How to Use Gouache – The Perfect Consistency Tutorial

I decided to leave this video at its normal
speed so that you can see my natural pace and the gesture that after the years of
painting with gouache has become my second nature.
my whole setup for gouache painting is now in the frame and even though you have
already seen my palette and the mixing trace in my other videos, the containers
for water and paper towels are shown for the first time here. so what is
it I do to get the right texture for my gouache. well, the right as I see it. every
time after washing my brush I dip it into the pile of paper towels in the
second container to get rid of the excess of water so basically I always work with a
slightly damp brush. if I feel that my paint on the mixing tray is too dry I
dip a corner of the brush carefully into the water and take the brush back to the
mix. as you can see the paint feels a bit dry
when I apply it on the paper but that’s okay because it only happens with the
first layers of gouache. even though my paper is sized with gelatin it is
still a bit absorbent and it inevitably sucks some of the water from the paint with the first contact with it. in this
particular case the Sun hitting the surface of the album makes the gouache
dry much faster too. some pigments need more water to become manageable, others can be used directly from the tubes for example the thickest paint in my palette
is titanium white also called permanent white in wash. you sometimes need to add a bit more water to it so that it gains a creamy texture. zinc white needs
less water because this paint is less dense by itself. transparent pigments
like alizarin crimson or ultramarine blue need just a tiny bit of water to get
fluid enough to be applied on the paper this isn’t something you need to keep in
mind. these are just my observations. I keep getting comments from people saying
that they have tried the watercolor technique with gouache and the result was
always a mess. well I don’t think the watercolor painting technique is good for
gouache. I have never been a watercolor artist, I switched to gouache from oils so I
haven’t had a habit to work with very fluid paints. on my opinion gouache has
much more in common with oils or acrylics than with watercolor. if you have ever tried acrylics you know that sometimes you can use them straight from the tubes
and other times you need to add tiny bit of water to them but you never
want to dilute them until they get transparent like watercolors. It is the same with gouache it is an opaque medium like oils and acrylics. It just when for
oil paint you use linseed oil to make it manageable for acrylics and gouache you
need to use water you really need very little water to make gouache manageable
I find this word manageable being the best in describing the state of gouache
that is ready to go on the paper. if you feel that your gouache is too dry you
need to add a drop of water to it. if you see that it is gaining the fluidity of
watercolor then you probably need to wipe it off and start over. by the way
those paper towels in the second container, once they get soaked with
water you have to replace them otherwise your brush won’t be dry enough when you
go with it to the mixing tray and it will become difficult to control the
consistency of gouache. There always should be some dry and absorbent paper
in that second continue. because gouache dries fast you need to spray your
palette and the mixing tray while painting. this water from the spray will
make your squeezed gouache more fluid right in the box so when you dip your
brush into one of the wells of the palette box to pick a color, most of the paint will be often ready for use the best way to store gouache for me is in
this little palette box which keeps the paint moist for a very long time. I
refill the paint when necessary and spray it with water once a week. the lid
of this box has a layer of soft plastic that seals the box very well when the
lid is on so it effectively prevents the gouache from fast drying. I got this box on Amazon. if you need one you can find a link to it in the description. people
think that I use a lot of gouach paints but that’s not true. I do use a lot of white
paint which is usually sold in larger tubes but as for the other pigments I
refill them once in a couple of months so I don’t need to buy gouache paints very often.
also, high-quality gouache is heavy pigmented so if you don’t apply it in
thick, which you should avoid, a set of gouache should last very long. it is of
course considering that you work on small sizes. On my opinion gouache is most
suitable for creating small works. if you want to paint on a larger scale, acrylics would
probably be a better choice. Acrylics on paper will look very similar to gouache.
they don’t have that beautiful matte finish of gouache but you can fake it by
covering your acrylic painting with a thin layer of matte acrylic varnish. The painting will
become completely matte like a gouache painting. I use gouache and acrylics with
the same pleasure. I have to make a warning regarding the
way I am working in this video. placing your painting in the Sun while working
on location isn’t a good idea. the light from the Sun is so strong that it makes
your colors look much lighter than they actually are.
it means that when you get home and take her sketchbook out you will see that
your sketches painted in the direct sunlight look much darker than they
appeared when you were working on them on the location. also under the Sun gouache
drives even faster than in the shade so you will have to spray it every couple of
minutes to keep it most. the day this video was filmed was extremely windy so
I couldn’t set up my umbrella and there also was now any shade on the pier but
that was probably the second, maybe the third time in my life that I have worked
in such conditions. I usually place my paper or canvas so that it stays in
the shadow during the whole painting session if there is enough shade anywhere
my easel umbrella comes in handy but an umbrella, of course, can only help when
there is no wind. I did two more paintings on this spot that day before the
wind got so strong that I had to literally run away from the pier. you can
see those paintings and many others on my Instagram

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