View Full Version : gouache brands?

07-18-2007, 11:55 PM
Hi! I have a couple of quick questions... Is there any significant difference between using paint branded as "gouache" and mixing white with any other watercolor paint? Also, what are some descent brands of gouache paint?

Richard Saylor
07-19-2007, 03:23 AM
Hi! I have a couple of quick questions... Is there any significant difference between using paint branded as "gouache" and mixing white with any other watercolor paint?Yes and no. The better gouache colors depend on pigment saturation for opacity and not on an opacifier (such as white pigment). However, according to _Formulas for Painters_ by Robert Massey, watercolor and gouache both consist of the same ingredients - pigment (coloring) and gum arabic, so the two mediums are completely compatible. I often use both watercolor paint and gouache in the same painting.

Also, what are some descent brands of gouache paint?Holbein, Winsor & Newton, M. Graham, Da Vinci, Maimeri, etc. After trying many brands, I now use mostly Da Vinci because it is less expensive and of adequate quality. Whatever brands you choose, it is necessary to avoid colors which are not lightfast if you want your paintings to last. Permanence ratings for colors are usually available at manufacturers' web sites.


Old Tex
07-19-2007, 09:02 AM
Good tip about Da Vinci, Richard. I started out using student grade, then switched to W&N and was delighted with the difference in the paint. But since my art budget is pretty lean, I may check out Da Vinci.

07-19-2007, 09:33 AM
As Richard is describing, it depends on the particular manufacturer. Some use extenders and fillers to bulk up the paint, or for others it's better described as opaque watercolor with a more dense pigment load. Sometimes gum arabic isn't used for either watercolor or gouache, but a synthetic of polyethylene glycol.

What I also like about Da Vinci is you get more paint for the money, 37ml vs the usual 15-20. Schmincke also makes a very good gouache, called Horadam; theirs and Graham's get my highest recommendation. Turner sells a good artist's quality brand, but most are multiple mixes of pigments rather than one or two. Pebeo T7 brand is also pretty good. The "Designer" labeled brands I generally avoid.

07-19-2007, 11:52 AM
Thanks for the great info, Richard!

07-25-2007, 07:57 AM
I use mostly Holbein, which are great quality for average prices. My favorite so far is Schminke, but wow, it's expensive. I don't like W&N very much because some of their pigments get chunky and are tougher to mix with other brands.


07-25-2007, 08:05 AM
a very exquisite brand of gouache is offered by Lascaux !

08-13-2007, 12:00 AM
My personal preference for Gouache is M. Graham, simply because all their gouache is pigmented. I've had issues with brands such as Winsor & Newton and Holbein; some of their colours use fugitive dyes, and many times the ingredients are not listed. That isn't an issue for repro work (i.e. illustrators who don't really care what happens to their originals), but if you want your original painting to last, I strongly suggest using lightfast pigments.

08-19-2007, 07:43 PM
Remember, usually this is the case, the more expensive, the more pure pigment is with the binder. Tint strength is essential.

08-20-2007, 11:47 AM
hey have questions???
what are designer paints
and waht are fugitive colors

08-23-2007, 04:24 PM
Fugitive paints are paints that will change colour with (prolongued) exposure to light. Usually that means that they fade to white over time. The opposite of a fugitive paint is a lightfast paint.

09-29-2007, 09:49 PM
I like Holbein as a good price/performance compromise. For colors I use a lot of, like white, I tend to buy W&N.

In any case, I only buy pigments with good lightfastness. You have to be especially careful when buying gouache, since it is used in a lot of graphics arts work where permanence is not an issue. Fortunately, most of the basic colors are available with excellent lightfast pigments.

I like to mix a lot of watercolor and watercolor pencils with gouache for tinting. My avatar is a "sub-miniature" painting done in gouache and watercolor. It's my reflection in a ball-bearing. If you're using a 17" monitor, the original is only about 70% of the size it appears on the screen! Gouache is great for details. :lol:


12-13-2007, 01:26 AM
I've found Winsor and Newton to be great... until I started hearing about Schminke, which I can't get in Canada... now I really want to know more about Schminke. Especially now that I am trying to make my work archival! If it is as good as the few things I've found on WetCanvas and on the retailers website then I may be set for a big order. Any Thoughts?

12-23-2007, 08:54 PM
Don't forget Pelikan designer colors...a better quality gouache available everywhere.Phil

12-24-2007, 05:16 PM
i tried the pelikan- i love them... i like to looks of them!