ZenART's Membership Plans Terms & Conditions

(Updates effective 17/08/2020)

These terms and conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) govern the ZenART Supplies Rewards & Referral Plan as well as Subscribe & Save Plan (“Membership Plans”), and members of the programs will earn zen coins in connection with the purchase of qualifying online products and online activities that are redeemable towards the purchase of certain products online. For the re-occurring members (Subscribe & Save Plan) this includes exclusive gifts & content.


  • Free. No purchase is necessary to obtain membership in the Rewards & Referral Program, but you must establish an account at https://shop.zenartsupplies.co/account/register . Please see our privacy policy, located here, to understand how information you provide us will be used. This program is void where prohibited.
  • Eligibility. In order to be eligible for the Rewards & Referral Program, you must create an account as outlined in these Terms and Conditions. You may create an account if you are at least seventeen (17) years of age, have Internet access, and have a valid mailing address. If you are between the ages of 17 and 18, you must have your parent’s permission to register for an account. If you choose to create an account, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account, username and password and for restricting access to your account. You are responsible for keeping such information current, complete, accurate and truthful. You agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account, username and/or password. You agree to provide only current, complete, accurate and truthful information. If you are accessing and using the Site on someone else’s behalf, you represent that you have the authority to bind that person as the principal to all Terms and Conditions provided herein, and to the extent you do not have such authority you agree to be bound to these Terms and Conditions and to accept liability for harm caused by any wrongful use of the Site or Content resulting from such access or use. You may only have one member account per natural person. Persons who are discovered to have more than one account forfeit their zen coins and will be unsubscribed from the Loyalty Program.
  • How To Enroll in the Rewards & Referral Program. (a) Create an account: Visit www.zenartsupplies.com (the "Site" or "Online") and become a registered user of the Site. Click here to be taken directly to the registration page. You will be asked for your first and last name, your email address, and a password. You will also be given the option to sign up for our newsletter. Once you have submitted the requisite information, you will be sent an email to the address you listed confirming your membership. Once you have confirmed your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Reward & Referral Program and are a member (“Member”).
  • How to Access/Change Your Member Information. You must keep your personal information on your Account up-to-date. To do so, click on the "My Account" section and access your account by entering your registered email address and current password. From your dashboard you can access your account information; review your current and past orders; change your profile; manage your subscriptions and applications, and access your previous purchases.
  • How to Cancel Your Membership. You may cancel an account at any time. To cancel your account, please send an email to support@zenartsupplies.co and write “cancel membership” in the subject line. The email must come from the account currently listed on our servers as being associated with your Rewards & Referral Program. If you no longer have access to that email address, please email our customer service department and we will verify your status and cancel your account. Upon cancellation, you are no longer a member, and any unused zen coins accrued in your account will be forfeited and cannot be redeemed. Zen coins maintain their value only on valid accounts in good standing, and except as otherwise provided here for redemption, have no cash value outside of their redemption value on the Site.


  • General Members can earn zen coins on the purchase of qualifying online products at zenartsupplies.co. To receive zen coins for your Online purchases, you must be signed into your account. You may check at any time to see if you are signed in to the Site by looking in the upper right-hand corner of the site. Gift cards do not qualify for zen coins. Other products that do not qualify for zen coins are noted on the Site.
  • Earning Rate. Members earn 5 sen coins for every $1.00 spent on qualifying purchases (in other words, one (5) zen coins for every one dollar ($1) spent). Zen coins are based on your order subtotal, after any discounts, only. Zen coins are rounded down to the nearest whole number. For example, if you spend $9.99, you will receive 9 zen coins. The calculation is as follows: $9.99 x 1 zen coins per dollar = 9.99 zen coins, which is rounded down to 9 zen coins. This program started on August 17, 2020, and initial levels were set on the 2020 amount spent on ordering products. Note: Shipping and Taxes are not taken into consideration. If an item is return and/or price adjusted that will also be removed from your rewards calculations.
  • Gift Cards. Gift card purchases are not eligible to receive zen coins. However, once a gift card is redeemed, zen coins will be awarded to the recipient for the subtotal after any gift card values, provided s/he is logged into the account, as outlined in these Terms and Conditions.
  • Addition of Zen Coins to Accounts. Zen Coins will be added to your Account under the following conditions, and will generally show up immediately. You will receive zen coins:
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    • During the purchase of qualifying products
    • For other activities outlined on the Site that may show up from time to time. Note that for these other activities, including “bonus zen coins” accumulations and other zen coin promotions, zen coins may show as “pending,” depending upon the activity.
    • Joining the Birthday Club. Birthdate must be entered 30 days before your Birthday to qualify.
    • For Liking the ZenART Supplies Facebook page and sharing the ZenART Supplies Facebook page with your following. This is good one time only.
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    • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Your account will be automatically awarded the discount only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying purchase. Discount will automatically be applied to account if stipulations are met.
  • Exclusions. Members earn zen coins only on the purchase price of: (i) qualifying online products. Calculation of zen coins excludes payment by the Member for shipping charges and all taxes, including without limitation, federal, state, and local taxes or use taxes. Zen Coins will not be earned on any discounts or other credits offered in connection with a product or service. For example, if a product that is normally $50 is on sale for $25, a Member will only earn zen coins on the purchase price of $25. Purchases of gift cards, redemption of vouchers, and any type of price adjustments, including merchandise returns, are not eligible for zen coins. All purchases made: (i) by a Member prior to such member joining the Program, (ii) Online without a Member being logged onto the Website with the Member's Account number linked to the Member's Online account, are not eligible for Reward & Referral Program credit. The purchase of ZenART Supplies products outside the Zenartsupplies.co website are not eligible for the Reward & Referral Program.
  • Returns/Order Cancellations. Zen Coins earned for a purchase that is then the subject of a return, cancellation, refund, declined credit card or gift card, or other credit will be deducted from your account in an amount equal to the zen coins earned for the original transaction, including any bonus zen coins that may be applicable. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return. Zen Coins redeemed on an order will not be reapplied back to your rewards account for any reason on a returned order. If a return/cancellation will cause your account to have a negative zen coin balance, you will not begin earning zen coins again until your zen coins balance is returned to zero (0), by making purchases, or engaging in other promotional activities offered from time to time. If an item is exchanged (different product) any redeemed rewards on the initial purchase may be transferred to the exchange one (1) time only. Rewards used on an order that is canceled cannot be reapplied as they are good for just one use.
  • Bonus Zen Coins Promotions. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may run certain bonus zen coin promotions. Under bonus zen coin promotions, Members can earn additional or "bonus zen coins" in connection with the purchase of certain online products. When you purchase these specially marked products or make the purchase during a bonus zen coins time period, you will earn bonus zen coins on each product, as specified in the offer. Bonus zen coin promotions are subject to the terms and conditions of the offer and may be offered at any time in ZenART Supplies sole discretion. Bonus zen coin offers cannot be combined with any other offer.
  • Limitations on Bonus Zen Coins and Zen Coins, Generally. These terms apply to zen coins and bonus zen coins accruals. If you purchase a product during a promotion and the product comes with an additional, free product, zen coins will not be issued on the retail value of the free product. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product and pay a portion of the retail price after the zen coin's redemption, you will receive zen coins only on the leftover retail amount you pay, and not on any value attributed to the zen coin you used. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product in an amount equal to the full price of the product, you will not earn any zen coins.
  • Non-purchase Options for Earning Zen Coins. You may also earn additional zen coins on non-purchase activities. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may offer you the chance to win various prizes, and earn zen coins, for entering into promotions. For sweepstakes promotions, there is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PLAY OR TO WIN. Rules and restrictions will apply to such promotions and may be found on the entry page of any promotion.
  • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Email a friend an $8 off coupon on $50 order by clicking “ Earn Zen Coins” then “ Refer a Friend”. Enter the email address of a friend who has not purchased with ZenART Supplies before (if your referral has shopped with us before the referral link will be automatically voided by the system). A referral link will be sent to your friend with an $8 off coupon on a $50 order. $8 off coupon on $50 order will automatically be rewarded to your account only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying first-time purchase with ZenART Supplies. Your Referral friend will receive an $8 off coupon on $50 order, 200 zen coins for signing up, and zen coins from their first purchase made while signed into their new ZenART Supplies account.


  • How To Use Your Zen Coins. Zen Coins must be used in increments outlined in these Terms and Conditions. The maximum number of zen coins that may be used in a single transaction is 10,000 zen coins. Zen Coins may only be used Online at the ZenART Supplies website. Zen Coins towards Products: Members can use their zen coins to reduce the purchase price of a product or to receive a product for free based on the following scale:
    • 500 zen coins = $5.00 off
    • 1,000 zen coins = $10.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 1,500 zen coins = $15.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 2,500 zen coins = $25.00 off your at least $50 order

    Zen Coins can only be redeemed in any combination of the zen coin and increment amounts set forth above. Redemption of zen coins towards purchases of products is subject to product availability. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return.

  • Gift cards. Once available, zen coins cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards. Gift card redemption, however, is eligible for zen coins. Zen Coins accrued pursuant to the use of a gift card will benefit the gift card user, provided the user has an account in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
  • To Redeem your Zen Coins. Before you begin shopping with us, sign in to your Shop account on our site. Select “Redeem Zen Coins” from the red tab housed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and select the amount of zen coins you would like to redeem. You will be issued a custom code that you can copy and paste into the discount bar during check out (Please note - only one code can be used). Your total payment amount will be discounted by the amount of zen coins you allocate to the purchase. Note that zen coins may only be redeemed for the purchase price of the product. Sales tax, shipping, and other handling charges assessed in addition to the price of the product are your responsibility and zen coins may not be used to discount these additional charges.
  • Exclusions. Only one account per natural person. Only one discount code can be redeemed per transaction. Rewards redemption codes may not be combined with any other discount codes. Zen Coins may not be transferred or gifted at this time. Zen Coins cannot be used on past purchases. Zen Coins accumulated on different accounts by different members may not be combined or aggregated to make purchases of products or for any other reason. Zen Coins earned in a transaction cannot be redeemed in the same transaction. Redeemed zen coins cannot be retroactively applied to any past order or receive a price adjustment on any order where redeemed zen coins were not applied. Zen Coins have no cash value outside of the ZenART Supplies website and are available only to members in good standing.
  • Zen Coins Expiration and Time Lapses. All zen coins acquired, whether standard zen coins or bonus zen coins, shall expire 180 days from the date the zen coins are added to your account. Zen Coins expire 180 days from the date in which they were assigned to your account. Specific onsite activities in which zen coins will be awarded are set to accrue zen coins based on a time-lapse at the discretion of ZenART Supplies.
    • Sign up: zen coins are added to your account instantly
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  • Once zen coins are redeemed, a discount code will be assigned and we are unable to cancel the discount code and reapply the zen coins to your Reward & Referral account. Discount codes generated by redeeming zen coins do not expire until used. They are a one-time use code, so once it is used it is gone. If an order is returned zen coins will not be reinstated.

4. Subscribe & Save Plan

  • Re-occurring purchase. Purchase is necessary in order to participate in this plan. The plan is worth $6.95 and will be charged to your account on the same date of the month that you purchased the plan, i.e. if you purchased the plan on 19th of January, you will be charged for the plan on the 19th of each month you are a Subscribe & Save Plan member.
  • 15% re-occurring discount. As a member of the subscribe & Save Plan, you are eligible for a 15% discount every time you put an order in place. You are qualified for the discount as soon as you purchase the plan.
  • Cancellation. After a purchase made with a Subscribe & Save Plan, you are not able to get a refund for the plan for the month the purchase was valid for but you can cancel for the following months.
  • Free samples & accessories. These are included for members of Subscribe & Save Plan only. These are not included in each order but the member will be informed when they will receive "extras" in their order.
  • Access to exclusive content. Exclusive access to tutorials, guides, tips & tricks in video, pdf, or audio format will be part of the membership program. Not all exclusive content is available but what is and will be available is up to ZenART Supplies sole discretion.


  • By registering with Zenartsupplies.co and joining the Reward & Referral Program, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in these Terms and Conditions, as well as any other terms that may be associated with the Reward & Referral Program. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to cancel, modify, suspend or restrict the Reward & Referral Program, your account, the redemption of zen coins, or any aspect of the Program, including, without limitation, the zen coin conversion ratio and the zen coin expiration policy at any time. Any changes can be made without advance notice. ZenART Supplies may make these changes even though such changes may affect your ability to use zen coins already accumulated. You are responsible for remaining knowledgeable about the Program Terms and Conditions. A Member's zen coins balance, as reflected in ZenART Supplies records, shall be deemed correct. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to determine the amount of zen coins in any Member's account based on ZenART Supplies' internal records related to such Member's account. In the event of an inconsistency between the amount accrued in a Member's account as stated on any Member's receipt and ZenART Supplies internal records, ZenART Supplies internal records will control. ZenART Supplies assumes no responsibility for errors caused by incorrect Member information. Your right to transfer zen coins earned or granted under the Program is strictly limited. The sale of zen coins is prohibited and may result in the confiscation or cancellation of your zen coins as well as suspension or termination of your membership, which in each case shall be final and conclusive. All transactions involving zen coins and all Member accounts are subject to review and verification by ZenART Supplies. The zen coins balance in a Member's account may be unavailable for use when an account or transaction is under review. ZenART Supplies may revoke any Member's membership in the Reward & Referral Program at any time if such Member engages in abuse of the Reward & Referral Program or fails to follow the terms and conditions of the Program. Fraud or abuse relating to the accrual of zen coins or redemption of rewards may result in revocation of membership in the Program and may affect a Member's eligibility for participation in any other ZenART Supplies program, present or future. Zen Coins are non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. The interpretation and application of the Program's Terms and Conditions are at the sole discretion and determination of ZenART Supplies. For more information or other questions, click on Contact Us.
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Gouache Techniques and Painting Tips

Gouache Techniques and Painting Tips

What is it? | How to use it? | Basic Gouache Painting Techniques | Useful Tips

Curious about gouache but unsure how to go about using it? The good news is that it’s super easy once you understand the basics of it. They are water-based colors that are a perfect mash-up of watercolor and acrylic. I find them to be beginner-friendly paints and kinda regret trying them out more seriously just the last few years to be honest.

Below are some tips on how to use gouache, plus answers to common questions that might be on your mind. This is not a paint to be fearful of. It is a fun medium that should be enjoyed and fully explored. The many ways of using and playing with it are limitless.

Gouache Painting For Beginners

This versatile paint comprises many of the characteristics we love in our other paints making it the perfect middle ground. Plus you don’t need a lot of supplies to start painting with gouache.

What is gouache?

ZenART’s B6 Artist’s Sketchbook, brushes from the Verbena brush set, mixing plate, and gouache tubes. The bull clip is for ensuring the sketchbook stays flat for double page spreads.

Gouache is a kind of paint with pigments that are quite similar to that of watercolor and is also re-wettable when dry - whether on the support or the mixing palette. What makes it different is that it has an additive mixed in (binder that’s usually gum arabic or dextrin) that makes it more viscous, similar to acrylic paint but on the tackier side.

It’s designed to be opaque just like acrylic paint but dries with a matte finish. But FYI, you’ll also encounter a specific kind called “acrylic gouache” (also called acryla gouache) which you won’t be able to reactivate once dry – just like acrylic. So unless that’s the specific property you’re looking for, be careful when buying your paints.

Gouache has a long history and has been around for more than 10 centuries, the Egyptians were known to have used it as well. It has long been favored for commercial use in painting posters, comics, illustrations, and in all sorts of design work.

The matte-ness, opaqueness, and vibrancy of the paints lend well to reproducing such works in print or digital form without having to do difficult edits. Its matte finish makes it much easier to scan or photograph as you don’t need to worry about lighting glares.

How to use gouache?

Quite easily, you can use it straight out of the tube. But where’s the fun in that? The nice thing about gouache is the wide range of applications that you can do. From the lightest wash ala watercolor transparency to very thick and opaque like acrylic. All you need is to add water to create the various consistencies that you’re looking for.


And don’t worry if your paint ends up drying on your palette, just reawaken it with water! Below are the basic gouache painting techniques that you need to be familiar with.

Gouache Painting Techniques


For a wash, you need to create a thin layer of color - simply use more water in your mixture until you get a very liquid and runny consistency. Then, apply the mixture evenly across your surface. You can have a wash that’s as transparent ala watercolor where you can see your surface’s color peeking through or go thicker. Below are three examples from a very pale wash to a more pigmented one.


Learning to blend colors is an important technique to master. You’ll find it essential for creating value and color changes both for subtle and bold effects. Apply one color and spread it towards the new/other color that it will change into. Overlap the edges of the two colors until you get the desired blended effect, ideally a smooth color transition. Fortunately, gouache colors blend really well, so you’ll be able to achieve beautiful blending results quite easily.

Painted using the #12 Round brush from the Verbena brush set. It spreads the color evenly, I just prefer a more textured finish. To get a smoother look, just swipe your brush back and forth, up and down until you like what you see.

But it doesn’t have to be an ultra-smooth blending, you can have more textural blending effects, too.

Dry brush

For this technique, you need to use a dry brush and thick paint. Scoop some paint with your brush and remove the excess paint by swiping it across your palette. Then brush the remaining paint on your surface to create a scratchy texture.


A most fun technique to use! Flick paint onto your surface using your brush loaded with paint. You want a consistency that’s not thick but not too runny. This can be used to create interesting textural effects such as stars in the galaxy, to add interest to your painting, and wherever you’d like to add it really.

Gouache Painting Tips

Choosing the right surface and prepping it properly

You can paint on so many different surfaces: watercolor paper, illustration board, Bristol board, cardboard, and even on sketchbook paper. That’s the nice thing about gouache, it can be used in a loose and fluid kind of application where the color of your paper shows through or in a more controlled and opaque way.

Above are the two choices I usually choose from for my painting surfaces: my B5 and B6 Artist’s Sketchbooks and Watercolor Paper from ZenART Supplies.

Prepping your surface with a background of color or colors is a good place to start. You can even do more abstract mixes of color if you want to.

For thinner surfaces, you can opt to prime them with gesso or matte acrylic before painting with gouache. I do this when I want to be able to paint thicker and several layers without having to worry about the surface breaking down on me. Since the support has been covered/protected by the gesso or acrylic primer, the gouache paint won’t be easily absorbed. This gives you more time to work with as your paint stays wet longer, too.

Play around with different brushes - various bristles and brush shapes

I like synthetic brushes best for gouache painting, they have the snappiness that I need. Since the paint is much thicker than watercolor, I find that natural soft-bristled brushes are too soft and make it that much harder to spread the paint. While brushes with harder bristles easily lift off or reawaken previous layers that you paint over.

My favorites are brushes from the Verbena brush set, they are purely synthetic. I just reach for the whole brush roll/set and I’m sure to find one that’ll fit whatever needs. The short handles are another thing I absolutely love as I usually like to paint in a more controlled style.

Verbena is a 17-pc brush set that comes in this lovely bamboo roll-up case.

Depending on the size that I’m working on, I would either use a ½ inch or ¾ inch flat brush first for laying down the background layer. Then switch to smaller brushes for the succeeding layers - rounds, smaller flats (regular flat, angled), brights, filberts, and riggers.

Flat brushes are fantastic for painting crisp edges and make it much easier to get into the tiny edges and spaces. Round brushes are useful for smaller details and the rigger for long and thin lines. The choice really depends on what I’m painting and whether I’m painting more loosely or highly detailed.

Try various brushes to find out which ones work best with your style. You don’t need the most expensive brushes to be able to make gouache work for you.

Confidence is key with your brush strokes

Visualize the strokes you plan to do and be confident when applying them. Over-scrubbing and repeatedly going over and over an area will work against you. The layers underneath will be reactivated and get mixed with the current layer that you’re working on. And you can easily end up with a muddy mix of colors instead of getting vibrant layering.

You can do soft layering or thicker and more pronounced layers. There are so many different textural effects you can play around with.

If you’re not satisfied with your latest layer, don’t despair! Just wait for it to be fully dry and then you can add another layer on top of it.

For working towards an opaque build of colors. Always start with the wettest applications at the bottom and paint the upper layers with a thicker consistency of paint. You can of course do thinner layers (or more transparent) over thicker ones (or opaque) if you’re going for a glazed effect.

You don’t need too many colors, work with a limited palette

Just like with any medium, learning tonal values first is the best way to get better at painting. By removing colors, you can pay more attention to becoming more familiar with how the paint works and behaves. Start with just black and white and study the characteristics of gouache.

Tonal values become much more challenging when there are a number of different colors involved. Having a thorough understanding of values will help you create dynamic and more realistic paintings. If you find that your work looks too flat, more often than not the culprit is having value ranges that are close to each other and without much contrast. Heighten the contrast of your light and shadowed areas. Darken your shadows and make your highlights further pop out. Because gouache dries matte, you lose the added depth that you would normally get with paints that dry with a glossy or satiny finish.

Once you get the hang of things, you can move on to using colors. I started with just 5 colors following the CMYK color mixing: Cyan, Magenta, Primary Yellow, Black, and White. Learning to mix your colors from a limited palette is important. First, you don’t need to buy a mountain of colors. But most importantly, you’ll have a better chance of achieving a more harmonious composition of colors.

Using these three primaries, you can easily mix any of the other colors. Then simply add white, black, or both to change the tints, shades, tones, or chroma of the colors. Explore color-mixing and you’ll find that you’ll end up with more harmoniously colored paintings when working with limited palettes.

Your sketchbook will be your best friend for these color explorations. Some artists even have dedicated sketchbooks for color-playing and color-recording. I love my B6 Artist’s Sketchbook for this as I always have it with me wherever I go.

Keep your paints wet while painting

Gouache in tubes is very convenient. You only need to squeeze out however much you need when you’re ready to paint. There are two ways that I keep mine moist once I’ve squeezed them out on a palette: I use a stay-wet palette or I have a small spritz bottle filled with water that I spray on the paints every now and then when I see them starting to dry out and I’m not done painting.

You don’t need to finish up the paint in one sitting. Just re-wet them on your next painting session and you’ll be able to use whatever leftover paint you had.

Try not to overly scrimp on your paint

Yes, gouache is on the pricey side of things. But you don’t want to over-economize and not squeeze out enough paint - especially if you’re mixing colors. You don’t want to find yourself running out of paint in the middle of painting a section. By the time you've mixed a new batch, the previous one has dried and you’ll find it very hard to get an exact match.

Keep in mind that colors will dry darker or lighter compared to when they were wet. It’ll be even more expensive when you end up with a painting that you’ll be scrapping instead because you scrimped and ended up with a weird-looking one.

Instead, you can opt to paint smaller-sized works. This way, you’ll get to fully appreciate the wonders of gouache without having to compromise on the amount of paint you’ll use.

Start from the background and paint your way toward the foreground

If you’re painting a landscape, paint the sky first and the base color of the ground, add the middle ground details in succeeding layers, and leave the finest details for last, especially the ones in the foreground. If you’re painting a house, paint the walls first, then the windows and door, and the fine details last again.

Keep in mind the rules of perspective. Objects that are farthest from you will have the least details and the colors will also be more muted or hazier. The ones nearest will have the most details and the colors will be deeper or more vibrant as well.

For lighter colors to show opaque when painted over darker colors, mix a nice creamy consistency. If you find that it's still not opaque enough, wait for the layer to fully dry and layer another over to help make it reach the opaqueness you’re aiming for.

Remember to paint those strokes with confidence! You can always add more layers when needed, just as long as you wait for each one to be well and truly dry before adding on top.

Here’s an overview of the process of a quick and easy landscape gouache painting I did on my B6 Artist’s Sketchbook:

A super light wash for the sky, a bit darker for the mountains and the rolling fields. For the next layers, I made use of the dry-brush technique to add texture.

Then I start to add the other details and layer the lighter colors over the dark, and also vice versa. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own style!

Or work in sections, then layering

Here’s another easy painting using basic gouache techniques but with a more controlled and clean-edged style.

I started with a rather opaque blue background mix using Primary Cyan and White. My favorite brush for this is the Angled brush from the Verbena set. I can easily get into nooks and crannies with superb precision.

Followed by a base green for the leaves, a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Primary Yellow. Make sure each layer or area previously painted is completely dry before doing the next one beside it or on top of it. I usually use a round brush for softer details like these long and thin leaves.


Then I painted the pot and the surface where the pot is on. For the terracotta color I mixed Pure Red + Primary Yellow + White. For the surface: Pure Red + Ultramarine Blue + White.

Making sure the base green is dry, I added the pale yellow details on top (Primary Yellow + White).

The final details are then added such as the texture on the leaves, the marbling on the pot, and the cast shadow on the surface. For the darker greens and purples, I just used more Ultramarine Blue than Primary Yellow/Pure Red. And just White layered over the orange for the marbling.

And this quick painting is finished. You’ll see that I kept a record of the colors I used and color mixes I made from them on the left. This is a good habit to practice so you can easily recall the colors you used for future reference.

Can you use colored pencils over gouache?

Yes, you can! The matte surface finish of gouache makes it highly receptible to accepting other media applied over it. I’ve used colored pencils, pastels, gel pens, pen and ink, and acrylic applied over gouache quite successfully.

You can easily draw over the top of your gouache paintings with pencils, pens, pastels, and even markers.

Can you use gouache with other paints?

Another yes! Gouache works with water-based paints such as acrylic, ink, and watercolors. The best way to find out if you like the effects is to experiment with them.

When used in conjunction with watercolors, I usually use it to apply more opaque details over previous watercolor applications. It’s perfect for creating white highlights and details that go over very well on top of watercolor. Or when you decide you need more opaque details and other sections.

Below, white gouache was used to paint the frothy waves over the blue sea and sandy shores painted in watercolor.


And I usually use acrylic paint as a background base color for gouache to layer on top off. But you can most definitely apply acrylic paint on top of gouache, too.

I hope the tips in this guide will help you jumpstart your gouache journey. Remember not to compare it to your watercolor or acrylic experience. It’s a completely different and wonderful medium with its own unique characteristics.
Here are some gouache articles for some painting ideas you can try out to start you off!

Moon Landscape With Gouache
Two Gouache Flower Paintings - Step By Step

We’d love to hear from you!

Which water-based mediums have you used before? What made you want to try out gouache? If you’ve used gouache before, what did you find most challenging about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Join our friendly art community Painting Inspiration Daily on Facebook. You can share your art and ideas, watch LIVE tutorials, and be inspired to paint!

Have a wonderful time exploring and experimenting with the different gouache painting techniques!



Kathleen is the Wordsmith at ZenART, resident artist and art editor. When God sent a shower of talents, Kathleen made sure she got a basketful of them! She's a visual artist with practical knowledge on various fields from painting and sculpture, to costume and set design which comes in very handy when writing about various art techniques and theories. She also shares her passion for the arts through teaching. She runs her own brand of handmade wirework jewelry designs.

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