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:
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!