Late to the gouache party

Fragment of Spring, an abstract landscape by Vicki Hutchins

Because I’ve read all of the internet in learning to make art, I pronounce gouache like an American:   “gwash”.  Which sounds perfectly fine in my head.

In the UK, we apparently say “goo-ash”.  As in “goulash”, that fine Hungarian meal.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get the hang of the UK pronunciation, but what I have got the hang of is the paint itself!

When I was first starting to paint, I used evil watercolour.  And it did not go well.  It’s only now, a couple of years later, that I realise why:  I like the sensory act of painting:  loading a brush with juicy paint and brushing it on a surface.  My approach to painting is mostly painterly.  I like brushstrokes showing up in the work.

Now I know more, I appreciate the unique qualities of watercolour – that often it does its best work when it’s dropped in a wet wash and left to swirl and settle on it’s own.  Being a faffer, it’s terribly hard for me to leave it alone!

So because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted with watercolour, I became convinced gouache was the answer.  Again, my general inexperience caused problems:  I used gouache like watercolour and had the same problems.  So I put both mediums away and discovered the joys of acrylic and then oils.

Fast forward to now and I am at peace with watercolour – I love using it to journal in my sketchbook, loose and splashy:

Cothlestone, Quantock Hills by Vicki Hutchins


Then, suddenly I am seeing artists on Instagram using gouache like it’s acrylic – no wet washes and waiting impatient for things to dry, just thick paint, used opaquely in a painterly style.  Well. I just had to go and spend quite a lot on a tiny travel paint tin and fill it with gouache!

Fragment of Spring, by Vicki Hutchins
I love these layerzzzz

7 thoughts on “Late to the gouache party

  1. Margaret Parker Brown April 6, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    I had no idea of the difference in pronunciation, that was a fun fact for me. Interesting how you discovered that you are a painterly artist and gouache fits your style. Beautiful little painting. 🙂 by the way you used a word that I have never heard of and I had to look it up, faffer, your post has been fun and educational!


  2. Susan Feniak April 6, 2016 / 7:20 pm

    These are beautiful! I don’t pronounce gouache either way. Maybe if I try it I will learn how to say it and use it properly! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. aokjapanese November 21, 2016 / 5:40 am

    Wow the colors you use in your art are so dynamic!! Love it!!


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