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How to paint faces with gouache

Hello friends! Vanessa here for this first post of the new Season and of the new Get Messy 2017 Creative Team. It is such an honour to be back. I am very proud to be a part of this community that gives so much and from which I receive so much. So, Art 101. This first week is all about watercolours or a least water activated paint. In my tutorial, we will explore gouache. What is gouache exactly? It’s basically an opaque watercolour. Gouache is tricky because it reacts like watercolour but you use it like acrylic paint. I am in no way an expert but take a look at my video below to learn the rudiments of gouache. You will find all the links mentioned in the video at the end of this post.

Welcome to Gouache 101!

Links mentioned in the video:

Oh My Gouache class

Get Messians who use gouache (I’m sure there are many more, please add your links in the comments!):

Other amazing gouache artists:

Check them out and get inspired! As for me, I am very excited to see all the beautiful faces you will make!

Vanessa

Vanessa is an archaeologist and an artist. She oscillates between these two poles of her personality and explores the many iterations of her reality in her art journal. She loves to share her art and process with others.

21 Comments

  1. Pamela Rideout-Smith

    I really enjoyed this tutorial, Vanessa. I’ve just started to experiment with watercolour and gouache and I find it so different than acrylic. I love how quickly it dries. Thanks for all your tips!

    Reply
    • Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

      Pam, it is such a treat to see you here! Gouache has definitely a steeper learning curve and watercolours are not as forgiving as acrylics.But, knowing you, you’ll find your groove very quickly! xo

      Reply
  2. Elizabeth D.

    Thanks, Vanessa! I love playing with gouache and cannot wait to work up some faces this evening — you’ve inspired me, as always. xx E.

    Reply
    • Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

      Ms Elizabeth, your gouache chairs are so good, I have no doubt your faces will be amazing.

      Reply
  3. Sasha Zinevych

    Loved this tutorial! Your voice is so soothing! <3 I don't have gouache? but I will give it a try with watercolors and acrylics! ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.S. Did I hear Mother of Dragons' mighty meow at some point ofthe tutorial? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply
    • Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

      Quite possibly! She loves to hang around my art space. Gouache is expensive, so it’s a good idea to explore with what you have first ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  4. Lea

    I have not heard of gouache before. It was lovely to hear your voice after following your work on IG for quite awhile! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

    Reply
    • Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

      Thanks Lea! It’s always so weird to hear one’s own voice ha! Gouache is fun but challenging, so you may want to experiment with supplies you have on hand first.

      Reply
  5. Eleanor McComb

    YAY!! I LOVE gouache! It is one of my favourite things to paint with these days ๐Ÿ™‚ I use it for the majority of my illustration work. So nice to have a video tutorial!

    Reply
  6. Laura Rahuba

    I’m new to gouache, and have an inexpensive ArtistsLoft set (from Michaels). The only thing I’ve used them for so far was just to add strokes of color to the background page. I enjoyed watching you create simple faces, and now feel inspired to try that myself. I have a group photo of 4 people, each with a different skin tone, that I want to recreate in paint. I think it will be a fun challenge to mix the colors in attempt to match the 4 different complexions!

    Reply
  7. Sarah Maddox

    I’ve just bought some gouache. Can’t wait till try this

    Reply
  8. Melody Willoughby

    I purchased gouache but have not really used it. This is just what I needed to get started. Thanks sweet girl!

    Reply
  9. Kate

    I just fell in love with gouache when I tried it at first! It is true that every brand is a little bit different and you need to try different gouache brands before figuring out how it works and what you actually like. Such a great tutorial Vanessa!!!

    Reply
  10. Anna Oliveira

    I confess that I didn’t know that gouache mix with water for painting. ๐Ÿ˜ก
    It was nice to see the tutorial. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, Vanessa!

    Reply
  11. Krisy Podolak

    Gouache…I didn’t think I needed these. Now I think I do.

    Reply
  12. Emily@squiggleandswirl

    I’ve just filled a page with faces and I’m commenting before I do some more. Thanks Vanessa for the inspiration and some great ideas to try. I do love my gouache paints!

    Reply
  13. julia Thomas

    100% made me look sharp when you said my name! Thanks for letting me explore this medium with you

    Reply
  14. Cheryl Angelini

    I’m painting watercolor faces right now. Thanks for pushing me way out of my comfort zone !

    Reply
  15. Sophie Bourdages

    Super ton tutoriel Vanessa ! J’ai seulement un tube de gouache sous la main mais tu m’as convaincue de pousser l’exploration plus loin ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply
  16. Jenn Henrichs

    Thank you for the tutorial Vanessa. I recently bought a couple of gouache tubes for my birthday. I’ll be experimenting soon. Thanks for the great tips!

    Reply

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