What is Gouache Paint?Many would like to know...
I use water-based gouache paint exclusively in many of my paintings,
and love the density and color.
So what exactly is gouache paint?
Pronounced /gw'osh/, the word's origin comes from the Italian word
"gouazzo", which means dampness or puddle or mud.
It was originally used in fresco paintings during the Renaissance.
It is a matte, opaque medium with gum arabic added for flow.
(Gum arabic is a natural gum from the acacia tree.)
The matte factor comes from the addition of chalk.
If you look at New Yorker Magazine covers, often the illustrator uses gouache
because it does not shine when reproduced.
Compared to watercolor, gouache has a higher pigment load (quantity),
which makes it richer in color. With watercolor one can see the
"white" of the paper below; whereas with gouache one cannot.
This allows an artist to work starting with dark paint at the
bottom layer, then lighter colors/values at the top layer.
The reason I use it is due to the fact that it reproduces nicely and
is incredibly rich in color.