What is gouache (wash – rhymes with squash), also called opaque watercolor, is paint that is heavier than traditional transparent watercolors. Its use is centuries old. From the Italian “gauze,” meaning “water paint,” it appears to go back some 800 years, used originally to illuminate manuscripts. Early European painters used it as an outdoor sketching medium, and it was used extensively during the golden age of magazine illustration because of its fast-drying characteristics. It continues to be used today by artists and designers in the film industry. It was used rarely for finished paintings, and declined in popularity for many years. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest in this type of paintings.