What exactly is poster paint?
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    What exactly is poster paint?

    I've seen it mentioned in American art books or when I read something about animation backgrounds, is it close to gouache? Is it easier to work with compared to acrylics? Searching around the web seems to be a water soluble media but other than that I didn't found much good info.

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    Basically it's like really cheap tempera paint (so, kind of like gouache, I guess... but not great quality.) (It's usually used in, say, kindergarten and elementary schools because it's cheap and washable.)

    I've actually done some fairly finished-looking paintings using six basic colors of cheap poster paint, just for a lark... interesting to work with, but I wouldn't call it significantly easier, not if you want it to look like anything. I wouldn't recommend using it for anything large, though, in my experience it tends to flake off when applied over large areas. (And I reeeally doubt it's archival.)

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    Poster paint is cheap water based paint, usually made with some sort of starch binder, your standard children's "school paint." It's also commonly called tempera paint (even though it has no connection to traditional egg tempera). It comes in jars, in a limited number of mostly bright colors, and is thick and glossy when wet, flat and velvety when dry. Gouache would be a good substitute.


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    Thanks for the info! So it's a cheap medium, now I'm even more fascinated by Kazuo Oga animation background work. Before that I only heard of poster paint as a "white-out" for ink work.


    Wonder if US animation houses in the past before digital took over also used this medium.

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    Took a bit of digging, but at least for Disney the very earliest were done in watercolour, Bambi was in oils, and gouache after that. I believe pretty much all the Hanna-Barbara stuff was done in gouache, ditto with the Fleischer Brothers, although they did some pretty wacky stuff with their backgrounds. They even built models, painted them gray, and filmed the animation in front of it. Crazy!

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    In case you want a really good eyeful of those gorgeous Bambi BG's, take a look here.

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    Yeah, it's amazing what Kazuo Oga can do with poster paint. Been a fan of him for quite a few years now.

    ...I want to see what he can do with oil or acrylic .

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    Kazuo Oga is definitely the man.

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