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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-13-2009, 07:42 PM
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BeeCeeEss BeeCeeEss is offline
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Re: Watercolor brushes and gouache?

Originally Posted by Ian Bruce

And can anyone give me some opinions, and pro-and-con, on acrylic versus traditional gouache?

Basically I think they are more like acrylic paints that dry to a flat finish rather than anything approaching true gouache. I've used Holbein's Acryla Gouache and Jo Sonja's Gouache. They both dry fairly quickly and become very resistant to being re-wetted or lifted once thoroughly dry. For that reason, I advise strongly that you use only synthetic brushes with them. They can be just as hard on your brushes as regular acrylics. The Acryla Gouache has a much higher pigment load than the Jo Sonja's and much, much greater opacity. I would class the Acryla Gouache as a professional grade paint, but not so with the Jo Sonja Gouache. I find the Jo Sonja's paints to be rather watery and weak. The one area where I might find the Jo Sonja's gouache to come in handy is if I want to lay down a nice, clear, non-grainy wash that will not be damaged by additional layers or brush strokes once it's dry.

Generally, I don't think any of the hybrid-acrylic gouaches can compare with true gouache in opacity, handling characteristics and smooth, even flow off the brush.

Originally Posted by Ian Bruce
Is Turner a decent brand of gouache? The sale price at Jerry's is very good right now! Please excuse all the questions--I am about to embark on experimenting with gouache for the first time.

According to my copy of Gouache for Illustration, by Rob Howard, he rates Turner Design Gouache with 4 (out of 4) stars for opacity, 3 1/2 stars for brilliancy, and 3 1/2 stars for handling. Some quotes from him on Turner Design Gouache: "It is superb...As with most artist's materials, preference is a result of personal taste.... I especially recommend Turner Design Gouache to artists whose work relies on opaque and brilliant color. For that purpose it is unsurpassed. Although it has superb ability to blend transitional tones, upon drying it shifts tone a bit more than any of the other brands tested. Once you learn how to judge the tonal shifts, Turner Design Gouache will indeed live up to its claim."

There were only three other brands that he rates nearly so highly, Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache, Holbein Gouache (their regular, not the Acryla) and Schmincke. I'd call that pretty good company.

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Old 06-26-2010, 09:47 AM
Trond Trond is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,115
Re: Watercolor brushes and gouache?

For what it's worth: I think my gouache brushes are holding up better than those used for any other medium (although it's been a while since I used plain watercolors). Holbein makes a big point of their paints containing no extenders, so if that's the problem, then Holbein may be a brand to try out.


W&N seems to give similar results to Holbein, but smells differently (perhaps W&N use ox gall in their paints?). I would recommend both.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:52 AM
Merritt Merritt is offline
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Re: Watercolor brushes and gouache?

I exclusively paint in gouache and have done for decades, I use W&N series 7 sable and Kolinsky sable brushes. Some of these brushes are over 25 years old and still hold their point. This may be due to me washing them after each painting session with brush cleaner and preserver. W&N, Holbeink and Schminke gouache and water colours have been my prefered products over the years. I am fussy about the products I use and am reluctant to change after all these years.
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