Gouache: An Eco-Friendly Alternative

While you might already think of gouache as a design medium or only vaguely as something similar to watercolor, we want to give it a fresh angle. We’re presenting gouache to you as an environmentally friendly and healthier choice for learning opaque painting. 

After a lot of consideration, we’ve made the decision to move away from offering acrylic painting workshops. It is a difficult choice because these are among our most popular workshops, the first to sell out. But every time we offer one of these workshops, harmful micro-plastics are sent down the drain during the clean up process. Without a permanent studio space, at the moment, we are unable to implement a filtration system and we don’t want to be contributing to the pollution of water and ocean. 

We also realized that we can do so much with watercolor and gouache! We plan to explore the possibilities of water-based oil paints in the future. But with gouache and watercolor it is just so simple to do as a group in a small studio space or at home with your family or roommates nearby. No fumes, no micro-plastics, no big clean up.  

We have two gouache workshops coming up this summer! If you’re new to gouache or want to improve your skills, we have Sketching with Gouache  on June 1,  8,  15, and 22 from 6-8pm at Galerie Hell! Each class will have a different subject matter and will cover different techniques on how to use goucha. Oded will demonstrate each new technique and provide hands on assistance within a small class size. 

The follow up workshop to that is Painting People with Gouache on July 6 – July 27 from 6-8pm. In this workshop, you will learn how to paint people and how to make others see a person the way you see them.

Why gouache is a great eco-friendly alternative?

One of the biggest advantages of gouache is its eco-friendliness. Traditional gouache uses a natural binder, gun arabic, and is water-based. This makes it easy to clean up and a great alternative for artist looking for a sustainable and non-toxic practice. Unlike acrylic or oil paint, there are no toxic solvents or harmful chemicals involved in the panting process with gouache. The only thing to look out for would be potentially harmful substances within specific pigments, true for ANY painting medium. This will be clearly marked on the packaging.

“Particles of paint account for more than half (58%) of all the microplastics that end up in the world’s oceans and waterways every year, according to a new study.”

Paint is the largest source of microplastics article

of course the contribution of micro-plastics coming purely from art making is small. By choosing a sustainable medium like gouache, artist are making a conscious decision to incorporate environmental values into their artwork. Content follows form!

All artwork in this article os by Oded Arad

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