All About Acrylic Gouache

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Curious about acrylic gouache? Learn all about it and how it’s different from traditional gouache.

Get more gouache tutorials here.

tubes of acrylic gouache

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All About Acrylic Gouache

Besides watercolor, acrylic gouache is my favorite paint to work with. If you’ve tried traditional gouache and had a hard time, acrylic gouache might be for you.

I find that it’s much easier to work with and I love the consistency.

tubes of gouache

What is Acrylic Gouache?

Acrylic gouache is an opaque paint with a matte finish. It’s a combination of acrylic paint and gouache.

Acrylic gouache is also called “acryla gouache” or “acryl gouache” by some brands.

Technically, acrylic gouache is more similar to acrylic paint than to traditional gouache.

Acrylic gouache is made with an emulsion-based binder instead of the gum arabic binder that traditional gouache is made with.

Like acrylic paint and gouache, acrylic gouache is water-based and can be cleaned with water and soap.

It can be diluted with water to create a transparent wash similar to watercolor paint.

Learn more about the differences between gouache and acrylic paint here.

Acrylic gouache can be used with watercolors, traditional gouache, acrylic paints, and more. I love using it with colored pencils and ink too.

Acrylic Gouache VS Traditional Gouache

tubes of pink gouache

Acrylic gouache is like traditional gouache except that it is permanent when it dries. It still has the beautiful matte finish that gouache has but it doesn’t reactivate when it’s wet.

Since this paint is waterproof, this makes layering so much easier.

Acrylic gouache paint is a little creamier to work with than regular gouache. When you’re painting, you need less water.

swatches of teal paint on paper

I use the Holbein brand and I find that the color range is better as well. They have a lot of beautiful muted colors that are so fun to work with.

I find that acrylic gouache has even fewer brushstrokes than traditional gouache.

Acrylic gouache takes a little longer to dry than traditional gouache. This will depend on where you live and how much water you use.

Acrylic gouache can be used on the same paper types as traditional gouache. I mainly use it on watercolor paper though.

Acrylic Gouache VS Acrylic Paints

tube of magenta acrylic gouache and acrylic paint

Acrylic gouache is waterproof and cannot be reactivated with water, so it cannot be dried in pans. If it dries on your palette, it’s unusable.

Like acrylic paint, you can layer light colors over dark colors because it’s an opaque medium.

Unlike acrylic paint, acrylic gouache has a velvety matte finish instead of a glossy finish like acrylic paint.

What Are Some Good Brands of Acrylic Gouache

Holbein Acryla Gouache is the most popular brand of acrylic gouache. It comes in a variety of colors.

This is the brand that I use and love. They have a ton of bright colors as well as muted colors.

pile of gouache paint tubes

Liquitex Acrylic gouache is another popular brand, but I’ve never used it. I’ve heard good things about it though.

Turner Acryl gouache is another brand that I haven’t used. I’m obsessed with the Japanesque colors.

Tips for Using Acrylic Gouache

  • Since acrylic gouache doesn’t reactivate, squeeze out small amounts of paint at a time to avoid wasting paint when it dries and becomes unusable.
  • Since gouache is opaque, you can work light to dark or dark to light.
  • The paints can be blended and mixed just like regular gouache.
  • Acrylic gouache dries to a darker color, so be sure to swatch colors as you paint.
  • Don’t use expensive watercolor brushes with acrylic gouache. It takes longer to clean acrylic gouache out of brushes so I wouldn’t risk ruining your expensive brushes with it.
  • Clean your brushes with a brush cleaner to make sure that you get all of the paint out of the bristles. If paint dries in the bristles, your paintbrush will be ruined. cleaning paint brush with brush cleaner
  • Since acrylic gouache cannot be reactivated once it’s dry, mixing should be done on a surface than can be scraped like a flat palette or disposible palette paper.

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tubes of acrylic gouache

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