A DETAILED GOUACHE PAINTING TUTORIAL

Gouache is a medium that’s clearly under estimated. In comparison to the popular watercolor or oil paints, it falls shy of the limelight. In today’s post, I want to highlight the beauty of gouache painting and how it can be a wonderful addition to your art supply stash. 

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

Gouache? What’s that? If you’re thinking this right now, don’t worry because you’re not alone. I have had so many people give me confused looks when I talk about it. A while ago, this wasn’t even a medium I was willing to try. I’ve heard of it but I was not very educated on the subject. After months of experiments and practice paintings, I’ve learnt a couple of things I want to share with you. We’ll tackle that in baby steps!

What is gouache?

Gouache(pronounced as gwosh) is an art medium similar to watercolors with higher pigment ratio. In addition, chalk maybe added to make it opaque. It works the same way as watercolors (using water to make it workable) but dries in an opaque manner. The texture is heavier which makes it similar to acrylics. In a way, gouache imitates the properties of both watercolor and acrylic.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

{This post contains affiliate links. This means that I will earn a small percentage if you decide to buy from one of the links you click below.You will not be charged extra.}

A few helpful tips about gouache painting based on my experiments:-

  1. Invest in good quality gouache. Don’t settle for a cheap brand that will make you hate it. Some examples are Winsor and Newton designers gouache and Royal Talens gouache. You can also invest in individual tubes like this one.
  2. Treat it like watercolors by diluting it but don’t use excessively. Use enough to make it workable.
  3. The inherent nature of gouache is it’s opaqueness. Layering rather than blending would be the best course of action
  4. You can mix gouache and watercolor together.
  5. Rough bristles work better than softer ones.
  6. A tiny bit of gouache goes a long way.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

I’m going to now show an example of a few Valentine’s day “fruit pun” illustrations I created for my Zazzle shop. One of the things I learnt is that for designing purposes, gouache seems to work slightly better than watercolor.

Materials you’ll need for gouache painting are:-

  1. PEAR ILLUSTRATION

Step 1: First off, I outlined the illustration and lettering in pencil. The illustration is a pear with the words “You’re pearfect” ( get it? ) . After sketching, I removed the extra lines using a Tombow Mono zero eraser. This eraser has a fine tip and works beautiful for detailed erasing.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

Step 2: The gouache set I have does not have green in it. I mixed a tiny bit of yellow and blue to get the color I need. I used a water spray to get the water I need for mixing. One spritz should do.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

At this point I started with the lettering first. After creating this particular gouache painting, I realized that it is best to go from the background to the foreground. In fact, I overlooked the opaque nature of gouache. This made things harder because you’ll see that in the next few steps, I had to go back and perfect the lettering again.

Tip : Start with the background first.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

Complete the lettering and wait for it to dry.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

Step 3: While waiting for the lettering to dry( it dries quickly ), I painted the lone leaf sitting on top. I used the layering process here. Lay down a layer of green and let it dry. Take a darker shade of green and paint a few strokes at the top and bottom. Next, paint the veins in yellow and shade underneath with darker green.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

This is the part where I struggled and so I don’t want you to do the same mistake. I had to carefully do the background color so that it wouldn’t go over the lettering. Even then a few places had to be corrected.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

After laying down a shade of yellow, I did the shadows using orange and placed dots around the pear to show texture. I also perfected the lettering once I completed the background.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

2.TOMATO ILLUSTRATION

Step 1: Here I started with the background first. Using a filbert brush, I laid down a layer of red. Wait for the gouache painting to dry.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

Paint the stem of the tomato in the same way I explained the leaf earlier. Also lay down the highlights and shadows of the tomato.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

Step 2: After that write down the lettering in pencil and complete it using a spotter brush. After finishing the lettering in black, I realized it needed to pop. Create a shadow in white wherever required.

Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio. Learn how to create gouache painting the easy way using this tutorial by Zakkiya hamza of Inkstruck Studio.

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading through today’s tutorial. I’m sure this will inspire you to pick up those brushes and give gouache painting a go.

 

What do you think?

Which is your favorite of these illustrations ? Mine is the pear one although it took me the most time to make. What other tutorials would you like me to include in the blog?I’m on Instagram if you loving sharing your work there and if you try this out, use the hashtag #makeinkstruck.

Cheers !

BE PART OF THE INKSTRUCK CLUB

Receive monthly e-mails packed with goodies. Get access to watercolor tech wallpapers, watercolor art-sheets and bonus freebies.

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

About zakkiya hamza @ inkstruck

Zakkiya is the creative blogger and founder of Inkstruck Studio. She’s a self taught artist who let go of her architecture profession to pursue her passion in art. Zakkiya likes to write detailed tutorials in watercolor, calligraphy, and hand lettering. She also teaches watercolor workshops occasionally in Doha where she’s based currently. Other passions include traveling, photography, and basketball.When she’s not working, you can find her cuddling and running around with her toddler boy.

24 thoughts on “A DETAILED GOUACHE PAINTING TUTORIAL

  1. I love this tutorial as well as your wreath tutorial! I especially love the strawberry! You are so talented!! Is there a tutorial which might show how to paint the little flowers or buds in your wreaths? I LOVE your tutorials! You are so kind and it was a joy to hear from you. I hope your tutorials will continue.????

    1. Thank you so much Deborah. I’m so excited that you enjoy my tutorials. That’s the best thing that I get to hear in my profession and it makes me very happy. I don’t have one specifically for the buds and flowers but I’ve got that noted down and will try and create a detailed tutorial in the near future. Thanks so much once again. Have a lovely weekend. x

  2. I was wondering, what paint medium do you personally find most difficult? I like watercolors, since acrylics definitely aren’t my thing. But I have yet to try gouache!

    1. Definitely acrylics. I admire people who can work with that medium. I’ve tried it a couple of times and can’t seem to get the hang of it. I probably need to get that fear out and give it a go once again. Well, gouache is like when acrylics and watercolors have a baby! Haha. It’s a super nice medium although watercolors will be my favorite.

  3. I too never heard of this medium. I really like that it is similar to watercolors but more opaque. Thanks for sharing this. I may be in trouble now with yet another obsession.

  4. Zakkiya, first of all…in awe of your crazy mad skills. Second, thanks for teaching me something new today! I’ve heard the term gouache, but never really knew what it was. Third, I really love working with oils, then watercolors and acrylics. Looks like I need to add gouache to my inventory of paints. Finally, I’m a tomato kind of gal, so that’s my favorite. And in terms of what I’d like to see in the future? I’m pretty sure anything you sent my way would make me happy. Pinning for future inspiration.

    Lynn

    1. Thanks Lynn for sending such kind words my day. I’m honestly so honored. You know the funny thing is I’ve trained with oils for 2 months but never really enjoyed the process. Maybe I should pick my oil painting brushes soon. Gouache is amazing and I’m not saying that because I’ve made a post here. My acrylic skills are not great but this medium produces results similar to acrylics but the process is similar to watercolors. Thanks again for stopping by and for pinning as well 🙂

  5. This is a great walkthrough! Thank you for the high quality photographs and explanations of the steps you took. This was really informative. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely words Shelly. Totally made my day! And I absolutely love your blog. I’m not a kitchen person but I love looking at beautiful photos of food and drooling over them. Have a lovely rest of the week. x

  6. Wow this is so lovely, really dig your style! Thanks for the tutorial! <3

    Question: I'm making holiday cards this year, was just wondering if there we need to protect the gouache somehow to make it more permanent? Or is it generally okay to kind of send just as it is? 🙂

    1. Hello lovely. Thank you for the lovely words. Honestly, I haven’t tried using fixative with gouache only because most of the work I do is usually reproduced as digital images or prints. But I don’t think the cards will need to be fixed because
      1.It won’t be in direct sunlight unless its going to be framed.
      2.It’s not a dry medium like pastel or colored pencil that have the high possibility of smudging.
      But if you really want to fix it, I’m assuming any watercolor fixative should work. Please don’t experiment on your finished card directly. Try on a sample first please. I hope that helps.

    1. Hi Hamsa. This question in itself is a blog post but I’m going to cut it short for you here. I usually scan my paintings at 400 dpi using a regular scanner. I have a cheap Canon printer plus scanner and it works well. Once it’s scanned, I take it to PhotoShop and remove the background if it’s white. The scan usually washes out some colors so I use curves, hue-saturation and color balance to balance it all out. Once I finish, I save it either using PNG orPDF depending on the purpose of the painting. I hope that helps. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *