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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Dec-19 > Let’s start with art

Let’s start with art

Part 13 Linda Birch concludes her series of introductions to different media with a look at how to work with gouache


Understand your materials

Beginner’s techniques to try

Gouache (goo-ash, gwaarsh) is an opaque form of watercolour, where mostly white is used to lighten colour and tone rather than water. In character it resembles oil paint; some may remember a coarser version of it used in school and known as poster colour.

A form of gouache, with egg white added instead of water, was used in illuminated books in the mediaeval period, usually in the form of historiated initials, where the first letter beginning a passage of the bible is embellished and richly gilded. This form of gouache was also used to illustrate small prayer books before the development of printing.

The development of transparent watercolour techniques in the late 18th century resulted in the use of gouache retreating to Europe, where it has been used more widely up to the present day.

Tools and gouache paints with a painting of shells on a stretched piece of pastel paper
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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the December issue of Leisure Painter. Aimed at beginners and amateur painters, this issue is packed with demonstrations, practical advice and tutorials on painting landscapes, still lifes, animals, flowers, portraits and nature studies in watercolour, oils, acrylics and gouache. There's everything from how to paint successfully from photographs and setting up a still life, to Christmas-themed ideas to paint and the difference between shade and tone (and how that difference can make your landscapes come alive!). You'll also find our annual index, news from the art clubs, special book offers, exhibitions to visit and more - all aimed at helping you enjoy your drawing and painting time this month.