18 Beautiful Gouache Paintings and What is Gouache?

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I’ve recently become a big fan of gouache (pronounced “gwash”) paintings, and have been on the search for beautiful gouache painting tutorials and references.

What is gouache?

Unlike watercolor paint which comes in different forms such as pans and tubes, gouache paint will typically come in tubes.

To work with gouache, you need the same tools that you would use to watercolor paint. Those tools are paint, water, and watercolor paper.

As you may know, with watercolor, you work from light to dark. However, gouache allows you to work from dark to light or light to dark because gouache is an opaque (not see through) paint.

Additionally, you can rewet gouache with water if you would like to make changes to your work. When using gouache paint, keep in mind that gouache dries faster than watercolor paint and also dries matte.

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daisy painting
Artist Credit: art__contemporary
starfish beach painting
Artist Credit: artbykshamaa
palm trees and sky
Artist Credit: artsaiyara

Best Surface for Gouache

When using gouache paint, you can use watercolor paper as well as canvas. When using canvas, it’s recommended that you use primer so that your paint doesn’t soak into the canvas.

blue flowers
Artist Credit: beckyamelia_art
plants and flowers
Artist Credit: cedarandsaltcreativestudio
gouache leaf tutorial
Artist Credit: dearannart

Best Brushes for Gouache

The good thing about gouache paint is that you can use watercolor brushes, gouache brushes, or acrylic brushes. Whatever brush you choose, just make sure the bristles are soft and flexible.

gouache strawberry tutorial
Artist Credit: dearannart
gouache painting tutorial
Artist Credit: dearannart
hummingbird painting
Artist Credit: anjelinakhudoyarova

You Can Sketch FIrst

Because gouache dries opaque, you can sketch your drawing out before going over it with paint. Even though gouache paint is not see through, it’s still recommended that you sketch lightly for the best results.

hot cheetos bag painting
Artist Credit: erikabeeswax
flower doodles
Artist Credit: fox_m.b
beautiful sky gouache painting
Artist Credit: infinetties
flower gouache painting
Artist Credit: komals_doodle_diary

You can Go Light to Dark or Dark to Light

One of the things I love most about gouache paint is that you can go to light to dark or dark to light with your artwork. Again, this is because gouache paint is opaque. For some artists this is one of the biggest benefits of gouache.

frog painting
Artist Credit: pearlychloecreates
gouache painting with hand and butterfly
Artist Credit: infinetties
burger painting
Artist Credit: sam._.creates
girl wear converse shoes
Artist Credit: sketchbook_rj

Matte Finish

Gouache paints dry quickly and they dry matte. Additionally, gouache has more pigment than watercolor, which means it produces rich and vibrant colors.

gouache sky painting
Artist Credit: infinetties
rainbow with rain drops
Artist Credit: spotlightart2021
beetle car with rainbow
Artist Credit: alicetheprinter
pastel night sky
Artist Credit: infinetties
Artist Credit: dearannart

While watercolor and gouache paint are similar in some ways, they are also quite different. I hope I was able to clarify what gouache paint is and the benefits of using it.

These gouache paintings are so beautiful and make great references for your next painting. I hope you’ve been inspired to paint your very own gouache art piece.

For more painting ideas, make sure you check out some of my watercolor posts mentioned below.

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