What is Gouache?

Compared to watercolours, gouache colours are opaque watercolours and are among the oldest cultural colours in the world. After drying, all gouache colours can be rewetted with water and still used on absorbent and non-absorbent painting grounds, such as paper, card, canvas, etc. The particular attraction of gouache is the surface effect. The light depth that appears transparent when wet, smooths when it is dry into a surface that is similar to the effect of a pastel painting. 

The Schmincke Gouache range consists of  

  • HKS® Designers' Gouache,  
  • the speciality Calligraphy Gouache  
  • and AKADEMIE® Gouache for beginners and more frequent users.


  • Gouache dries relatively quickly and can be worked quickly when using “wet-on-wet painting”.
  • When painting with gouache, a white base as well as grey or coloured grounds are recommended because they influence the final colour effect of the painting.