I admit I have become lazy because I used to do all my coloring digitally. I have envied friends and people I follow because they use paint, mainly watercolors, so gracefully. I enjoy working with paper and traditional materials, but I use mostly inks and brush pens. So when I tried watercolors for the first time, I got really frustrated because I could not get the effects I intended. They came out too transparent and watery (duh!), and I hated that. I wanted my paintings to come out solid and opaque, which kind of meant that acrylics were better for me, but I hate the glossy finish.
Then I started observing my idols closely and found that most of them use gouache. I got intrigued and decided to do more research. Gouache is a water-based paint that is opaque and dries matte. People say it's like a cross between watercolor and acrylic. There are two types: the first one is "real" gouache which is sort of the opaque sister of watercolor. It uses the same binder as watercolor but is loaded with more pigment (the reason why it dries as a solid block of color), making its consistency thicker/creamier than watercolors. It can be reactivated with water. The second type is acrylic gouache, which is basically acrylic paint but instead of the usual glossy finish, it dries matte. It uses a resin binder, so it cannot be reactivated once dried.
Gouache is not so popular locally because it has the reputation of only being used by manga artists, product designers, and illustrators. It doesn't lend itself well to the current impressionistic floral and portrait painting trend because of its opacity. But I like opaque, so I dug a little deeper and tried all the gouache paints I can get my hands on. In the coming weeks I will be posting a review of paints I use.
Note: I am kind of a spendthrift so the thought of buying materials just to try them out don't really sound practical for me, but what I do most of the time is just get five (5) colors per brand I want to try: Magenta, Cyan, Yellow, Black and White. I use a CMY primary palette because it produces brighter colors than the more common RYB primaries. Since this is also my first time taking a medium seriously, I wanted to learn more about mixing colors and achieving my desired paint consistency and stuff like that. Primary palettes are not for everyone, but I find the process of color mixing fun so I've accumulated several CMY tubes. Eventually I think I'll get individual tubes of colors I use the most.
Next week I will write about the student grade gouache brands I've tried. I'll post about their textures, the color payoff, and my favorite colors from the sets.