Watercolor vs Gouache: Which Paint Medium Reigns Supreme?

By: btvxz


Watercolor and gouache are two popular paint mediums known for their distinct characteristics. While watercolor is a transparent medium, gouache is opaque. Choosing the right medium can be challenging, especially for beginners. In this article, we will compare and contrast watercolor and gouache to help you decide which paint medium reigns supreme.


1. Watercolor is a transparent medium that uses water as a base

2. It dries quickly and can be used to create delicate washes

3. The colors are bright and vivid but can fade over time if not stored properly

4. It’s best used on paper or when you want the white of the paper to show through


1. Gouache is an opaque paint that uses pigment mixed with white pigment

2. It dries slower than watercolor but can be reworked more easily

3. The colors are more vibrant than watercolor, and it’s often used in illustration work as it’s perfect for creating flat color shapes

4. Gouache works well on paper, canvas, or board


Both watercolors and gouaches have their strengths and weaknesses depending on your personal preference and artwork style which you wish to create; however, if you prefer a more traditional painting experience with transparent layers, then opt for watercolors while if you prefer an opaque finish with brilliant hues that allow for easy corrections, then gouaches should be your choice of paint medium reigns supreme. Ultimately it depends on what suits your needs best!

Gouache vs watercolor: think differently for a successful painting
In this video I paint the same image twice – once with watercolor, and once with gouache. The mediums are essentially the same, but they behave differently. I explain the difference, and discuss how that affects your approach to the painting process so we can compare gouache vs watercolor. 0:00 introduction 1:00 drawing for gouache and …

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