Gouache is a beautiful, water-based artist paint, similar to acrylic or an opaque watercolor. It's completely intermixable with watercolors. Learn how to make your own natural gouache paint below!
- Earth & Mineral Pigments
- Gum Arabic Powder
- Natural Impasto Medium (limestone powder)
- Honey (for a vegan version, use glycerin)
- Optional: clove or thyme essential oil (mild preservatives)
Part 1: Creating the Gouache Base
Step 1: Mix 6 Tbsp. hot water with 3 Tbsp. Gum Arabic Powder - mix until dissolved
Step 2: Add 2 Tbsp. honey or glycerin to the water and gum arabic mixture and mix until dissolved. At this stage, if you choose to use a preservative, add two drops of clove or thyme essential oil to help preserve your gouache paint.
Part 2: Create the Pigment & Limestone Mixture
Note: Play around with these proportions - some artists use 1 part pigment:1 part impasto medium: 1 part gouache base - there are many versions of this recipe
Part 3: Create the Gouache Paint
Step 6: Mix one part gouache base with one part pigment and limestone mixture. For example, mix 1 tablespoon of base and 1 tablespoon of the pigment and limestone mixture. Adjust the ratio as needed; as all pigments absorb binder differently, you may need to experiment to achieve the desired paint texture.
Step 7: Paint away!
Storage: Store the gouache paint in airtight jar or aluminum tube. Refrigerate to prolong the paint's shelf life but it should store indefinitely in a cool dark place. If it dries out, just add a little water and mix well to reinvigorate it.