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P.O. Box 1255

Rockwall, TX 75087

Workshop on March 20th

Noted for its strengths of opacity and brilliance of color, gouache (pronounced gwäsh) is a versatile water medium and it adapts well for still life or creating luminous landscapes. Miriam will cover the very unique handling properties of this under-utilized medium. It is more forgiving than watercolor but still requires finesse whether it is handled transparently or very opaquely.

Marian Hirsch Gouache Workshop

  • Gouache Supply List

    Materials are available through local stores, such as Asel Art Supply, as well as mail order art suppliers. Please feel free to contact me should you need assistance or clarification in making your material choices.

    Paint: See chart that follows

    I am recommending Winsor Newton Designers Gouache brand paint for the class. These paints are readily available, have a consistent paint quality and are reasonably priced. Working with Gouache requires fresh paint for each painting session - I want you to get in the habit of preparing a fresh palette of paint and I do not want you concerned about the cost of that paint. You learn by using the paint, and painting a lot. I have also avoided the dye based colors. These have a tendency to bleed up into subsequent paint layers and they do not have the permanency rating for durable fine art applications. I will cover the pros and cons of other brands of paint in class. You want tube colors and not jars – which have too much liquid. Do not purchase Acrylic or Acryl gouache as it handles quite differently.


    I like a lidded white ABS plastic watercolor palette (Mijello Fusion Air Tight palette or John Pike type) for use ONLY with the gouache. The gouache will stain/ scratch these but the convenience of being able to spray a little water on the lid and close up the paint while you take a break outweighs the discoloration. Other artists use an enamel butchers tray, white ceramic dinner plate or a white lasagna dish. Good sized wells and large mixing area should be your guide for selection.


    Save your sables. Gouache paint takes a toll on natural hair brushes. I now use the Princeton Brush Lauren Series ,#4350R rounds in various sizes but the 6 and 10 seem to be the most frequently used. I have found the white sables to be a bit soft, so the synthetic blends which are stiffer are a better choice. You want something with some spring to it. A one inch flat wash is handy if you have one. Acrylic bristle brushes work well for scumbled techniques. These selections are a guide for you. Your own personal feel for the medium will dictate the kind of brushes you end up using. If you want to limit your costs, one large round and one small round will suffice for the class.


    A 9x12 pad of the Strathmore CP Watercolor, Series 400 is a great economical choice. Small size sheets of watercolor paper -140lb.cold press or some Strathmore series 500 bristol, medium vellum surface are more quality choices. Have at least 8 x 10 inch sizes and at least 5 pieces of paper. We will be doing a series of exercises so the exact size is not critical, but you will want plenty to work on. The goal is to get you used to handling the paint with the correct moisture content.

    Misc: Water container

    Spray water bottle

    Something to take notes with

    Pencil/ Kneaded eraser

    Tissues or paper towels

    Tape (masking or artists tape

    Stiff board to attach your paper

    Source material for a subject to paint – keep it simple. Whether a small still life, landscape or flower the key is bigger shapes and an uncomplicated composition.

    White: Permanent White (Winsor Newton) Not Titanium or Zinc as they handle differently. You will find that you will use a lot of white but may want to wait to buy the bigger tube. Colors: Use your judgement. If you just want to try gouache to see if you like it, then go with the Minimum. If you think you will want to explore the medium thoroughly, the Basic selection is a great place to start. You may wish to wait on purchasing all of the Full Spectrum, as I will talk about other brands in class and why I use them along with the W&N brand.