Gouache in an Altered Book


Gouache paints are opaque watercolor paints. They are sometimes known as bodycolor.

Unlike regular watercolors, you can apply this creamy-textured paint in solid colors -- working in layers from dark to light. When dry, it has a matte finish. It is usually applied with watercolor brushes.

Pigments provide the color. The vehicle is a combination of Gum Arabic and the water that you add when you paint. The binder is the gum in combination with the top layer of the paper. The more commonly used acrylic product contains an acrylic polymer binder. However, it closely resembles the real thing.

Altered book artists sometimes use this paint to create special effects. Since any water-based paint, including this one, will increase buckling and warping, the preferred method is to create background papers. When the papers are dry, glue them (or use the xyron) to the book page.

Brand names include Holbein Artists, Winsor & Newton, Pelikan, Reeves, Savoir Faire French School, Daler-Rowney, Linel, and Jo Sonja (acrylic).

MisterArt.com sells many types of this paint, as does Dick Blick.

Color Mixing Bible: All You'll Ever Need to Know About Mixing Pigments in Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache, Soft Pastel, Pencil, and Ink

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