolour paints, you probably have the right tools
already. With gouache, brushes typically used for watercolour will do just fine, and obviously
the brushes you choose could depend on the finish you’re after, but most of the time
anything that’s smooth to give you a streak free finish and something flexible but sturdy
enough to handle the weight of the paint will do. For paper, again, watercolour paper is
your best bet as, unlike sketching and drawing papers, they’re specifically manufactured
to handle wet application. Here, I’m using the Strathmore 400 series 300gsm paper. This
paper and mixed-media paper too are made with “sizing” or the right additives so the
sheet reacts well to water. And you’ll ideally want to go 300gsm or higher since a heavier
paper is going to be strong enough to avoid warping or buckling when wet. Whether you
go hot-pressed or cold-pressed is really up to your personal preference. Like most mediums,
gouache is manufactured by several brands who all come with their own varying price
points and I get asked a lot whether it’s worth dishing out on the pricier ones or if
the cheap ones can perform just as well. To get right to the point, yes you will see a
difference in quality between the cheaper ones and the more expensive ones. I personally
use a combination of a few brands at a couple of different tiers of quality. The cheaper
ones, like Reeves, do perform okay. Like most affordable paints, you get the overall look
and feel that you’re going for just not to its full potential and with a few minor
inconveniences. With cheaper gouache, some problems you might run into will be increased
streakiness in the finish, a more difficult time getting the right consistency and a painting
with less of the colour brilliance you might be hoping for.
A favourite brand of many gouache artists is Winsor and Newton, which is a great place
to start with gouache I think. You’ll be paying a little more for fewer paints than
if you were to buy a cheaper set but the quality of the paint really speaks for itself. If
you want a true gouache experience, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, I would
simply recommend sticking to fewer, higher quality paints to start with, maybe bulking
out your collection with cheaper paints where necessary but having those better quality
paints as your base will give you the finish, and the lovely pigment that gouache is known
for. Today I’m using Royal Talens gouache which
is in the same sort of price bracket as Winsor and Newton; though I realised it is slightly
cheaper and you get bigger tubes. Now I have to say, I received this paint to consider
for use this video, and I actually made no promises even to mention it at all, but yeah,
I actually really like it, and I’m so glad I found it. . And they’re a great option
for people at any skill level with gouache paint as they offer a few different sets to
suit your needs or your budget. And that’s really all you need to know about the paint
itself, now I’m gonna get into some tips to get started with it and some general tips
and techniques for when you’re using it. To get started with your gouache painting,
all you’ll need is a sheet of paper, a selection of paintbrushes, and water to clean your brushes,
you might also want a separate cup for the water that you’ll be adding to dilute the
paint to keep your colours clean. Somewhere to mix your paint. And of course you’ll
need the paint itself. You’ll want to add a little bit of water to your paint at a time,
experimenting with different ratios of water to paint to see what works best. You’re
looking for a creamy consistency that flows easily on the paper without leaving streaks.
You’ll generally be able to feel and see when the paint consistence isn’t quite right.
Gouache blends evenly together on the palette, with mixed colours often ending up more vivid
than those out of the tube. It can be tempting to keep adding water as you add colour, but
remember to only add a little at a time. You might also want to bear in mind that colours
dry to a slightly different colour to when they’re wet, usually with lights drying
darker and darks drying lighter. There are plenty of ways to blend colours together but
my favourite way to approach it is to get the two colours I want to mix together and
mix up one or two shades in between, lay those colours down in stripes, in a gradient from
one to the next and blend the gaps in between. Depending on the look you’re going for it’s
really best to be blending paint in paint, rather than in water. When applied carefully,
it’s possible to layer different colours on top of each other without disturbing and
mixing with the one below. This is great with the paint in its opaque state as you can cover
mistakes or add entirely new elements to your painting . It can also be effective with washes
to add different tonal values or to change the mood of your painting completely! Just
remember to make sure the layer of paint you’re painting on is completely dry before you go
in on top of it! Because gouache is so versatile, there are many different ways to use it depending
on your style. Experiment with how you mix, blend and layer the paints to find a finish
that suits you. So putting it all together and revising all the points we’ve covered,
I’m gonna do a quick gouache painting to demonstrate how I use it and to put all those
techniques into practice. To start off with, I have all the tools I’ll need laid out
in front of me. For this painting I’m going to be using Strathmore’s 500 series watercolour
paper and Royal Talens gouache. Next, I’m going to start mixing up my first
colour. I plan on starting my painting with a wash of pink in the background so I’m
adding quite a bit of water to my paint at this stage. I’m creating a smooth wash of
colour around my subject, adding more water as I get closer to the edge of my painting
to create a gradient that softens or fades out slightly. Then I deepen that colour on
my pallet slightly, adding blue and more of that magenta with a bit less water, so my
paint is a little more opaque as I build towards the foreground.
Because gouache does dry so quickly, I never have to wait too long between each layer,
most of the time by the time I’ve finished on one side of the painting, the previous
layer on the other side of the painting is dry enough to paint over without worrying
about smudging or blending. With my next layer, now that we’re getting
to the foreground, I’m adding almost no water to my paint at all to give this part
the most opaque finish. I also add some small extra details with an almost dry brush to
give a textured look to the bark of the tree. And so already so far in this painting, you
can really see the versatility of gouache paint, from light gradients to solid colour
to textured lines. A simple way I’ve found to keep a sense
of cohesion across the colours of in my painting is to create new colours while still incorporating
the shades you already have on your pallet. So here I’m mixing up a brown using the
purple that I have used so far with the addition of yellow.
And to give this part more texture I’m also smudging in a few darker areas here and there.
Now when I’m making this green, again, I’m mixing it in with some of the other colours
I have on my pallet and then I’m just layering it thickly on top of the existing parts of
the painting that I want to cover. I also use my favourite blending technique of gradually
adding intermingling strips from one colour to another.
Then, it’s my favourite part for my particular style of painting which is adding some line
work. What I love about gouache, and something that this brand in particular is great at,
is how far you can stretch a small amount of paint. It applies smoothly and consistently
to create bold, crisp lines without needing to reapply paint to your brush too often to
disrupt your flow. So I carry on like that for the remainder
of the painting, I’m also adding some outline details to the bushes in the foreground. Then
for some finishing touches, I actually use water to reactivate and smudge out some of
the dried outlines on the face to darken up some areas I want to bring out a bit more
and then it’s just a case of adding some white highlights and I’m all done! And there you have it; a confused bear in
the woods. And that’s really all there is to it! I really tried to cover all the questions
and things that you lot have brought up in the past but of course if I have missed anything,
you can always leave a comment or question below, I’ll do my very best to get back
to you. Other than that, I hope you all just have fun with it, keep creating beautiful
things, keep being beautiful things and I will see you next time. Bye!


  • L C says:

    I love your nails!

  • gripplehound says:

    What a lovely calm voice you have! So much more pleasant then some of the American channels that screech at you!

  • Jasmin P. Wall says:

    my brush snapped in half…

  • Juliet Clark says:

    I sent the link to my sister who has artistic ability. Great to have a tutorial where there is not constant chatter! Thanks.

  • Evelyn Story says:

    for gouache, do you recommend a good sable or a good quality synthetic? thanks 😀

  • lazer tag says:

    why would anyone use watercolor if theres gouache?

  • j smith says:

    it's soooo beautiful! thank you for making it

  • Black Canary Gaming says:

    do you use the same brush throughout?

  • Sophie Allan says:

    Your voice is so soothing and beautiful!

  • Naja K says:

    I was always scared of using that medium cuz it was so different from acrylic and oil paint. Thanks ill try it.

  • rajneeta Ghosh says:

    Pls suggest how to sell huge artworks online

  • Michelle Niño says:

    thanks!!!! you make beautiful videos!

  • S。 says:

    And there you have it, a confused bear in the woods.

  • irini vh says:

    I would like to start painting with gouache, could somebody suggest me a good quality brand to start with? But not really expensive

  • Emma Woodthorpe says:

    I love this video, thank you! I've been arting for a while now and while I have heard lots of good things about gouache from my artist friends, I've never used it myself. Your vid has inspired me to try it out in some of my illustrations. Thank's for the great explanatory vid! Emma Woodthorpe (aka embers & Ink)

  • No name says:

    Dear Minnie, have you tried egg yolk + oil tempera, making your own colors from pure pigment?

  • Cup Of Mochaccino says:

    The bear looks constipated😂but still cute..awesome videos !! ❤👌

  • poppy jane says:

    just gone back to this vid as i ordered my first set of gouache paints today! so excited to try them out. thank you for the tips minnie i love your art x

  • Plant Based Bride says:

    This is unrelated to the video (which I loved and was very helpful, by the way!) but your fingers are so long and elegant! As a dancer I notice these things 😂

  • Paloma Talaro says:

    Where did you get that little cauldron water dish? It’s so cute!

  • Chuchai says:

    So basically, it's just like poster color? i dont know why but in college we were introduced to poster color, not gouche.

  • ok cakes says:

    I wonder if watercolour poster works the same?

  • Echo Ryu says:



  • Denise Madrazo says:

    I Love your teaching style!!! This is my first of your videos. Can't wait to see more! I hope you teach about other art mediums as well.

  • pisces [ t r a s h ] says:

    I am heading to the art store and really wanted to try gouache or just tubed watercolor in general. But I didn't know where to start or what to get. And I've watched so many of your videos but I hadn't seen this info video? But I refreshed your home page and there it was! I feel so blessed aha

  • Matheus Ferreira says:

    i remember using these very VERY cheap gouache paints and loving it, but my white went over and i wasn't going to buy more paint only for the white (they didn't sell open stock)

  • Alexie Safiya says:

    What do u think about Arteza guache? I heard they’re a cheap brand but good quality. I’m guessing they’re like the reeves tho, right? I’m a beginner artist and I don’t really know these kind of things, but what I did realize is guache seems like a good medium you could paint with bc I see it as an in between of I want to say all of the paint types. Also, I tried acrylic and watercolor and I have a habit of watering it down sometimes and it ends up being that the bottom one merges sometimes bc of the water.

  • Ruby Lace says:

    Total newbie question, but can you just use a regular glass plate as a palette? thats what it looks like to me, but I'm not sure #nostupidquestions

  • Andy Mertenat says:

    Simple and efficient vid! Thank you!

  • Vanessa Koonjul says:

    You hypnotised me with your art! Thank you for all the info! Really helpful stuff!

  • azulisa says:

    Thanks for the tips! I'm trying it for the first time today

  • Gabriel Player says:

    Wich paper do you use ?Do you recomend painting in cardboard ?

  • Maya K. says:

    Hello. Whats your opinion on cheaper version of talens art creation gouache? Its possible easy reactivate with water this gouache? And then are they still opaque and bright? Its there big difference between expensive RT proffesional gouache?

  • Fynch says:

    very well done video, simple and very enjoyable to watch 🙂

  • Jose Garay says:

    Beautiful!!!!! Suscribed!

  • Cathy Barzo says:

    Very helpful. I've been wondering about adding a set of gouache to my kit. I've been using watercolour and only have used white gouache. I'll check out your videos on Strathmore too. Thanks.

  • Visual Mind says:

    I just discovered gouache and I can't believe how many things you can do with it. It's like a badass version of watercolor – I LOVE it 😀

  • Sandrasartlife says:

    This was so great 🙂 It really gave me a different point of view of the paint. I have seen so many use it nowdays that I kinda wanna try it out myself :'D It seems like a really smooth and calming paint that you can change your mistakes or even improve the painting later 🙂

    Thank you for such an awesome video & have a good day ^O^ ♥

  • Honey says:

    Extremely helpful!❤

  • Alysson Souza says:

    hi. your video is amazing. but i have i dont… here in brazil we know "gouche" like this: in this link : https://www.google.com.br/search?q=tinta+guache&rlz=1C1NHXL_pt-BRBR734BR734&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=6ejLhg8MqiyGTM%253A%252CpZgLrZe-Nx4PlM%252C_&usg=AFrqEzeJlP4ujai4B39ZkdwqBGQQmzsIEQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZ0uSg3KXdAhXHlJAKHQJECTIQ9QEwBXoECAYQDA#imgrc=6ejLhg8MqiyGTM: can you see? us to the same material you use? i'm kinda confused hehehe can you help me?

  • Artist Jan Beasley says:

    Can you paint gouache on canvas? It’s for a children class.

  • philip parker says:

    I usually use gouache to highlight my water colour paintings, but will now give it a go on the total picture, enjoyed video cheers.

  • Rognvald Jaeger Dandy says:

    Okay. I found you because of your PayPal horror story, which led me to your art page. I love art. I dabble quite a bit in it, so I subscribed. This was the first art video I watched, and I'm hooked! You have a precise talent, you describe things well and thorough, and it's easy to get a grasp on the information you present.
    It doesn't hurt that in my humble opinion, you have the most appropriate voice, diction and presentation I've come across on this platform. You could be reading the backs of cereal boxes and your audience would still be enraptured!
    Great job, great videos, and I'm glad I subscribed.

  • Dee Dackel Trueman says:

    Having never used gouache and have been wondering a lot about it, I'm now saving to buy my first lot so I can create something colourful. Being disabled from 11yrs of battling with cancer then radiation poisoning from my treatment I've been left in a wheelchair with a number of health problems which means I'm unable to work so funding my art is something I find difficult. However I'm definitely going to try this to hopefully make some beautiful work to be able to sell. Thx for the tips in this video it's really helped me out and I hope when my art studio in my garden has been built I'll be able to make video's of me creating so companies might send me out products to try which would be s huge help for sure! Keep up your great work! 😊

  • Junnie _10 says:

    You're so good at gouache!.thanks for the tips

  • Ana-Maria Gabriela Badita says:

    Can you put gouache in a tin case and carry it around? Or that works only with watercolours?

  • Rabbit Cuddles says:

    You’re the best at everything everyone must admit it 😩👍🏻💙💙💙

  • VeronicasTouch says:

    This makes so much more sense than what I was told before.

  • BJW says:

    Great video.Love your gentle English syle.what beautiful hands and nails you have!

  • Mutia Kurniadi says:

    pretty hands

  • Calraeia Elixir Raizel says:

    Is it okay to use vellum board when painting using gouache? Thank you for the tips!

  • Amir Rastgoo says:

    Wow. U r awesome

  • Samm Chang says:

    Would gouache still work fine if I let it sit and dry in an empty pan, only adding water when needed?

  • mie bum says:

    your hands is so pretty

  • Mark Harold Lustre says:

    Very informative video
    Question: Does gouache has this flakey powdery like finish once it dries out? Or is it smooth like acrylic? Thanks

  • Sunshine MishasMommy says:

    This was a great introductory video..I've been thinking about using gouache but I didn't know anything about it…now I'm definitely going to try it..thanks 😊

  • Claire S says:

    What nail polish are you using? So pretty

  • MD Valla says:

    I got everything I needed in the mail last week but I haven't opened anything yet because I'm too scared of trying out paint. It's my first time… Any tips on getting over the nervousness you feel before painting?? It's my first time trying out paint…

  • lilyazaleamc says:

    I loved this!! This was an extremely helpful tutorial and you explained everything very concisely and clearly. Thank you for making this 😊

  • Deborah viner says:

    is it not true that winsor newton only has like 30% or less that have 3* lightfastness? of the gouche colors ?

  • Ice in my Veins says:

    Thanks Alex Ross:)

  • trashlover 38 says:

    You have a calming voice and great nails lol

  • marl boonyer says:

    it's all about the colour payoff : )

  • evrywhichwaybutloose says:

    Hi. Do you sketch first or paint your figures straight away when doing illustrations? It looked like you painted the bear without any sketchings. Sorry if this has been asked already.

  • Reagan K says:

    Super helpful!! Thanks!

  • mARTa Kyam says:

    What about Arteza gouache?

  • Charmander Cutie says:

    Your tip about using an "old" color on the palette to help create a new one (like your purple –> brown for the bear) was wonderful to hear about!

  • oof lol says:

    I never used gouache for about 7 months now

  • Gracie Shack says:

    Oh! my goodness this is so informative thank you so much for your great art advice! I am beginner at gouache an experienced watercolour artist but my first adventure with Gouache so your video is most helpful.

  • Betty Chen says:

    "Keep creating beautiful things, and keep being Beautiful things."

  • hellanistpunk says:

    Is it true you can add watercolour to white gouache to make it more opaque? Has anyone tried it I'm curious

  • hellanistpunk says:

    Ah im so scared to use gouache I tried it in secondary school and hated it but I feel like I should give it another go

  • zareencirce says:

    My goodness your nails look amazing.

  • Color Creatively says:

    Great intro video for me. Thank you.

  • Jennifer, Interrupted says:

    Thanks so much for sharing such an informative, helpful video. 😊

  • Abigail Gomed says:


  • adam davis says:

    thank you so much! i havent painted in 13yrs and your video brought back all my memories. thank you again. you explain it wonderfully and easily. 🙂

  • Gib Mattson says:

    Does anyone know if gouache is more robust than watercolour? i.e: could you paint gouache onto wood then brush varnish over it? I paint on wood. I tried this with watercolour. It almost worked but spray varnish was the only option as brush varnish ruined the delicate watercolour.

  • WaterSpriite says:

    i can't seem to paint with gouache without getting really ugly textures where the layers have built up, or areas that have cracked and fallen off. Really frustrating, but i think i just need to stop trying to paint on canvas board with it hahaha

  • Nick Guadagnoli says:

    Great video. I learned a great deal in less than ten minutes. Special thanks to Google for simply handing your video to me after I typed 'gouache'.
    Your bear is awesome.

  • multifandomz says:

    you have really pretty hands

  • multifandomz says:

    i bought reeves gouache today i'm excited and nervous to try it

  • Mari Biki says:

    hello , first of all i'd like to thank you for this video . it is so helpful . i have never painted before i can only draw with pencils and i 'd like to try painting so i am doing my research to how to start to self learn and till now i am not so good at it, so plz if you can give me any advice i'd be grateful .

  • Love W says:

    Your bear painting at the end looks so incredible! nice job and thank you for an informative video

  • Paige Smith says:

    I had some important work but couldn’t take my eyes off from this video, great talent. You are my current favorite now after #charmingcolours, god bless.

  • John Leonard says:

    Help me to buy these materials on line please I'm in Tanzania !!!

  • Ioannis Mavrikakis says:

    A really professional and reach presentation! Thank you very much!


    Lovely and not confused….

  • mahinaz Diaries says:

    I like your accent ❤️ and i think i found my new favorite medium

  • Cyan Walker says:

    PLEASE, can someone who tried both tell me if they like the Talens or the Schmincke Horadam gouache better?
    I am currently working with Talens Gouache and also their Standard Acrylics which I both love, especially for the price.
    I am thinking about upgrading though, but only if it actually makes a big enough difference. Holbein is too expensive, so I only would want to upgrade to Schmincke.

  • Chloe Nicole says:

    I just use artists loft haha

  • yourstruly33killa1 says:

    If it can be reactivated, even in the paper. How do you finish off the painting? Should you seal it with something??

  • Conor Moore says:

    Very informative. I'm a digital artist looking to dip a toe in the world of physical art, this was very helpful, thank you!

  • Phoebe El says:

    I bought some gouache yesterday. I have never really done any illustration myself before. Only at school and maybe every two years I try to draw Disney characters.
    But I always wanted to be able to express my dreams and ideas in drawings. So I searched for a gouache tutorial and I repainted this bear following your instructions. It turned out pretty well (my brushes are shit though, need some good ones haha) and I will put the bear up on my wall to see as my first painting in a long journey towards illustrating.

  • Fuyu Tomiga says:

    Arrgghhh … WHY ARE YOU SO GOOD… So great skills…

  • Andy X says:

    so what i get from this video is its good for children books with purple trees and whimsical bears with no shadow or light to be found?… darn I was hoping to try a landscape

  • Jasmine Bartez says:

    Can you use canvases with gouache paint at all

  • Andy Werling says:

    Great painting at 1:27. Would love to see a tutorial on this landscape.

  • V K says:

    you are the first person i've heard pronounce it with two syllables instead of one, glad i'm not the only one here

  • Rob L says:

    I had to turn it off after 45 seconds: disorienting camera work, frying voice, ridiculous accessories. This is useless.

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