What is Gouache?
Someone asked me to explain gouache. The word can be used in two ways: in reference to a specific type of watercolor paint, or to describe any painting created with this heavier opaque medium. In other words, the image at the top shows tubes of gouache, but at the same time the second picture highlights "a framed gouache."
Artists appreciate gouache for its density. Unlike sheer watercolor, gouache allows the artist to capture deeper, richer hues. And as you can see here, the saturated red gouache reveals none of the underlying white paper like transparent watercolor would. Gouache also dries to a matte finish, so works created with it are well-suited to printing (reproduction). However, the work in this case, Field, Hale County, 2002, is an original painting by Annie Butrus.
From her red-and-white gouache series, it has a cadmium red ground. White forms are silhouetted against this darker background. As she works, Annie paints on the positive space with a latex resist, and over-paints that with red gouache erased to reveal the positive form and the white of the paper beneath.
Most of Annie's work is focused on the changing landscape in and around Birmingham, Alabama, where she lives. Stylistically, some of her pieces are influenced by Japanese Ukiyo-e floating world pictures, and I especially like the subtle Asian characteristics of this painting.
The paints at the top are available at Dick Blick.