Gouache painting tutorial: Be kind poster project

Learn how to make a beautiful affirmation poster with this free gouache painting tutorial created by Alys Paterson

Gouache painting tutorial

Add a patterned twist to favourite phrases with Alys Paterson’s bright and beautiful gouache lettering. Fun to use and easy to experiment with, gouache is perfect for creating colourful art. Alys’ project combines words and pattern so you can go with the flow to add extra depth to the special mottos or names in your life. Creating the detailed patterns also helps you focus – ideal for a spot of relaxation!

Learn how to make your own beautiful affirmation art with Alys’ gouache painting tutorial.

Looking for more painting inspiration? Explore our beginner’s guide to gouache painting, watercolour painting for beginners guide and acrylic painting guide.

If you’re looking for more fun painting projects to try, have a go at painting a watercolour cactus or learn how to paint a butterfly, how to paint a self portrait and experiment with monochrome painting techniques. We’ve also put together some creative watercolor painting ideas, art journal ideas and fall painting ideas for you to explore.


You Will Need

  • Pencil
  • Gouache paints
  • Small/medium paintbrush
  • Heavy cartridge paper or watercolour paper

Total time:

Step 1

Decide on the words, name or phrase you would like to paint. Sketch the letters lightly in pencil. Draw yours freehand if you don’t want them to look too uniform, but you could also print out the words and trace around them.

Gouache painting tutorial step 1

Step 2

Paint a base colour for each letter. You can use the same colour for each letter or mix it up as shown. Use a fine brush for the edges of the letters to keep the lines crisp, then fill in the rest of the letter using a bigger brush. If you want a really matte finish you may find you need two coats of gouache paint.

Gouache painting tutorial step 2

Step 3

Once the gouache is dry it’s time to add the patterns. Have fun, with spots, stripes, diamonds, zigzags… wherever your brush takes you. You can use contrasting colours for a bit of zing or opt for a more muted palette.

Gouache painting tutorial step 3

You’ve finished our gouache painting tutorial! Enjoy experimenting with different patterns and designs to make your own stunning affirmation artwork.

Gouache painting tutorial

Gouache painting tutorial: make your own patterns

There are infinite possibilities for creating patterns – let your instincts lead the way! Whether you’re out in nature or pottering around the house you’ll find patterns wherever you look. Keep an eye out for designs and colour combinations that you’re drawn to and experiment with working them into your art.

Below are a few tips and ideas to get you started, including some favourite colour combinations and ways to effectively combine curves and dots with straight lines.

Gouache painting tutorial
  1. Get the consistency right! Once mixed, gouache should be the consistency of single cream. It’s a water-based paint, so if it dries, just add a bit more water to make it the right consistency again.
  2. Experiment with other mediums. If you want to move on from gouache, watercolour paints and coloured pencils offer a more subtle style.
  3. Embrace your imperfections.Don’t let perfection get in your way. Lines that are less than straight or dots that end up splodgy can often enhance the pattern and create a sense of freedom in your projects.

Want to stock up on art supplies? Explore our guides to the best watercolour paints, best acrylic paints and best drawing tablets for beginners.