For some of my watercolor paintings, I have been adding white gesso to my watercolor paints. The effect looks like gouache, giving the paintings a dulled down, muted effect. You can see the results in Red Ribbon, Pink Roses.
What Is Gesso?
Gesso is an acrylic-based white paint, which can be used as a traditional primer on many painting surfaces, including paper. Combined with watercolor, it can be used to create a toned underpainting, and to add a bit of texture to your watercolor painting.
How Is Gesso Different From Gouache?
Gouache is a water-based, water-soluble, opaque white paint. The difference between gouache and gesso is that gesso, once dry, can be worked over, whereas gouache remains forever soluble so, once dry, it has to be left as is. For that reason, it’s best to add gouache at the end of the painting, while gesso can be added at any time during your process.
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