Adult Coloring with Gouache Paint That Looks Like Real Paintings

Welcome to

Anna Grunduls Design

the blog

adult coloring with gouache paint that looks like a real painting
  • Save

Adult Coloring with Gouache Paint That Looks Like Real Paintings

tutorial adult coloring with himi gouache paint flowers
  • Save

Hey friends! Do you ever look at gouache paint illustrations and wish you could achieve that style adult coloring? Even if you don’t – which I don’t believe many people even think about – this tutorial might just spark a new creative project for you!

I’m always on the lookout for a new technique for adult coloring. Pencils are great, but I like to keep things interesting and try a bunch of different crafts.

Today’s tutorial is adult coloring re-imagined. What if you could drop the black lines in your finished artwork and get the soft, illustrative style that gouache paintings have? Well, you can!

This post may include affiliate links. If you go through these links and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Read more about it in a disclaimer at the bottom of this website.

adult coloring with gouache paint himi
  • Save

Materials you will need

  • Gouache paint – I used the HIMI gouache paints I got from Joom after a few friends recommended them to me. I have to say – I love them. They are incredibly concentrated and will last you forever. I barely used a little paint off the top for this whole project.
  • Brush – I order mine in packs of 50 from Joom, because we go through MANY brushes in this house. Also – 50 brushes for under $7? Yes, please!
  • LED Light BoardI got mine here.
  • Your Coloring Page – Ok, originally I wanted to use this postcard, but it turned out to be too thick and the light board wasn’t strong enough (even at over 300 lumens!). I ended up using this poster, I just cropped it to the right size.

Painting the first layer

To start painting, place your coloring page on the light board and your painting paper on top. You’ll be able to see the black lines through the paper – probably much better than what you can see in my picture, but the camera doesn’t give it justice.

himi gouache paint adult coloring project
  • Save

Then take your gouache paint and start painting!

A few words about gouache paints

Gouache is sometimes confused with acrylic paint, but it couldn’t be more different. Acrylic paint is very opaque and once it dries – it’s dry. You can apply multiple layers of acrylic paint over the first one and the colors won’t mix.

Gouache paint, on the other hand, can be re-activated. Once it dries completely, you can sprinkle it with water and it will turn to liquid paint again. This means, if you color over the first layer, the second layer will likely pick up some of that paint on the bottom.

It also means, you don’t need to keep your paints fresh and buy new tubes every few months. You can let your gouache paint dry out completely and then when you’re in the mood for painting just re-activate it a few hours ahead.

If you’re like me and you only paint occasionally, I recommend you switch to gouache paints. Some of my friends have been using one set of these for years!

adult coloring with gouache paint tutorial first layer
  • Save

Coloring with paint – first layer

When we draw with drawing supplies (such as pencils, markers), we usually put down the color in lines. So our mindset is to fill the space with many lines, until they create a smooth surface.

With paint, we operate in color areas. It’s much harder to make thin lines with a brush and we don’t want those anyway! The whole magic of gouache paintings lies in imperfect lines and color blocks. When you’re painting the first layer, try to paint whole areas. Don’t paint every detail separately, but connect them into bigger sections. You can always go into detail in your second layer.

Coloring with paint – top layers

Once your first layer is completely dry, you can start adding more detail on top. Set your light board to the highest setting for this, because the light will have to shine through two layers of paper and one layer of paint at this point. If you can’t see the lines through paint, try this again in the evening with the main light dimmed.

Make your paint more watery to achieve a soft gradient between the bottom and top layer. Water will activate the color on the bottom and they will mix to create a new color in between. If you prefer a higher contract and perfect coverage, use more paint and less water.

finished adult coloring with himi gouache paint
  • Save


Have you reached the right amount of detail? Great! Your artwork is officially finished. Now go find a space, where it could be displayed… 🙂

If you would like to frame it, I recommend waiting 2-3 days and letting it dry in a room with low humidity. This will let the paint dry out completely, so it doesn’t create water droplets behind the frame glass.

I had a ton of fun working on this painting and I hope you will try it out, too. Don’t forget to tag @annagrunduls and #annagrundulsdesign when you share your final painting. I want to celebrate with you and cheer you on!

Happy Coloring!

adult coloring with gouache paint that looks like a real painting
  • Save

Written by Anna Grunduls

Meet the Blogger

I'm the Owner and Illustrator of Anna Grunduls Design. I design very intricate coloring pages and use them to create fun and practical stationery to color in. Follow me on social media for blog updates!

Follow the author on: Twitter | Facebook


  1. “Oh, I recently tried adult coloring with gouache paint, and it’s such a delightful experience! The richness of the colors and the texture it creates make it feel like you’re creating real paintings rather than just coloring. It adds a whole new dimension to the relaxing activity of coloring, and the end result is so satisfying. Highly recommend giving it a try if you haven’t already!”

  2. Wow, exploring adult coloring with gouache paint that mimics real paintings has been such a game-changer for me! The richness and vibrancy of the colors add a whole new dimension to the coloring experience. It’s like turning a simple coloring page into a genuine work of art. The gouache medium provides a level of depth and texture that you just can’t achieve with regular coloring materials. I love how it allows for blending and layering, giving the artwork a professional touch. It’s not just coloring; it’s a therapeutic and visually stunning creative journey. Highly recommend diving into this artistic adventure! 🎨✨

  3. That is really cool. I’m not the greatest at this type of art but I really enjoy seeing all different types of media.

  4. I love coloring! Ive been needing to get an adult coloring book lately since I’ve just been using my kids.

  5. Wow! That was a really amazing artwork. Me and my sister also love painting so much.

  6. That is such beautiful artwork. My son loves painting so much, and this is a great gift to give him for his birthday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


I’m Anna

Top Categories

  • Save

All posts from the blog. Binge-reading ready.

turtle coloring poster gemstones diamonds pattern
  • Save

Get the most out of your coloring! Catch up on my tips, tricks and tutorials.

  • Save

Free illustrated goodies to print, color and craft.

  • Save

Tutorials, inspirations and step-by-step instructions for crafting projects.


Handmade stationery goods to color in and enjoy

adult coloring with gouache paint that looks like a real painting
  • Save
Share via
Copy link