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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Sum-2019 > Beginner’s gouache

Beginner’s gouache

Part 1 Practise essential gouache techniques as Murray Ince begins a short series on how to paint with this versatile and colourful medium


Practise gouache techniques, including dry brush and layering

Learn a painting process step by step

How to paint layers in a landscape

Ann Hathaway’s Cottage, gouache, 7x10in. (18x25cm). The sky in this painting was put in using the gouache considerably thinned down, almost as I would with watercolour. The rest of the painting, however, was completed with the paint thinned only a very little.

Gouache is a lovely medium with which to work and has a surprisingly long history. It is very similar in use and look to egg tempera and casein. Egg tempera’s pigments are bound with egg yolk as you might expect, whereas casein is precipitated from milk. The binder is made by dissolving the resulting casein in an alkaline, usually lime, ammonium carbonate or borax, which is then added to the pigments. There are very subtle differences in these three media, but probably the most important difference is that, over a short period of time, both casein and egg tempera becomes waterproof. Gouache does not become waterproof when dry so needs mounting and framing under glass in the same way as you would with watercolour. The advantage of this is that the paint can be re-activated by dampening, allowing for more subtle blending techniques.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the special Summer issue of Leisure Painter. From step-by-step demonstrations to help you paint landscapes, seascapes, animals, gardens and flowers with more confidence to beginner's guides to gouache and watercolour pencils, there's something for everyone in this month's issue. Learn how delicate washes of translucent watercolours can help you paint white flowers on white paper; and how to paint buildings and urban scenes quickly and effectively. There's practical advice to help you develop your composition and colour-mixing skills, and an opportunity to paint a beautiful rural coastal scene in pastel. Make the most of your painting time with this issue of Leisure Painter.