Oh My Gouache!

An Introduction to Watercolor’s Sister Medium.
a workshop with Robert Leedy
February 28th thru April 4th, 2019

Materials List

Important Note: For those of you who are watercolor painters, you can bring your watercolor paints and palette to work in a mixed media mode though it is very important that you use a separate palette for gouache paints as the gouache will contaminate (interfere with transparency of) watercolors. Though not as crucial, I also recommend using separate brushes for gouache. Mark you gouache brushes with a bit of spray paint on the end of the handle to designate it as a non-watercolor brush. If you do not own watercolor supplies, do not worry about purchasing them - you can get by without.

It is very important to purchase Designer or Artist Series gouache pigments. Acrylic gouache which is very prevalent in gouache sets WILL NOT WORK as it is basically plastic and once dry, it will not reactivate. I like Winsor & Newton. Below are recommended colors. The first twelve are essential and the next 12 are optional. Also, feel free to use any gouache pigments you already own.

  1. Lemon Yellow

  2. Cadmium Yellow

  3. Yellow Ochre

  4. Cadmium Scarlet, Flame Red, or Cadmium Red

  5. Magenta, Permanent Magenta or Quinacridone Rose

  6. Ultramarine Blue

  7. Cobalt Blue

  8. Cerulean Blue

  9. Viridian or Permanent Green Deep

  10. Burnt Sienna

  11. Burnt Umber

  12. Zinc White (buy a large tube)


  13. Naples Yellow

  14. Marigold Yellow

  15. Permanent Alizarin Crimson

  16. Opera Pink

  17. Dioxazene Violet or Winsor Violet

  18. Perylene Violet

  19. Cobalt Turquoise Light

  20. Winsor Blue, Phthalo Blue, or Intense Blue

  21. Permanent Green Light

  22. Chromium Oxide or Olive Green

  23. Indigo

  24. Ivory Black or Lamp Black

You can use any watercolor palette with wells though exposed gouache will dry. You can reconstitute it with a spray bottle of water. I prefer a sealable paint well palette which will keep gouache moist for longer periods. I like the Art Alternatives Sealed Cup Palette. It has 12 sealable cups and several mixing wells. I use two of these palettes for a wider variety of colors.

I like the Princeton Select series (blue handle) synthetic brushes. The less expensive Princeton Snap series and Simply Simmons brushes also work well. A 3/4” Flat, a good range of Rounds from #6 - #14 (use your discretion) and a Script Liner or Rigger of two sizes will give you a good collection of brushes.

Unlike my watercolor painting, I work smaller with gouache. 9” x 12” is a good, average size. Work larger or smaller as you wish. You can work on a variety of surfaces though I prefer watercolor paper. Use 140 lb. Cold Press or heavier. Saunders Waterford 140 lb. Cold Press (labeled as ‘Not’), Arches or Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press are good choices. Single sheets or blocks which are handy. You can also use illustration board. Avoid canvas and canvas board or panels. A watercolor sketchbook is also a great way way to work - I like the Handbook Travelogue Series Sketchbooks.

White Artist’s Tape
This is used to mask out the edges of your composition for a clean edge. Frog Tape also works but it is green and visually disturbing.

Mechanical Pencil
You can get by with a 2B pencil but I prefer the clean, simple line of a mechanical pencil. I like the Pentel 0.7mm with HB lead.

Kneaded Eraser
The best eraser for non-destructive erasing. I buy several at a time and toss them when they get gritty and hard.

Natural Sponge
This is the best way to take excess water out of your brush when you rinse. Purchase one that is about the size of your fist. Keep it in a plastic container with a small amount of water in the bottom.

Water Container
Any water container will work. Though you can get by without spending money by using a plastic cup or bottle, I like Faber-Castell’s Clic & Go Collapsible Water Pot which is convenient for plein air painting and also holds a resting brush on top.

Small Spray Bottle
This is used for keeping your paints moist and for reconstituting them. Make sure the spray produces a fine mist. A spray bottle with an adjustable spray nozzle works well.

Paper Towels & Kleenex
Viva paper towels are the best. I use travel pack Kleenexes for plein air painting and a regular box of Kleenex for studio work.

Palette Knife
Use this instead of brushes for mixing paint; it will add life to your brushes. Buy a small one that will fit in the container that holds your individual paints.

Other Items
A digital camera, smartphone or tablet; a viewfinder; a tape measure is always handy; a brush quiver to keep your brushes secure (I like the bamboo ones);

Reddi-Arts will give all students a SPECIAL 25% DISCOUNT!

Call, text or email me if you have any questions.

(904) 401-2904; robertleedy@mac.com - Robert