5 Fun Ways to Use Gouache for Your Cardmaking Designs

7 minute read

Hey there, crafters! Are you ready to dive into the colorful world of gouache and take your cardmaking designs to the next level? Well, you're in for a treat! If you have ever admired the gorgeous colors of a gouache artwork and wondered how to replicate that for yourself on a card, this is the perfect read for you!

Two beautiful gouache cards featuring oranges and lemons

Artists' Gouache Set - Strolling Through New York

In today's blog post, we're going to explore five fun and fabulous ways to use gouache for cardmaking projects. From vibrant hues to stunning effects, gouache paint has the power to add that extra "wow" factor to your creations.  So grab your brushes, unleash your inner artist, and let's get ready to paint the town (and your cards!) with gouache! 

How Do I Start Using Gouache for Cardmaking?

A gorgeous gouache painting of flowers on some brown kraft paper

How to Mix Colors and Achieve the Perfect Hue With Gouache

First and foremost, you are going to need the essential supplies for painting with gouache. This includes gouache paper, gouache paint, brushes, and palette knives. After that, you will need an array of crafting supplies to go along with your cardmaking process. To get the most out of your gouache for cardmaking, you can use the following items alongside it:

  • Stamps
  • Stencils
  • Dies
  • Cardstock
  • Watercolor Palette 
  • Embossing folders

Once you have all the materials, you're all set to create gorgeous cards with gouache! However, chances are, if this is your first time working with gouache as a crafter, you may have a lot of questions. The most commonly asked questions for gouache cardmaking are whether cardstock is suitable for it and how you can use gouache even if you don't know how to paint. The good news is, like watercolors, gouache is beginner-friendly, even as a non-painter!

Shop for the Best Gouache Paint Set for Beginners! 

Can You Paint Gouache on Cardstock?

The short answer is yes, you can paint gouache on cardstock. In fact, you can even use other mediums to paint on cardstock, such as tempera and acrylic paint. Cardstock is a thicker, sturdier, and heavier type of paper than regular ones, so its surface is suitable for holding paint. In fact, some artists actually prefer using cardstock over watercolor paper, a paper commonly used for gouache and watercolor, because of its smoother surface and easier application. It all depends on the type of texture, quality, and result that you want to achieve. 

Learn how to paint with gouache with this easy beginner gouache tutorial!

Crafting 101: Getting Started with Gouache

Cardstock is widely accessible, especially to crafters. If you want to start using gouache for cardmaking, you may want to start practicing first on a material readily available to you. The only downside with using cardstock instead of watercolor paper is that when you use too much water, moisture builds up on the surface, which leads to buckling and warping. 

If you're stuck on deciding whether you want to use watercolor paper or cardstock for your gouache-themed card, refer to the pros and cons list of using gouache on cardstock below: 

Easier to layer with other elements Using too much water can lead to buckling
Smoother, less bulky surface than watercolor paper Cardstock that isn’t acid-free tends to turn yellow over time
Cheaper than watercolor paper, can be used to practice gouache painting as a beginner
Not as durable as watercolor paper
Available in different colors, allowing you to experiment with black cardstock too Limits the chance for unique gouache texture and finishes, unlike watercolor paper
Offers a white base, unlike watercolor paper which can have a yellowish tinge
Certain techniques, such as glazing and blending, are a bit more difficult
Easier to cut and turn into other DIY projects, such as tags
Absorbs paint too quickly


Overall, when deciding on the type of paper to use with gouache, your options are many: watercolor paper, cardstock, bristol board, and kraft paper, for example. Whatever type you choose, it will depend on the needs and demands of your project. For cardmaking with gouache, watercolor paper, and cardstock are your best bet! 

Learn How to Master Gouache in Less Than 30 Minutes! 

5 Exciting Techniques to Master Gouache in Cardmaking

Now that all your materials are set and ready, it's time to delve into the fun part: the creation process! There are so many fun ways to use gouache in cardmaking, and with just a little bit of creativity and imagination, you will end up with one-of-a-kind projects to send to your loved ones! So the next time you are stuck on ideas for designing a card, try one of these techniques with gouache:

Another way to design your greeting cards is to create bright backgrounds with gouache!

The Complete Guide to Gouache Paints for Beginners

1. Use Gouache to Create Texture With Stencils

Did you know that you can easily use gouache as a substitute for embossing paste? Using either a palette knife or a brush, you can create stunning depth and texture with gouache. Here's how to get started: 

  •  Choose a stencil design with interesting textures like bricks, wood grains, or abstract patterns. 
  • Prime your surface (watercolor paper or cardstock) with a light wash of water or a thin layer of gouache to create a base for your texture. 
  • Then, secure your stencil with some low-tack tape. If you're using the Stampwheel, the Sticky Mat grid will hold your paper and stencil in place! 
  • Once secure, load your brush with gouache and gently stipple the paint over the stencil openings. This technique involves dabbing the brush lightly and repeatedly onto the stencil, creating a textured effect. 
PRO TIP: Vary the pressure and direction of your stippling to add depth and dimension! You can also try applying gouache with a palette knife for a more clean and equal texture.
  • After the first layer is dry, you can add more layers of texture by repositioning the stencil or using a different stencil design. 

Don't be afraid to experiment and layer different textures and colors to enhance your card's complexity and visual interest!

2. Paint With Gouache on Black Cardstock

Create beautiful gouache paintings on the best black cardstock available on the market!

Jet Black Cardstock (15 sheets/set)

Have you ever tried painting on black cardstock? Black cardstock provides a unique and striking backdrop for your gouache paintings. Since gouache is opaque, this allows the vibrant pigments to pop against the dark surface, creating a captivating interplay of light and color. As you apply the gouache onto the black cardstock, watch your cardmaking design come to life as if illuminated from within!

Experimenting with this technique will offer endless fun possibilities. You can create bold, high-contrast compositions and intricate florals that shimmer against a night background or explore the magic of blending colors on this unconventional canvas. The richness and intensity of gouache on black cardstock will surely leave a lasting impression on your greeting card's recipients!

3. Create Stamped Images With Gouache

If you have never tried it before, now is the time to try gouache painting with stamps! Gouache is not just for painting canvasses; it can also be your go-to medium for adding a burst of color to your stamped images. Whether you're a seasoned stamper or just starting out, this delightful combination will take your cards to a whole new level. 

To do this, simply apply some gouache mixed with a bit of water to your chosen stamp using your brush. Make sure the paint covers the entire design. Don't be afraid to get creative – mix colors, blend shades, or add splashes of contrasting tones for a truly unique look!

Make sure to stamp quickly, as the paint may quickly dry if you use too little water. Depending on how you apply the paint, the result will be a loose, colorful imprint! You can add further details with a fine liner or gel pen. 

Create beautiful gouache backgrounds for cardmaking using fine watercolor brushes!

Fine Watercolor Brushes

4. Make Vibrant and Colorful Backgrounds

Want to add a splash of color to your cards? Say no more with the power of gouache! Gouache paint is known for its opaque and vibrant nature, allowing you to layer colors on top of each other to create interesting effects. If you want to create quick and easy backgrounds that will set your cards above the rest, you can do so by making stripes, bold strokes, delicate patterns, or experimenting with different brush techniques. 

You can use washi tape, stencils, or even just a plain brush to help you create different types of backgrounds. By mixing different colors and materials, you will have an unlimited collection of gorgeous gouache backgrounds to choose from! 

Take This Free Gouache Class for More Blending Tips! 

5. No-Line Coloring With Gouache 

Who says that no-line coloring is only for watercolors? Gouache is also an excellent medium to help bring out the artist in you - by coloring your stamped images! Simply stamp your images with pigment ink, then use gouache to color in the lines. Because gouache is more opaque than watercolor, it will be easier to cover the outlines and make it look like a gouache painting! How neat is that?

Practice your gouache painting skills with this handy paint-by-number-kit and gouache bundle!

 Paint-by-Number Sheets & Artists' Gouache Set Bundle

BONUS: Give Color and Texture to Die Cuts With Gouache

Imagine a world where your die-cuts come alive with a burst of color and texture! Say goodbye to boring die-cuts and hello to stunning ones by using gouache in cardmaking. From creating beautiful gradients and swirls to flat-out gouache paintings, making die-cuts from your created gouache art will surely be the perfect finishing touches for all your cardmaking projects.  

Start Using Gouache for Cardmaking Today! 

Have we convinced you to try out gouache for cardmaking yet? If you're looking for the best gouache paint set for beginners, the Artists' Gouache Set - Strolling Through New York is perfect for you! So what are you waiting for? Begin making your gouache masterpiece today!

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