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.

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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 !