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Artist Paint Medium - GouacheGouache painting technique in which a gum or an opaque white pigment is added to watercolors to produce opacity. In watercolor the tiny particles of pigment become enmeshed in the fiber of the paper; in gouache the color lies on the surface of the paper, forming a continuous layer, or coating. A gouache is characterized by a directly reflecting brilliance. When applied with bristle brushes it is possible to achieve a slight but effective impasto (thick-coated) quality; with sable brushes, a smooth, flawless color field is obtained.
A painting technique of great antiquity, gouache was used by the Egyptians. It was a popular medium with Rococo artists such as Francois Boucher (1703 to 1770). Contemporary painters use gouache alone or in combination with watercolor and other mediums.
Gouache is opaque watercolor, known also as poster paint and designer's color. It is thinned with water for applying, with sable- and hog-hair brushes, to white or tinted paper and card and, occasionally, to silk. Honey, starch, or acrylic is sometimes added to retard its quick-drying property. Liquid glue is preferred as a thinner by painters wishing to retain the tonality of colors (which otherwise dry slightly lighter in key) and to prevent thick paint from flaking. Gouache paints have the advantages that they dry out almost immediately to a mat finish and, if required, without visible brush marks. These qualities, with the capacities to be washed thinly or applied in thick impasto and a wide color range that now includes fluorescent and metallic pigments, make the medium particularly suited to preparatory studies for oil and acrylic paintings.
It is the medium that produces the suede finish and crisp lines characteristic of many Indian and Islamic miniatures, and it has been used in Western screen and fan decoration and by modern artists such as Rouault, Klee, Dubuffet, and Morris Graves.
"gouache." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/239931/gouache>.
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