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Recipe: Natural Gouache Paint

Post by Natural Earth Paint & Darrin Johnson

Gouache is a beautiful, water-based artist paint, similar to acrylic or an opaque watercolor. It’s completely intermixable with watercolors. Learn how to make your own natural gouache paint below!



Part 1: Creating the Gouache Base

Step 1: Mix 6 Tbsp. hot water with 3 Tbsp. Gum Arabic Powder – mix until dissolved

Step 2: Add 2 Tbsp. honey or glycerin to the water and gum arabic mixture and mix until dissolved. At this stage, if you choose to use a preservative, add two drops of clove or thyme essential oil to help preserve your gouache paint.

Part 2: Create the Pigment & Limestone Mixture

Step 3: Measure out 6 teaspoons of Earth & Mineral Pigment (we used Ultramarine Purple!).

Step 5: Add 1 teaspoon of Natural Impasto Medium to the pigment and mix until evenly distributed. 

Note: Play around with these proportions – some artists use 1 part pigment:1 part impasto medium: 1 part gouache base – there are many versions of this recipe

Part 3: Create the Gouache Paint

Step 6: Mix one part gouache base with one part pigment and limestone mixture. For example, mix 1 tablespoon of base and 1 tablespoon of the pigment and limestone mixture. Adjust the ratio as needed; as all pigments absorb binder differently, you may need to experiment to achieve the desired paint texture. 

Step 7: Paint away!

Storage: Store the gouache paint in airtight jar or aluminum tube. Refrigerate to prolong the paint’s shelf life but it should store indefinitely in a cool dark place. If it dries out, just add a little water and mix well to reinvigorate it.