I recently created a gouache palette by mixing white paint with my tube watercolor paints. Initially, it was my intent just to use the paints to add small opaque details to watercolor pieces. Then, after creating the mixes, I decided to try my hand at larger pieces to get a feel for it.

My first painting turned out ok, but it looks a bit flat (and a little clumsy) to me. I am really happy with how the colors wok together and it was informative to pair a watercolor (background) with gouache (foreground). With this piece, I started to get a feel for how the paints mix on the paper, especially when it’s still wet.

I enjoyed my second one much more. I let layers dry thoroughly when I wanted to make sure the brush strokes would stay distinct and paid attention to balancing the watercolor (background) with the gouache (foreground).

Gouache underwater scene painting

I did a third design mixing a watercolor background with gouache overlay in pink tones and pink and green illustrative details (seaweed). This one brought my attention even more to the difference in visual weight between watercolor and gouache. Watercolor has a light, delicate quality because it is applied in thin layers. Gouache, on the other hand, uses more paint, so it has a visual weight that contrasts with the watercolor, especially when used together.

I’m looking forward to playing more.

More on how I created my gouache palette:

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