Getting to know acryla gouache

Over the past few years I've used a fair few mediums in my work, from watercolour to ink, gouache to acrylic. 2020 has been the year of acryla gouache for me, so I thought I'd talk a little bit about this blend of acrylic and gouache paint.

During my education I always used acrylic paint, I loved the way it layered and that it wouldn't budge once it dried. It was always a medium I was extremely comfortable using, but I wasn't always a fan of the lack of opacity, the sheen it gave off and how long it would take to dry if I was painting in thick layers.

Recently I've been really into using gouache, it gives the opacity and the matte finish I've always wanted in my work, and that I couldn't get from acrylic. However, I've always found it frustrating that when layering, if applying paint that's a bit too wet it'll reactivate the colour underneath and create a whole mess in my painting.

I'd hoped that this blend would combine my favourite features of the two mediums, and it definitely does. The acryla gouache I've been using is from Holbein, arguably the best known brand for this type of paint. It's by no means cheap, but good quality paint never is, hence I always look for deals or use Jacksons.

Firstly, the opacity of the paint is second to none, I can layer light colours upon dark and vice versa with no problem. I also found the colours to be bolder and brighter than that of traditional gouache, in comparison to my Winsor & Newton designers paint.

The finish is matte with no sheen, the texture does feel thicker than traditional gouache, more like acrylic. So, if you lay this paint straight out of the tube it can leave brush marks which I personally like, but just adding a little water smoothens it out.

As you can layer this paint easily and it dries fairly quick like gouache, it's easy to produce bold and colourful pieces which is why I love it so much. Plus, because it can't be reactivated by water you can correct mistakes easily, and not worry about smudging or mixing layers.

I have to say, even though it is on the pricier side, I can see myself sticking with acryla gouache for the bulk of my work going forward. Sure, I may occasionally use other mediums, but I feel like I've found a paint that ticks all the boxes for me.

I hope this helps anyone looking to try out acryla gouache!

Holly x

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