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The Joy of Gouache!

People who took a foundation year colour theory course at OCA in the eighties will possibly remember the nerve-wracking job of trying to paint with gouache. I recall the daunting challenge of trying to hand-paint colour wheels and charts with this unruly medium. Later there was one of those sadistic teachers who enjoyed reducing sensitive young students to tears with his merciless critiques who always assigned a big travel poster in the hated medium as a year-end project. Anyone with any residual fondness for gouache traditionally had it squashed dead at this point.

And yet… The outrageously rich colour! The pleasingly chalky finish! I paint with Dr. Ph. Martin’s watercolour dyes most of the time, using a bit of gouache for highlights and texture. But once in a while I love to get out the gouache paint and just mess around. Watering it down and using it like watercolour can reduce the challenge of gouache but the medium I believe is meant to be used opaque.

These gouaches were done a while ago purely for my own pleasure and, rare for me, no sketching or planning. Got to do up some more o’ those gouache paintings!

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