10 Inspiring Gouache Paintings to Spark Your Creativity

Gouache, a versatile medium beloved by artists around the world, holds a special place in the realm of painting. With its diverse range of styles and techniques, gouache allows artists to create breathtaking masterpieces that find their place in animation, canvas artworks, book illustrations, digital art renderings, and beyond. From delicate landscapes to striking portraits, gouache paintings have the power to evoke emotions and transport viewers to new realms of imagination!

In this post, we will delve into the awe-inspiring world of the gouache painting style and unveil ten captivating paintings you can try creating for yourself! Whether you're a pro or a beginner, these striking paintings will make you take up your brush and splash some paint on a canvas today. 

How to Start Painting With Gouache

Before we delve into the ten paintings, let's quickly gloss over some of the key points to remember when painting with gouache: 

1. Familiarize Yourself With the Medium

Gouache is a water-based paint that shares some similarities with both watercolors and acrylics. Take the time to experiment and understand its unique properties, such as opacity, fast drying time, and the ability to be reactivated with water.

2. Gather the Necessary Materials

Invest in quality gouache paints, brushes suitable for gouache (such as synthetic or natural hair brushes), a palette or mixing surface, water containers, and sturdy paper or a specialized gouache painting pad.

3. Prepare Your Workspace

Set up a well-lit, clutter-free area where you can comfortably work. Protect your work surface with a drop cloth or old newspapers, as gouache can stain.

4. Start With a Limited Color Palette

Gouache offers a wide range of vibrant colors, but it can be overwhelming when starting out. Begin with a small selection of primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) along with white, and learn to mix them to create a variety of hues.

Shop for the Best Gouache Paint Set for Beginners! 

5. Practice Color Mixing

Experiment with different ratios of paint and water to achieve different opacities and consistencies. Understanding color mixing will help you achieve the desired shades and tones in your paintings.

6. Plan Your Composition

Before diving into your painting, sketch out your composition lightly with a pencil. This step will help you establish a solid foundation and guide your painting process.

7. Layer Your Paints

Gouache allows for layering, so take advantage of this characteristic to build depth and add richness to your artwork. Let each layer dry before applying the next, as wet layers can lift or smudge.

8. Embrace Experimentation and Play

Gouache is a forgiving medium that encourages exploration. Don't be afraid to make mistakes or try new techniques. Enjoy the process of discovering what works best for you.

9. Take Breaks and Step Back

Throughout your painting process, take breaks and step back to evaluate your work from a distance. This will help you identify areas that may need adjustments or further development.

10. Practice Regularly

Like any skill, painting in gouache improves with practice. Set aside regular time for painting sessions, experiment with different subjects and styles, and embrace the learning journey.

10 Projects to Get You Started On Gouache Painting

If you're looking for some easy gouache painting ideas, look no further! Take a look at this array of ten captivating artworks created by our talented pool of artists at Artistry by Altenew. Let these projects inspire your next one today! 

1. A Lovely Music Moment Gouache Painting

A Lovely Music Moment Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

Looking for easy gouache painting ideas? Why not try your hand at this simple yet beautiful painting? Practice your gradient blending by creating a composition that's mostly sky with a subject in the background. It can be a person looking at the sky or even just a silhouette of some flowers or buildings. Whatever you choose, try practicing your gouache skills by learning how to blend and paint skyscapes. You can see how this painting was created by watching the video HERE.

2. Helmet and Shoe Gouache Painting

If you want to add more details to your gouache painting, why not add lines with fine liner pens or gel pens? This can make it look more modern and take on a cartoonish style, like the artwork below. Outlining your gouache painting can be helpful in adding bold strokes, lines, contours, and highlights, especially if you're adding only one tone of color. 

Helmet and Shoe Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

3. Dreamy Moon Gouache Painting

Dreamy Moon Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

Who doesn't love painting the beautiful night sky? Indeed, the moon is the muse of many artists, and it's no wonder why. For gouache, this truth is no different. Painting the moon against a dreamy background of purple and blue colors is an excellent gouache project for beginners. To create the stars, do the splattering technique by loading your brush with pigment and a bit of water and lightly tapping your brush over the canvas.

Discover Essential Gouache Painting Tips and Techniques! 

4. Animation Style Gouache Painting

As mentioned earlier, animators commonly use gouache for digital art renderings. Thanks to the lightfast properties of gouache, gouache artworks retain their true colors, even when photographed by cameras. The painting below looks like a scene from an anime! The key to creating gouache artwork in an animated style is to learn proper shading, where to put the ripples and creases in clothing, motion marks, and the distinctive half-formed details of anime landscapes, focusing on the subject.

Animation Style Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

5. Enchanted Bunny With Mirror Gouache Painting

One of the best types of artwork you can do with gouache is to create fairy-tale-like scenes with its vibrant, picturesque colors. An example below looks like it was taken out of an Alice in Wonderland scene, with the cute bunny in an enchanted mirror! If you're looking for gouache painting ideas, why not create a scene from one of your favorite fairy tales or folk tales? 

Enchanted Bunny With Mirror Gouache Painting

6. Dramatic Candlelight Gouache Painting

Dramatic Candlelight Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

Want to practice your shadows and contours? Or perhaps you want to try learning tenebrism and chiaroscuro as a beginner? Try doing this candlelight painting to memorize how light sources and angles can create different effects on your subject. This way, you can start with a single subject and a non-complicated background. 

7. Lo-Fi Aesthetic Gouache Painting

Have you listened to one of those lo-fi music videos you see on Youtube? The lo-fi art thumbnails on those kinds of content are just lovely! If you'd want to recreate them, all you need is to use a pastel color palette, focus on a minimalist landscape, and use calm subjects such as people listening to music, reading books, or lounging with pets. 

Lo-Fi Aesthetic Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

8. One Winter’s Day Gouache Painting 

One Winter’s Day Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

Do you want to experience creating a different subject and practice adding extremely fine details? Why not paint a snowy landscape? Snowflakes are hard to paint, and you have to mimic certain brush techniques, such as scumbling, to create texture. 

9. Magical Mushroom Jellyfish Gouache Painting

With its unique layering and blending capacities, you can use the opaque properties of gouache to create neon-like looks! We just love the luminescence of these mushrooms, thanks to the proper blending of the blue and white hues. To make your neon mushroom stand out, use a dark background and create a base layer of white before coloring the mushroom. These techniques can amplify the illusion of glowing and bring out the vibrancy of your colors.

Magical Mushroom Jellyfish Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

10. Moon and Stars on the Sea Gouache Painting

Moon and Stars on the Sea Gouache Painting for Artistry by Altenew

The moon is such a captivating subject, and we can't get enough of it! Plus, it's just perfect to paint as a beginner in gouache! Try experimenting with the stars and moon by dunking them between the ocean waves while creating a halo of light around them. You can do this by gently adding water to the areas around the stars to lighten them up. 

Paint Your Own Gouache Masterpiece Today!

In conclusion, these ten inspiring gouache paintings have genuinely showcased the versatility and beauty of this medium. From dreamy moons to whimsical illustrations, each artwork tells a unique story and captivates the viewer with its rich colors and textured brushstrokes.

Gouache has proven to be a versatile and dynamic medium, allowing artists to explore various styles and techniques. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, these paintings serve as a reminder of the endless possibilities that gouache offers.

Find the Best Art Supplies for Gouache Painting Here! 


By observing the creative choices made by these talented artists, we can learn valuable lessons in composition, color theory, and brushwork. Their works ignite our imagination and encourage us to push the boundaries of our own creativity.

If you've been hesitant to try gouache or looking for inspiration to reignite your artistic spark, these paintings serve as a gentle nudge to pick up your brushes and delve into the world of this beautiful medium. Let these artworks inspire you to experiment, take risks, and express your unique vision!

We hope these ten inspiring gouache paintings have sparked your curiosity and set your creative wheels in motion. Now, it's your turn to pick up that brush, add your personal touch, and create something remarkable. Happy painting, and may your creativity flourish!

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