Monday, February 24, 2014

In The Studio: What To Do With Old Gouache

Can dried up old gouache be saved?
 Try this easy process! 

To start off the week, I've decided to do a little studio house keeping. I guess that pre-Spring cleaning phase is setting in. I found a lot of dried up gouache that needed some attention The easiest way to bring gouache back to life is with items from the kitchen: 

• a butter knife
• a small spoon
• a pestle and mortar
• warm water
• scissors or utility knife
• bowls to place the old gouache into
• a dropper

Gouache is a chalky paint and dries up over time for many reasons: paint gets into the grooves of the cap which prevent it from a tight seal, the paint caps and tubes crack plus constant temperature changes in your studio space can alter your paint over time. 

Gouache from a container: The first step is to scrape the dried gouache out of the container with a butter knife. After you remove all the paint, wash the jar completely so the cap and jar rim is free of from paint residue. Set your paint aside in a bowl. 

Gouache from a tube: 
It's good to have an extra paint container for the gouache you'll remove from a tube. You'll have to cut down the side to get at the dried gouache. From here, scrape the paint out with a knife an put it aside in a bowl. 

Now comes the fun part! 
Once you have all the dried paint scraped out, now you get to make a fine gouache powder with the pestle and mortar. This will get messy when you add the warm water and begin to mix it all together. Only add small amounts to make the desired thickness. Try a dropper so you can control how much water you addFrom here, put the new paint back into a container with a small spoon. Seal it with a cap. Clean your pestle and mortar and start reworking another dried up colour. Now you have new paint that is ready to use! 

This is no guarantee it wont dry up again, but it does save you money. Gouache is expensive so it's totally worth saving your favourite paint colours.  

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