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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > October 18 > Gouache in the landscape

Gouache in the landscape

Gouache can be used as both a transparent and opaque medium, and on a variety of supports, as Kevin Scully demonstrates

Gouache is a medium that is often overlooked, particularly when it comes to painting landscapes, even though many artists, notably John Singer Sargent and Turner, have used it. White gouache is often used for highlights in watercolour painting in preference to white watercolour or Chinese white, because of its far superior covering power.

A water-based paint with a matt finish, and a first cousin of watercolour, gouache can be used in a variety of ways, and in many respects falls halfway between watercolour and oils as a painting medium. It can be used in both transparent and delicate washes, as well as in semi-opaque and opaque layers, one on top of the other. Some of the techniques used in both watercolour and oil paint can be applied to gouache, but it differs greatly from acrylics in that once dry it can be rewetted. Mistakes in watercolour can be corrected, albeit with great difficulty, whereas gouache colour can be adjusted and rectified without too much drama.

Jackdaw Farm, gouache on Saunders Waterford HP 300gsm watercolour paper, 7½x10½in (19x26.5cm).
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About The Artist

Welcome to the October issue in which many of our top-class artists celebrate painting in a variety of locations in all kinds of weather, from Pete the Street Brown in Havana, to Geoff Hunt who shows how not to let an unpromising day spoil your painting. Our artist-tutors also offer help and advice on colour mixing in oils, how to improve your compositional awareness, use gouache to paint atmospheric landscapes, create luminosity in your paintings by combining cold wax and water-soluble oils, and develop your skills by working in monochrome. Paul Talbot-Greaves suggests a simple exercise to help you loosen up, Julie Collins shows how to mix the right greens for your watercolour paintings, while Glyn Macey invites you to learn from the painting style of Lamorna Birch by following this month's demonstration. Plus, be inspired as we introduce many of this year's The Artist Open Competition amazingly talented prizewinners!