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15 Bold and Creative Gouache Painting Ideas | Big or Go Home

Get ready to be a "gouache" boss with these funky and bold gouache painting ideas! Unleash your inner artist and dominate the art game with this tutorial to make your gouache painting stand out. This is your ticket to be the master of all gouache ceremonies.

Gouache Painting Ideas

Get ready to "gouache" out with these wild and wacky gouache painting ideas! From bold hues to funky designs, these gouache techniques will take your art game to the next level.

Warning: These gouache painting ideas may cause excessive creativity, wild color combinations, and bouts of laughter. So grab your paintbrushes, put on your favorite playlist, and let's dive into the world of Gouache art!

Gouache: The Hidden Gem of Painting

Are you tired of that same old watercolor painting? Feeling jaded by acrylics? Look no further, my friend, because I'm here to introduce you to the underdog of the art world - gouache painting!

What's gouache, you ask? Well, it's like opaque watercolor, but better. Originating in France in the 18th century, gouache is an opaque water-based paint that's highly pigmented and produces a matte finish. It's like the rebellious teenager of the paint world - colorful, bold, and unapologetic.

And if you thought drawing with gouache was limited to just boring old landscape paintings or painting portraits, think again! I've got a plethora of creative and fun gouache painting ideas up my sleeve, from illustrative landscapes to potted plants, from cloudy skies to the night sky, and from skin tones to still life. Trust me; there's no limit to what you can create with this highly forgiving medium.

Gouache is like the Swiss Army knife of paints. It can be mixed with watercolor paint or acrylic paint, used on watercolor paper or canvas, and even mixed with other mediums for a mixed-media masterpiece.

Many artists agree that gouache is an excellent medium for fun creating and experimenting with vibrant colors, mixed media, and even see-through techniques. And don't worry about making mistakes - gouache is a very forgiving medium, so you can layer, blend, and fix any tiny details to your heart's content.

So, why not give gouache painting a try? With its endless source of inspiration and different techniques to explore, you'll be creating your own work of art in no time.

Gouache Painting Ideas that will "Paint-spire" You


Let's get gouache-ing with these fun and funky gouache painting ideas.

Gouache Painting with a Twist

Welcome to 'Gouache with a Twist,' where we'll take this classic medium and give it a fresh spin with the coolest gouache painting ideas!

1. Gouache of Thrones

Gouache of Thrones

Create an illustration inspired by your favorite fantasy or sci-fi series, using gouache to bring the characters and landscapes to life. Imagine the "Game of Thrones" characters as different types of fruit or "The Office" cast as different types of office supplies.

2. Gouache in Disguise

Gouache in Disguise

Use gouache to sketch a portrait of your pet or a bird but with the twist that they are dressed up in a ridiculous costume. Maybe your dog is wearing a top hat, carrying a plastic bag and monocle, or your cat is wearing a tutu, a fish eye, or ballet slippers.

3. Sinisterly Sweet Gouache Delight

Sinisterly Sweet Gouache Delight

Use gouache pigment to create a series of food portraits, but make them all look a little bit sinister. For example, you could paint a doughnut with sharp teeth or a cupcake with devil horns.

4. Bob Ross Goes Rogue

Bob Ross Goes Rogue

Take a page from famous illustrator Bob Ross and try sketching a "happy little tree" in the middle of an unexpected location, like a busy city street or a crowded concert venue.

5. Pun-tastic Art

Pun-tastic Art

Create a series of paintings inspired by your favorite puns. For example, you could paint a portrait of a banana wearing a crown leaf and call it "A-Peel-ing Majesty."

Remember, in art and in life, it's the unexpected twists that make things interesting. Keep on gouache-ing with these gouache painting ideas.

Gouache Memoirs

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a gouache design can capture a memory in ways words never could. 

Take a stroll down memory lane with 'Gouache Memoirs' and paint your fondest memories with the vibrant colors of gouache.

6. Gouache Travelogue

Gouache Travelogue

Create a travel journal of gouache paintings inspired by your travels. Capture the essence of the places you go to by painting outdoors. Or paint the places you've been to and bring your memories to life on the canvas. You can also paint a scene inspired by a place you have always wanted to visit.

7. Gouache of Love

Gouache of Love

Paint a portrait of a loved one using gouache, adding elements that are personal to them, such as their favorite flowers or a beloved pet. Have fun with it by adding accessories like glasses, hats, or even a bow tie.

8. Gouache Paint Symphony

Gouache Paint Symphony

Create a series of gouache paintings inspired by your favorite songs or albums, or news. Let the music guide your color choices and compositions.

9. Gouache Childhood Nostalgia

Gouache Childhood Nostalgia

Bring back memories of your childhood with a series of gouache paintings inspired by your favorite toys, games, or cartoons. Paint a scene from your favorite childhood movie or a still life featuring your beloved stuffed animals.

Your gouache memoirs are a true reflection of who you are and the memories that matter most. Keep creating and cherishing those precious moments!

Gouache Painting Timeless Treasures

Do you remember the last time you were mesmerized by the beauty of nature or felt a rush of nostalgia from your favorite childhood memory? Well, get ready to bring those feelings to life with Gouache Timeless Treasures.

10. Gouache Floral Fantasia

Gouache Floral Fantasia

Create a series of gouache paintings inspired by the beauty of nature. Paint intricate floral patterns, lush green landscapes, or even a shadow of serene sunset over the ocean. Use gouache's versatility to bring your nature-inspired visions to life.

11. Gouache Culinary Chronicles

Gouache Culinary Chronicles

Use gouache to create a visual diary of your culinary adventures. Paint your favorite dishes, ingredients, kitchen tools, or even a colorful farmer's market scene. Use gouache's bright colors and your skill to bring some food memories to life.

12. Gouache Starry Nights

Gouache Starry Nights

Paint a night sky with gouache featuring your favorite constellations, stars, space, and celestial bodies. Experiment with different color schemes and brush techniques to create a dazzling and dreamy composition.

With Gouache Timeless Treasures, you'll create not only beautiful works of art but also relive cherished memories and discover new inspirations that will last a lifetime.

"Gouache"-y Creations

Are you tired of painting the same old things? Say no more! Get ready to create some 'gouache'-y masterpieces that will blow your mind.

13. "Gouache"-y Abstract Art

"Gouache"-y Abstract Art

Get experimental and let your imagination run wild with bold strokes, daring colors, and dynamic shapes. Don't be afraid to mix and match different textures and techniques to create a unique visual experience.

14. Gouache Impressionism

Gouache Impressionism

Paint a landscape or still life in a loose, impressionistic style using gouache. Use thick brushstrokes and vibrant colors to capture the essence of the scene rather than creating a detailed representation. Or create a whimsical underwater scene with bright, vibrant colors. Add in some sea creatures like octopuses, starfish, and colorful fish on a marine plant.

15. Once Upon a Gouache

Once Upon a Gouache

Paint a scene from your favorite fairy tale or fable, but give it a modern twist. Maybe Little Red Riding Hood is texting on her phone, or the Three Little Pigs are living in a high-rise apartment building.

Get ready to mix things up and let your imagination run wild with these fun and funky gouache painting ideas!

Gouache-ful Techniques: Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Art

If you're new to gouache, don't be intimidated. Think of it like Watercolor's cool cousin who wears leather jackets and drinks coffee at all hours of the day. It's water-soluble, like watercolor, but it's opaque, like acrylics. And with gouache, you can create a range of effects from smooth and velvety to textured and gritty.

One of my favorite gouache painting techniques is to use it as a base layer for mixed media pieces. It's like a trusty sidekick that sets the stage for other art supplies to shine. But be warned, once you start painting by mixing gouache with other mediums, you may never go back to single-medium art.

Another way to create interesting textures with gouache is to experiment with water and salt. This technique involves sprinkling salt onto a wet gouache surface, and as it dries, it creates a beautiful texture that can resemble natural surfaces such as rock or sand. It's a fun and easy way to add depth and interest to your gouache painting.

If you want to get your creative juices flowing and mix things up a bit, try mixing gouache paint on a mixing palette or even on your painting surface to create custom colors. Gouache is like the chameleon of paints, and it's great for color mixing because it's opaque, so you can create a range of colors from just a few tubes of paint. Plus, who doesn't love a little DIY color action?

Now, when it comes to layering gouache, slow and steady wins the race. Don't rush to add more layers until the previous layer has dried completely. Otherwise, you'll end up with colors blending together and getting muddy, and no one wants that. So, exercise a little patience, let those layers dry, and your gouache will shine like a star. Remember, don't get discouraged if your first layer doesn't turn out the way you want it to. 

When it comes to paper, you'll want to use thick, absorbent paper like watercolor paper. This will help prevent the paint from bleeding or smudging and keep your artwork looking sharp.

If you're into the fine details and like to add some pizzazz to your artwork, use a small brush and thin down the gouache with water to create a more fluid consistency. This will give you more control and allow you to create those tiny details that really make your artwork pop. And, if you're into realistic subjects like portraits, gouache can be a fantastic underpainting and base layer, while oil paint is great for adding depth and detail. It's like a match made in heaven.

Lastly, if you want some inspiration and want to see how other artists use gouache to create unique styles and effects, check out some YouTube videos of James Gurney. He's a master of the medium and will leave you in awe of what can be accomplished with gouache.

Gouache Painting FAQs

  • How do I get started with gouache paint?

    To begin, choose a few colors of gouache paint and mix them on a palette to create a color palette. Then, wet your brush and add a few drops of water and gum arabic to the paint to thin it out. Start painting thin layers of color onto the paper surface, building up the image gradually.

  • What are some basic gouache techniques?

    Some basic techniques for using gouache paint include wet-on-wet painting, dry brushing, and layering. 

  • How do I achieve a smooth, even wash with gouache paint?

    To achieve a smooth, even wash with gouache paint, start by mixing the desired color on a palette. Apply the paint to the watercolor paper in a single, even stroke using a large brush. Work quickly to cover the desired area before the paint dries. If the paint is too thick or the brush is too dry, the wash may appear streaky or uneven.

  • How do I create texture and depth in my gouache paintings?

    To create texture and depth in your gouache paintings, experiment with different brushstrokes and layering techniques. Dry brushing can create a textured effect while layering can build up depth and dimension in the painting. You can also add details and highlights with a fine brush or by lifting paint with a damp brush or paper towel.

  • How do I layer colors with gouache paint?

    To layer colors with gouache paint, start with a base layer of paint and allow it to dry completely. Then, mix a new color on a palette and apply it on top of the base layer, allowing some of the underlying color to show through. Repeat this process with additional layers of paint, building up the colors and allowing each layer to dry completely before adding the next.

  • How do I fix mistakes in my gouache painting?

    To fix mistakes in your gouache painting, wait for the paint to dry completely and then use a damp brush or paper towel to lift the unwanted paint from the surface. You can also use a palette knife to scrape off any excess paint. If necessary, you can repaint the area once it is dry.

  • What are some tips for creating a successful gouache painting?

    Some tips for creating a successful gouache painting include using high-quality art supplies, experimenting with different techniques, and planning out the composition before starting the painting. It is also helpful to work in thin layers and to let each layer dry completely before adding the next.

  • How do I properly store and care for my gouache paints and brushes?

    To properly store and care for your gouache paints and brushes, keep them in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Clean your brushes thoroughly after each use and store them in a brush holder or lying flat.

  • How do I know when my painting is finished?

    Knowing when a painting is finished is a matter of personal preference and artistic vision. However, you can look for signs that your painting is complete, such as a balanced composition, a clear focal point, and a sense of harmony in color and tone. Take breaks and step back from your painting to assess it from a distance. You may also want to ask for feedback from other artists or trusted friends.

  • How do I continue to improve my gouache skills over time?

    Practice is key when it comes to improving your gouache skills. Set aside regular time to paint and experiment with new techniques. Take classes or workshops to learn from other artists and get feedback on your work. Study the works of famous gouache painters and try to replicate their techniques.

  • Are there any famous artists who have worked with gouache paint, and what can I learn from their work?

    Many artists throughout history have worked with gouache paint, including Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, and Henri Matisse. By studying their works, you can learn about the versatility and unique qualities of gouache paint, as well as different techniques for using it. You can also gain insight into their artistic styles and creative processes.

  • Parting Thoughts 

    You've just scratched the surface of the infinite possibilities that gouache paints have to offer. Congratulations, you're now a certified gouache expert! Well, maybe not quite, but you've got some seriously cool gouache painting ideas and techniques to play around with. 

    It's now time to take those gouache paints and start creating some seriously stunning works of art. With all these amazing gouache painting ideas and techniques at your fingertips, you're sure to have a blast painting with gouache. 

    With a little creativity and some quality art supplies, you can create your own artwork that showcases your unique style and personality. 

    With gouache, the possibilities are endless, and who knows, maybe one day you'll have your own gallery exhibition showcasing your vibrant and unique artworks. Just remember to sign me up for the opening night champagne!