Turn Watercolor into Gouache: Can You Mix Them To Create a Versatile Paint?

Yes, you can turn watercolor into gouache, well I should clarify that you can turn watercolor paint into something that acts like gouache.

It’s simple difference but you will like the results. It’s a simple process that can be done by adding white gouache paint to your watercolor.

This will make your watercolor paint’s binder mix with the gouache’s binder and it inherits the gouache’s properties.

Gouache is a type of watercolor but more opaque, it has a matte finish, while traditional watercolor is transparent and has a glossy finish.

By adding white paint to your watercolor, you can create a more opaque and matte finish similar to gouache.

One of the benefits of using gouache is that it allows you to paint over mistakes and make corrections. It’s also a great medium for adding highlights and details to your paintings.

By mixing watercolor and gouache, you can create a unique look that combines the transparency of watercolor with the opacity of gouache.

To create a gouache-like watercolor paint, you can mix watercolor paint with white gouache or acrylic paint. The amount of white paint you add will depend on the level of opacity you want to achieve.

It’s important to note that adding too much white paint can make your colors appear chalky and dull. It’s best to add small amounts of white paint at a time until you achieve the desired opacity.

How to make gouache from watercolor

While some say that watercolor can be turned into gouache, it is more a trick of mixing the gouache binder in with the watercolor’s binder, and so it makes watercolors inherit most of the gouache’s properties.

As I mentioned earlier, the reason this works is because gouache is already similar to watercolor, but it has a more opaque and matte finish. It is made by mixing watercolor with a white pigment and a binder, such as gum arabic or dextrin.

What is Needed?

To turn watercolor into gouache, you will need the following materials:

  • Watercolor paint.
  • White pigment (such as titanium white or zinc white). These are the most opaque white paints.
  • Binder (such as gum arabic or dextrin) – optional unless the paint consistency is dry then add a little.
  • A palette or mixing dish.
  • A paintbrush.

How to Turn Watercolor into Gouache

Here are the steps to turn watercolor into gouache:

  1. Squeeze out some watercolor paint onto your palette or mixing dish.
  2. Add a small amount of white pigment to the watercolor paint. The amount of white pigment you add will depend on how opaque you want the gouache to be. Start with a little amount and add more as needed.
  3. Add a small amount of binder to the mixture. The binder will help the paint adhere to the paper and make it more opaque. Again, start with a small amount and add more as needed.
  4. Mix the paint thoroughly with your paintbrush. Add more white pigment or binder as needed to achieve the desired consistency and opacity.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when turning watercolor into gouache:

  • Use a palette knife or spatula to mix the paint if you don’t want to dirty your paintbrush.
  • Experiment with different ratios of watercolor, white pigment, and binder to achieve different effects.
  • Don’t add too much white pigment or binder, as this can make the paint too thick and difficult to work with.
  • Be sure to label your gouache mixture so you can recreate it later if needed.

What is mixed with watercolor to create gouache?


I found that if you don’t have access to gouache paint you can create a gouache like paint by mixing watercolor pigment with a few ingredients. The ingredients needed are:

  • Gum Arabic
  • White pigment (usually chalk or titanium white)
  • Glycerin (optional)

Gum Arabic is a binder that is used in both watercolor and gouache. It helps the paint adhere to paper and provides a glossy finish.

The white pigment is added to make the paint more opaque, which is a defining characteristic of gouache.

Glycerin can be added to make the paint more fluid and easier to work with.

Mixing process

To turn watercolor into gouache, I mix the following ingredients:

  1. Watercolor paint
  2. Gum Arabic
  3. White pigment
  4. Glycerin (optional)

I start by mixing the watercolor paint with a small amount of gum Arabic. Then, I gradually add the white pigment until I achieve the desired opacity.

If I want a more fluid paint, I add a few drops of glycerin. It is important to note that the amount of white pigment added will affect the color of the paint.

Adding too much white pigment can lighten the color significantly.

It is also very important to mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure a consistent paint mixture. In fact, this technique is not the same as using traditional gouache paint.

The resulting mixture may not have the same properties as gouache, but it can be a good alternative for artists who want to experiment with gouache-like effects using their existing watercolor paint.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *