My Painting Frenemy

As a student, I know it’s important to realize that this is the best time as any to explore new mediums!

Hi guys! Hope you’ve all been creating and painting since last we spoke (Aka wrote on the blog last week!) This week in my 2-D Design class, we will begin exploring mixing color by using gouache. I’ve used the medium before, but it was never really kind to me. I’ve met a lot of people who have hated acrylics, because they don’t like how they mix. I’ve also met other artists who hate oils because of how long it takes them to dry. (I will admit oils were not my favorite when I first used them either, but they grew on me). Others don’t like watercolors, because they don’t like the opacity, or lack thereof. For me, my trouble medium is gouache. Surprise surprise, I know.


I’m pretty nervous about having to use them in class, as I don’t quite know what to expect from them. In my previous attempts to paint with the medium, I’ve struggled especially with mixing them. In case you don’t know, gouache is an opaque watercolor paint. Which means it covers more and is mixable with water.

My biggest problem with the medium, as I said, is that it is very hard for me to find just the right mixture of water and paint. Too much water, and it ends up too runny and more like watercolor. Too little water, and it can be too thick to apply.

Another tricky thing about them, as those who have worked with the medium before could tell you, is that the paints can be reactivated with water, even after they are dry. It can be nice for those who want to do a bit more and add or change colors after they have finished a piece. It can make for difficulty in gradients, however.

However, as I previously mentioned, I used to hate oils. They were very problematic for me, and I was scared to use them. After a full class in Painting I though, I found myself loving them. I’m hoping, and crossing my fingers, that I will also learn to grow and love gouache just the same! I’ve seen plenty of illustrators use them and come out with amazing results. The lovely colors look as thick and bright as an acrylic paint, but on paper. I have also seen some people simply use white to add accents to their already finished ink drawings.

As a student, I know it’s important to realize that this is the best time as any to explore new mediums! It’s because of that, even though I’m a little scared to do it, that I am also a little excited to jump into something I’ve tried with fresh eyes!

What mediums have you guys tried that you didn’t like? Did you have any tips for me as an experienced gouache user? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget, til next week, keep on creating!

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