Gouache for Painters
Gouache for Painters
Gouache for Painters
Gouache for Painters
Gouache for Painters
Gouache for Painters

Gouache for Painters


Regular price $165.00
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Course Fee: $165
Materials: Student-provided (see Supply Information below)

TIME: 10:00AM - 4:30PM PDT
LEVEL: Intermediate to Advanced
AGE GROUP: Adult (ages 18+)
LOCATION: Building 306, Fort Worden, Port Townsend. 

Gouache is having a moment. Painters of other mediums have adopted it as their plein air and travel medium, or for small paintings. It is opaque like oils but water-based and painted on watercolor paper, drying quickly with easy clean up, and is lightweight and portable. 

However, gouache has unique consistency challenges that might have frustrated you if you tried to learn it on your own. Luckily, it is pretty easy to figure it out when someone shows you the tricks. Teaching artist Anne Pfeiffer has been painting with gouache for 15 years and will quickly expose the mysteries.

We will start with a slide show of examples from modern day gouache masters, do a few mixing exercises, and then move on to a simple still life to get the feel of gouache. After lunch we will go outside and paint plein air on the beautiful Fort Worden grounds (or if the weather is not ideal, we will paint more complex still lifes in the classroom). 


  • Artist grade gouache in tubes.
    In warm and cool primaries plus white, or whatever palette colors you are used to using in your other medium, or have already purchased in a set.  Artist grade brands are: Winsor Newton Designer Gouache (not the ones that aren't the designer line), Turner Designer Gouache (preferably not the Acryl), M. Graham, Schminke, Daniel Smith, Holbein Artist Gouache (not the acrylic gouache). Feel free to save money by sharing tubes with a friend who is also attending the workshop because this is one of those mediums where the less expensive brands and student grade versions are a waste of your money and will just cause you more frustration. Online stores like Blick or Jerry's can save you money but order early because delivery can take two weeks. 
  • 140 lb (300 gsm) cold press watercolor paper in a pad, 9" x 12" or 8" x 10". Suggested brand is Fluid cold press because of its texture, but other quality watercolor pads are fine. 
  • Drafting tape, or low-tack beige tape, or artist tape to make borders (you can share with a friend).
  • Brushes. 
    Gouache is different from watercolor because you don't want your brushes to hold a lot of water, so leave your beautiful sables or other soft, thick brushes at home. Inexpensive short handled synthetic white or golden taklon brushes that are thin at the flat bristle edge, with a little bounce in the bristles are the best for gouache. 1/4" and 1/2" flat or bright, and an optional small round or smaller flat.  You want them to be softer and thinner than oil brushes, but a little stiffer and thinner than watercolor brushes.  You can find these at Michael's. 
  • Mixing tray (these are also available for your use at the school).
  • Absorbent paper towels or Scott shop towels.
    Optional: the fat, absorbent green auto towels will save you from using a lot of paper towels, but also bring some paper towels for cleaning your mixing area. Plastic bag for throwing your used towels in.
  • A portable chair or tripod stool, and a hat with a brim for plein air.
    Optional: A table top easel for painting the still life, a plein air easel for painting outdoors. Like watercolor, you can also just paint in your lap when outdoors. A portable or easel umbrella.
  • Sketchbook for notes and preliminary sketches, 2B pencil, eraser, portable sharpener.
  • Water in a tightly-lidded large container for plein air. Second empty tightly lidded container for emptying your dirty water into. Water dish. You will refresh your water more often than watercolor or acrylic. 
    Optional: The airtight 16-well paint storage box from Dugato on Amazon, which comes with a collapsing silicon water dish. The removable silicon cover keeps colors from spilling into each other when traveling.
  • Small misting spray bottle.
  • Drinking water and snacks.
  • A bag or backpack for carrying your supplies.

After registration, course details are available via the Northwind Art School learning portal, including course syllabus and supply information. Learn more

Anne Pfeiffer has a graduate degree in painting and decades of experience as a high school art teacher, community college art instructor, and adult and teen workshop instructor. She currently lives in Port Angeles and paints landscapes and still lifes, often plein air, and participates in regional and national exhibitions and events.

See more: courses with Anne
Artist website: Anne Pfeiffer@annepfeifferartist and @annepfeiffer

This course is eligible for a 10% member discount at the Supporter level and beyond. 
Get a membership today!

Don's Pharmacy offers Northwind Art School students a 10% discount on art supplies.

If Northwind Art has to cancel a course for any reason, all enrolled students will receive a 100% refund (including any materials fee).

Students who withdraw from a course at least seven days prior to its first meeting will receive a 90% refund (less any materials fee).

Students withdrawing fewer than seven days from the first day of class are not eligible for a refund except in the case of illness or injury, in which case they are eligible to receive a 40% refund (less any materials fee).

Please note that 10% of every course’s registration fee is considered to be a non-refundable deposit in cases of withdrawal to cover administrative overhead. All refunds will be applied to the same credit card that was used for enrollment. No credits or transfers will be granted. Please contact registrar@northwindart.org for more information.

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