Monday, June 8, 2020

Cleaning Out Gouache Brushes

Rafal asks: "I wonder how do you deal with brushes used with gouache when painting on location. Is it easy to clean them with water later?"

Answer: Yes, Rafal, you can reactivate gouache or watercolor that has dried in brushes and clean them thoroughly when you get home, because the gum arabic binding agent will always be water soluble.

Still, it's preferable to rinse out brushes while you're on location. For that I like to have a pint-size open vessel of water hanging from my easel to serve as a rinse-out tub. If you can't avoid coming home with brushes caked with gouache I would suggest gently soaking them to loosen up the dried paint, and then clean them with gently warm soap and water and a gentle hand soap or brush cleaning fluid.

With casein, Acryla Gouache, acrylic, or oil paint, though, you really have to get your brushes clean on location or immediately afterward.

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