How to Blend Gouache

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Learn how to blend gouache. Painting with gouache is fun, but blending can be tricky. Get my tips for blending gouache.

You might also like these other gouache tutorials.

tubes of gouache and color gradient swatches

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Tips for Blending Gouache

  • Gouache reactivates when wet, so be careful when you add layers.
  • Colors can vary when gouache dries, so let the color dry completely before deciding if it’s right. This will help you avoid overworking the paint.
  • Instead of trying to blend 2 colors that aren’t right beside each other, make mixtures of the shades as well. (For example, rather than trying to blend yellow into blue, mix several shades of green. blended gouache gradient from yellow to blue
  • Paint the darkest and lightest spots first, then add the middle tones.
  • Be gentle with your paintbrush to avoid overworking the paint.
  • Don’t use too much water. This helps to avoid reactivating the previous layers.
  • You may find that you prefer layering gouache, rather than perfectly blending colors and that’s okay. Gouache looks great when used like this.
gouache and paint swatches

How to Blend Gouache

Supplies Needed:

For this tutorial, I used mainly Holbein gouache and Winsor and Newton gouache. (If you use acrylic gouache, it’s a bit easier to blend and you don’t have to worry about reactivating dry layers.

I like using watercolor paper, but you can also use other papers with gouache like bristol board or mixed media paper if you want a smoother paper.


  1. Paint your first layer if needed.
  2. Mix the shades of paint that you need to blend the colors.
  3. Add the dark and light painted with gouache in dark and light tones
  4. Add the midtones. pink circle painted with gouache
  5. Blend the colors with a damp brush. pink circle
  6. If you don’t like the results, let it dry and try again. Since gouache is opaque, it’s fine to paint over an ugly layer. (Just don’t use too much water or the bottom layer of paint will reactivate.)
  7. If desired, add white highlights to the lightest pink circle painted with gouache

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tubes of gouache paint and blended samples

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