Delve into the world of gouache, the opaque cousin to watercolor paint! While the root meaning of gouache or “guazzo” in Italian translates to “mud,” this delightful medium is anything but: Gouache is similar to watercolor in color vibrancy, but it is opaque instead of translucent. In this way, gouache resembles the way other mediums (such as acrylic) function: one must mix in advance of placement, as opposed to layering paint on the page itself (as one might with watercolor). In this class we’ll cover some color theory as well as best practices. Most work will involve rendering from a photograph, or from real life.

Greetings, Artists!
Here is a list of materials needed for class. You do not need to use these exact brands, but these are the materials I use myself
Watercolor paper:
Note: For class, I recommend at least 11 x 14, and no smaller than 9 x 12.
● Strathmore 200 Series – 11 x 15
● Strathmore 120 Series – 11 x 15
● Canson – 11 x 15
I use the following, but I do not recommend it for learning. Since it’s what I usually use, I wanted to include it anyway:
● Arches Cold-Pressed Block – 10 x 14
Note: I prefer paint tubes for better control, but you may use trays if you prefer.
● Holbein Gouache Set
● Winsor Newton Gouache Set
If you want to build your own set, I highly recommend these brands:
● Daniel Smith
● M. Graham
Paint Brushes:
● Basic Brush Set
● Arteza Brush Set
Nice to have, but not essential:
● Detail Line Brush
Mixing Palettes:
● Paint Mixing Tray Palette
● Ceramic Stacked Palette
● Ceramic Palette Tray
Many thanks,
Shira Hofmekler Gregory
Teaching Artist at West Windsor Arts Council

Shira's painting of 3 people together


Shira Hofmekler Gregory

About the Teaching Artist

Shira Hofmekler Gregory is a custom portrait artist by trade, rendering vivid and realistic portraits of families, homes, animals and children. Her personal artwork runs a lengthier gamut, exploring nature, the wild, the weird, and plumbing the Jungian jungle of her imagination. Regardless of foci, what remains consistent is making art that delves into the depths of raw emotion, and intimate moments. Shira works ambidextrously and her preferred mediums usually include graphite, charcoal, pen, watercolor, gouache, or her favorite, oil paint (however, gold foil, markers, and other mixed media have also often been employed). Shira aims to craft captivating visual experiences that transcend the limitations of intellect, inviting viewers to engage with her work on a more psychically tactile, and emotional level. She is passionate about and believes strongly in the healing power of the creative process.