10 Ways to Play with Gouache

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.”

—Edgar Degas

  “Yellow Pears”  5x7” gouache on paper

“Yellow Pears” 5x7” gouache on paper

Gouache (pronounced “gwash” to rhyme with “wash,” as in: “I should wash my dishes.”) is an opaque watercolor paint. I like M. Graham, Holbein, and Winsor and Newton brands. But also I have fun with the super-cheap sets you can get at Michaels.

TEN WAYS TO PLAY WITH GOUACHE

  1. Buy the most beautiful fruit you can! Eat some… Mmmm!

  2. Put flowers and fruit and anything else you want on the table. Get your paints!

  3. Mix colors! Mix and splash with water, squeeze colors right out of the tube…

 Have fun! Mess around! Who cares what it looks like?

Have fun! Mess around! Who cares what it looks like?

4. What colors to use? Whichever ones sing to your soul! I like to have white and burnt umber, plus a cool and warm of each primary: alizarin crimson, cadmium red, ultramarine blue, cerulean or sky blue, prussian or indigo blue, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, and (my favorite decadent color) “opera rose.”

 “Yellow Plums” 5x7” gouache on paper

“Yellow Plums” 5x7” gouache on paper

5. Watercolor paper is a nice surface to paint on. In a pinch, you can paint on almost any paper: scraps of newspaper, grocery bags, or envelopes. Mail a letter to your friend who lives far away. Tell her how much her friendship means to you!

 “Dancing in the Kitchen” gouache on an envelope (letter to my friend Emma)

“Dancing in the Kitchen” gouache on an envelope (letter to my friend Emma)

6. Call your mom and tell her you love her. If you can’t reach her by phone, tell her you love her in your heart.


7. Kiss your sweetheart.

 “Moon Kiss” 4x6” gouache on top of recycled old piece of art

“Moon Kiss” 4x6” gouache on top of recycled old piece of art

8. Pet your cat. Tell him to stay still so you can paint him. (Or just take a photo.)

 “Nora” gouache on paper, 3x5”

“Nora” gouache on paper, 3x5”

9. Love yourself just the way you are. Give yourself a hug. Paint your sad feelings.

 “Isolation” gouache and collage on paper, 4x6”

“Isolation” gouache and collage on paper, 4x6”

10. Reward yourself with homemade pie! Paint, then eat! Mmmm!

I hope this list was helpful for you in your gouache-painting adventures! If this is the kind of thing you like, consider signing up for my online class “A Month of Art Inspiration” that starts January 1st, 2019. Gift certificates available. (This is the kind of class I really could have used when my kids were toddlers and I missed having art in my life!) Limit 6 people.)

inspiration.jpg