Gouache is a painting technique in which pigment is added to watercolors, producing an opaque effect. The white pigment lightens the tone. When using gouache in watercolor, the tiny particles of pigment become enmeshed in the fiber of the paper; in gouache the color lies on the surface of the paper, forming a continuous layer, or coating. Because of the chalkiness of the white pigment gouache paint dries quickly to a matte finish. When applied with bristle brushes it is possible to achieve a slight impasto or texture. With softer brushes, a smoother effect is obtained.