Gouache Paints

Allison Harrison
11 min readApr 25, 2024
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Discover the vibrant world of gouache paint as we bring you a comprehensive roundup of the best and most versatile options on the market. From professional-grade sets to beginner-friendly starter kits, we’ve got you covered in this in-depth review. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting out, our roundup provides the perfect guide to help you find the perfect gouache paint for your next masterpiece.

The Top 5 Best Gouache Paints

  1. Schmincke Ready-to-Use Gouache Paint Binder for Velvet-like Finishes — Discover the ease and versatility of Schmincke’s Ready-to-Use Gouache Paint Binder with 200ml, perfect for creating a velvety, long-lasting finish with pure, water-soluble pigments!
  2. Versatile Gouache Paint for Artistic Projects — Experience the brilliance of Pebeo Studio Gouache, offering a vast color range, compatibility with various surfaces, and rich pigmentation perfect for students and professionals alike.
  3. Vibrant Gouache Art Kit with 12 Versatile Colors — The Talens Art Creation Gouache Set of 12 offers an outstanding range of opaque paint colors, ideal for creating matte sections with minimal brushstrokes, suitable for various surfaces and perfect for professional artists and illustrators alike.
  4. Intense Acrylic-Modified Tempera Paint for Art and Design — Lascaux: A water-based gouache paint with intense pigments, perfect for art and education, offering a rich hue and velvety finish, lightfast and non-bleeding, suitable for all absorbent supports, and economical usage.
  5. Artist’s Loft Jelly Gouache Paint Set — 18 Versatile Colors — Experience vivid colors and effortless mixing with the Artist’s Loft Jelly Gouache 18-color Paint Set, backed by a 4.7-star rating and ASTM D-4236 conformity.

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Reviews

Schmincke Ready-to-Use Gouache Paint Binder for Velvet-like Finishes

Schmincke Ready-to-Use Gouache Paint Binder for Velvet-like Finishes | Image

Schmincke’s Ready-to-Use Gouache Paint Binder is a versatile and convenient solution for artists looking to create their own gouache colors. With its consistency akin to honey, it can be diluted with water for easy mixing and application. The binder is perfect for pairing with Schmincke’s pure pigments, resulting in velvety, beautiful finishes.

Although the binder itself is easy to use, the mixing process can be a bit tricky, as the ideal consistency may vary between liquid and thick. To preserve the brightness of the final product, watercolor binder can be added to maintain transparency. Cleaning up is a breeze with water or soap and water for the work tools.

One key feature is the container’s capacity — the Ready-to-Use Gouache Paint Binder comes in a 200ml size, offering ample room to create your desired gouache hues. While the binder is water-soluble, it does dry to a wiping resistant film. Shake before each use to ensure smooth consistency. It is recommended to store the container in a dry and cool place for optimal shelf-life.

Versatile Gouache Paint for Artistic Projects

Versatile Gouache Paint for Artistic Projects | Image

I recently tried the Pebeo Studio Gouache Permanent White, and let me tell you, it’s become my go-to gouache for various projects. The creamy consistency allows me to achieve any edge I desire and covers the surface with just one coat. I’m particularly impressed with its drying time — it doesn’t take long to dry, and the matte finish it gives is rich and vibrant.

Incorporating the Pebeo Studio Gouache into my daily art routine has been a delight. Its versatility and lightfastness make it perfect for both students and professionals alike. I’ve found that it’s an excellent choice for creating models, studies, decors, and illustrations, and it also conforms to ASTM D-4236.

One downside is that the product only comes in 220ml tubes, which might be excessive for some projects or beginners. However, for me, it’s turned out to be the perfect size for my studio work.

The wide range of colors available in the Studio Gouache line, combined with its affordability and creamy consistency, truly make it a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality gouache. I highly recommend giving it a try!

Vibrant Gouache Art Kit with 12 Versatile Colors

Vibrant Gouache Art Kit with 12 Versatile Colors | Image

As an artist, I’ve been eagerly searching for a good quality, yet affordable gouache set. When I stumbled upon the Talens Art Creation Gouache Set of 12, I decided to give it a try.

The 12-color set, including white, lemon yellow, light yellow, scarlet, deep rose magenta, cobalt blue ultramarine, light blue cyan, deep green, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, and black, caught my attention right away. The vibrant colors and easy-to-access tubes made it a breeze to start experimenting with this versatile paint.

One of the major highlights of this gouache set is its ability to create both large color blocks and fine details. The paint’s opacity ensures that even with just one coat, the colors are strong and vibrant. Additionally, the ability to dilute the gouache with water and mix it with other colors is a game-changer.

However, there were a few downsides as well. For instance, the white paint had a streaky and uneven consistency, which made it challenging to apply. Similarly, the peach color had an odd texture and didn’t apply well, which was a bit disappointing.

Overall, the Talens Art Creation Gouache Set of 12 is a budget-friendly option that’s perfect for artists, designers, and illustrators. Although it’s not without its flaws, the pros of this set greatly outweigh the cons, making it a solid choice for anyone looking to experiment with gouache painting.

Intense Acrylic-Modified Tempera Paint for Art and Design

Intense Acrylic-Modified Tempera Paint for Art and Design | Image

When I heard about Lascaux’s Gouache, I was intrigued. I had never really delved into the world of acrylic-modified tempera paint, but the prospect of having a unique tool for my artistic endeavors piqued my interest. After all, color experts designed this gouache, and I was excited to see what they came up with.

Using this paint has been a delightful experience. The water-based formula makes it incredibly versatile; I could thin it to create a watercolor-like wash or apply it in layers for a solid top coat. The intensity of the pigments is astounding, and it really helps achieve the rich hue and velvety finish that the brand promises. While some of the negative reviews mention blotchiness and streakiness, I’ve not encountered such issues.

Another great feature of Lascaux Gouache is its lightfastness and non-bleeding properties. I’ve used it on a variety of absorbent surfaces and it works beautifully without any undesired effects. Furthermore, it’s suitable for use in art and design as well as education, making it a versatile addition to any creative workspace.

However, the issue with the plastic tops degrading and drying out the paint when left unused is a bit of a disadvantage. It can lead to wastage, which is not ideal when dealing with something as expensive as higher-end artist quality products. Nevertheless, the pros far outweigh the cons, and I’ve found that Lascaux Gouache has become an indispensable part of my artistic toolbox.

Artist’s Loft Jelly Gouache Paint Set — 18 Versatile Colors

Artist's Loft Jelly Gouache Paint Set - 18 Versatile Colors | Image

I recently tried the Artist’s Loft Jelly Gouache 18-color Paint Set and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of colors and the ease of use. One feature that stood out to me was the plastic palette, which made mixing colors a breeze. Although I experienced some differences in pigmentation and opacity among the shades, the overall set was a great value for the price.

As a beginner artist, the Jelly Gouache paint set allows me to experiment with different colors and textures without breaking the bank. The set comes with a plastic case to keep the paints fresh, and I appreciate the thought that went into the packaging. Overall, I would highly recommend this Jelly Gouache paint set for anyone looking to explore the world of gouache without investing in a high-end set.

Buyer’s Guide

Gouache paint is a versatile and vibrant medium ideal for artists seeking bright, opaque colors. This guide will help you understand the essential features, considerations, and tips for selecting the perfect gouache set to suit your artistic needs.

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What is Gouache Paint?

Gouache is a type of paint similar to watercolor but with more pigmentation and opacity. It remains wet for longer than traditional watercolor, allowing for more blending and layering. Originally used for illustration, gouache is now used in various other art forms, including fine art, graphic design, and animation.

Choosing the Right Gouache Paint

When selecting a gouache set, consider the following factors to ensure you choose the best paint for your needs and skill level:

  1. Pigmentation: Choose a set with high-quality pigments to achieve bright, rich colors. 2) Opacity: Select a brand that offers a high level of opacity, as this allows you to build up layers and create vibrant compositions.
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Types of Gouache Paints

There are several types of gouache paint, including student-grade, professional-grade, and artists’ gouache. Student-grade gouaches are more affordable but may have lower pigmentation and opacity. Professional-grade gouaches are more expensive but offer higher quality pigments and greater opacity. Artists’ gouache is a premium line specifically designed for fine art. Choose a type based on your budget and level of experience.

Maintaining Your Gouache Paints

To ensure your gouache paints last as long as possible, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause your paints to dry out and lose their vibrancy. 2) Store your paints in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from extreme temperatures and humidity. 3) Wipe the lid clean after each use and allow the paint to dry before re-capping to prevent paint from hardening inside the container.
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FAQ

What is gouache paint?

Gouache paint is an opaque, quick-drying painting medium made of acrylic, synthetic resin, or other water-based materials. It is similar to watercolor paint but has a higher level of pigment concentration, making it easier to create bold and vibrant colors with less water. Gouache is often used for illustration, graphic design, or creating detailed artwork on paper or canvas.

Compared to other paint types like oil, gouache is more water-resistant and dries quickly, making it a popular choice for artists who work quickly or need a medium that can withstand multiple layers without becoming too wet. Additionally, since it’s water-based, gouache is easy to clean up and environmentally friendly.

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What are some top brands of gouache paint?

Some popular gouache paint brands include Winsor & Newton, Schmincke, Holbein, and Daniel Smith. Each brand offers a wide range of colors, so it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Winsor & Newton’s opaque gouache range offers a broad selection of colors, while Schmincke’s Aquarell series provides highly pigmented colors and a unique texture. Holbein has a strong reputation for its high-quality gouache paints, while Daniel Smith offers a wide range of lightfast colors that are ideal for artists who work outdoors.

When selecting a brand, take into consideration factors such as the quality of the pigments used, the lightfastness of the colors, and the desired texture of the paint. It’s always a good idea to read reviews and do some research before committing to a particular brand to ensure that it meets your needs and expectations.

How should I prep the surface before using gouache paint?

Before using gouache paint, make sure to prepare the surface properly. Gouache works best on non-porous surfaces like paper or watercolor paper to prevent the paint from seeping through and creating unwanted textures. If you’re working on a canvas, ensure that it has a non-porous finish such as gesso or a suitable acrylic primer.

When using paper, it’s essential to choose a high-quality, smooth surface to ensure optimal results. Look for papers specifically designed for gouache or watercolor, which will have a surface that accepts the paint well and doesn’t absorb excess water. You can also choose a paper with a slightly rougher texture, like a lightly textured watercolor paper, for added tooth and better paint adhesion.

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Is gouache paint suitable for use with other paint mediums?

Yes, gouache paint can be used in conjunction with other painting mediums like oil, acrylic, or watercolor. Mixing gouache with other paint types can help artists create a variety of textures and effects in their artwork. However, it’s essential to consider the compatibility of the mediums when mixing or layering them, as some may not be suitable for use together or may cause the paint to become too thick or unmanageable.

When mixing gouache with other paints, be sure to choose compatible mediums and follow a few general guidelines. Avoid using oil-based mediums with gouache, as they can cause the paint to become too thick and difficult to work with. Instead, opt for water-based mediums or those specifically designed for use with gouache, such as watercolor or water-mixable oil paints. Additionally, ensure that the colors you’re mixing are compatible, as some pigments may not behave well when combined.

Are there any tips for working with gouache paint?

Yes, there are several tips and techniques that can help artists work more effectively with gouache paint. Here are a few to consider:

  1. Mix a small amount of water with the paint to get the desired texture and consistency. Gouache paint can be quite thick, so adding a little water can help make it more workable. Be cautious not to add too much water, as this can cause the paint to become too fluid and lose its opacity.
  2. Apply the paint in thin layers to achieve the best results. Since gouache is a more opaque medium, it’s essential to build up the layers gradually to create depth and texture. Allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next one to prevent the paint from becoming too wet and losing its opacity.

Is gouache paint suitable for outdoor use?

Gouache paint can be suitable for outdoor use, but it’s essential to choose high-quality, lightfast colors to ensure that the artwork will stand up to the elements. Lightfastness refers to the ability of a pigment to resist fading when exposed to sunlight, and some colors are more resistant than others. When selecting gouache paint for outdoor use, look for colors that have a high lightfastness rating and are specifically designed for outdoor conditions.

If you’re concerned about the durability of your artwork, consider using archival-quality gouache paint or supplementing it with a clear varnish or sealer designed to protect the piece from UV rays and other environmental factors. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your gouache artwork remains vibrant and beautiful for years to come.

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