The Italian word “guazzo” means water paint or splash . Gouache originates from that very word and is a type of paint consisting of pigment suspended in water. Gouache is quite different from watercolour. In watercolors particles are larger, the ratio of pigment to water is much higher.
In gouache the presence of an inert white material makes it heavier and more opaque, with greater reflective qualities.
History of Gouache
In 16 th century Italy there was a practice of applying oil paint over a tempera base. This particular practice was named Gouache.This particular style travelled to France where it was applied to watermedia.
Gouache is a very deceptive medium. It is drier than it appears when wet, which can make it difficult to achieve the same shading in multiple painting sessions. For this very reason Gouache is seen as a more immediate medium of painting than watercolors. "En plein air” paintings take advantage of this, as do works by J.M.W. Turner. Most painters choose gouache as a medium to dabble with and not m of expression for this very reason there are limited number of works in gouache. It is used more frequently for graphic works such as posters, and for other design work.
He is probably was the most famous English landscape painter, he was well versed with gouache as a medium and used it in most innovative ways. He was one of the first artists to experiment with washes, wiping out, scratching out, and incorporating body colors. His innovative wash technique, which helped convey lights in the most breathtaking manner made him famous as the “painter of the light”.
His oil paintings might have been famous but his gouaches were equally path breaking.
En plein air
En plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air.” This expression is generally used to describe the act of painting ourdoors instead of constricting studios. In the mid 19 th century the concept of natural light was given vital importance. More and more painters tried to capture natural landscapes and chose to work indoors. This very trend resuklted in extensive use of the gouache technique and the invention of “color tubes” or tubes of color pigments. This was definitely a more compact option than grinding pigments to get colors. The popularity of outdoor painting has remained constant throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century, because of which gouache has managed to find patrons throughout this period.