Gouache and watercolor are two of the most popular water-soluble pigments and binders. And for beginners, it can be a little tricky to tell the two apart.
Gouache vs Watercolor: in a Nutshell
Despite their similarities, gouache and watercolor have very distinct differences that any aspiring painter (or hobbyist) should know about.
|Opaque and has a matte finish||Transparent and fluid|
|Contains more pigmentation||Tends to seep into other colors|
|Dries quicker||Easier to blend|
|Can be used on many types of paper||Harder to fix mistakes/errors|
|Easier to cover up mistakes/errors||Requires a specific type of paper|
|Is tougher to learn how to use and control||Takes longer to dry|
|Tougher to blend||It’s inexpensive and easy to find|
|Can be a little more expensive than watercolor||Requires the use of softer brushes that hold a lot of water|
|Can be used with more brittle or hard brushes||You use more water to create lighter colors|
|You use white paint to lighten colors||Watercolor pigment particles are smaller|
- They are both waterbased paints, made of similar materials and pigments
- They require similar preparation and clean up
- They both can be bought in tubes
- Both need plenty of practice and diligence to master
Let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities between gouache and watercolor, and find out how each medium can be applied.