What Canvas For Gouache

Gouache is a versatile type of paint that’s been gaining popularity among artists of all skill levels. Known for its opaque finish and silky texture, gouache is a joy to work with. But in order to get the best results, you’ll need to pair it with the right canvas. In this blog post, we walk you through the things you need to know when deciding on the perfect canvas for your gouache painting project.

What to Consider when Choosing a Canvas for Gouache

Gouache, with its thick consistency, is similar to both watercolor and oil-based paints. Because of this, it can be used on a variety of surfaces. The key things to consider when selecting a canvas for gouache are texture, absorbency, and weight.


The texture of the canvas can greatly affect the final result of your painting, especially with gouache. A canvas with a rough texture can give a more rustic, tactile feel to your painting, while a smooth canvas will allow for more detail and precision.


Gouache is heavily pigmented and hence requires a certain level of absorbency from the canvas. Canvases that are too absorbent, like watercolor paper, can soak up too much of the paint and may require several layers for the colors to stand out. On the other hand, a canvas with low absorbency, like one meant for oil paints, may not hold the paint well, causing it to smudge or flake off.


The weight of the canvas is also an important factor. Lightweight canvases may buckle or warp under the weight of the paint, especially if you’re applying it thickly. Heavier canvases, such as those made from linen or heavy-duty cotton, can withstand the weight of the paint better and are often recommended for gouache.

Our Canvas Recommendations for Gouache

For beginners, we recommend starting with a high-quality mixed media paper. It has the right balance of texture and absorbency that makes it great for gouache.

As you advance, you might want to explore canvas boards or stretched canvases. These are heavier and more durable, and they can handle gouache well.

Finally, if you’re looking for something more luxurious and professional, linen canvases can be a great choice. They’re highly durable, have a beautiful texture, and are well-suited for gouache painting.

No matter which canvas you choose, remember that good preparation is key. Always prime your canvas with a layer of gesso before painting to ensure the best adhesion of the paint.

We hope this guide helps you find the perfect canvas for your gouache painting. Happy painting!

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