Best Gouache Paint


Are you an artist turning the eye towards the vibrant and forgiving medium of gouache, or simply looking to upgrade your current painting arsenal? If so, determining the best gouache paint to suit your needs is crucial. The dense opacity and matte finish of gouache can deliver astounding results, whether you are an illustrator, designer, or fine artist. But with so many options out there, how do you know which to choose? Let’s dive into the world of gouache paints to help streamline your selection process.

Our Top Picks

To ease your decision-making process, we’ve meticulously examined numerous gouache paints and compiled our top 5 recommendations. Understanding the unique attributes of each will ensure you select the best fit for your artistic endeavors.

Our #1 Top Pick: Winsor & Newton Designers’ Gouache Primary Color 6-Tube Paint Set

Winsor & Newton is a brand synonymous with quality, and their Designers’ Gouache set does not disappoint. The primary color set comes with six essential hues, perfect for mixing a wide range of shades. The brilliant opacity and smooth consistency make for excellent coverage, and working properties are ideal for artists who seek precision and professional results. Its high pigment concentration produces vibrant colors that dry to a flawless matte finish.

Pick #2: M. Graham Artists’ Gouache Paint Set

M. Graham’s gouache set is another favorite among professionals, particularly for those preferring a honey-based formula. The addition of honey not only lends a luscious consistency but also prevents cracking and enhances color retention. This set features five tubes with a selection of key colors that mix beautifully. The production involves an eco-friendly approach without compromising the high pigment load and superb mixability that M. Graham is known for.

Pick #3: Royal & Langnickel GOU24 Gouache Color Artist Tube Paint

For those seeking both quantity and quality, the Royal & Langnickel GOU24 set fits the bill. This collection boasts 24 tubes of vibrant gouache, covering a broad spectrum of colors. The paints are smooth, easily blendable, and offer excellent coverage. Perfect for beginners and seasoned artists alike, this set represents an affordable option without sacrificing the quality of the paint.

Pick #4: Holbein Artists’ Gouache Set

Holbein is renowned for producing artist-grade supplies, and their gouache set is no exception. Offered in a variety of sets, we recommend the 18-color kit for its diversity and balance. Holbein’s gouache paints are lauded for their rich pigmentation, creamy texture, and even application. These are water-soluble while wet, and water-resistant once dry, making them a versatile choice for mixed media applications.

Pick #5: Caran d’Ache Gouache Studio Box Set

Lastly, the Caran d’Ache Gouache Studio set presents a unique form factor—pan gouache. This kit includes 15 cake-form gouaches that are known for their high pigment density and brilliance. For those artists who find convenience in portability and less mess, this set of Swiss-made pans might be the ideal choice. The quality is such that both amateurs and professionals find it a joy to use.

What to Know Before You Buy

  • Opacity and Pigment Concentration: Gouache is celebrated for its dense opacity. Ensure the gouache paints you’re considering have a high pigment load for maximum coverage.
  • Drying Time and Finish: Gouache typically dries quickly and matte. Confirm this characteristic in your selected paint to avoid unwanted sheen or extended drying periods.
  • Permanence: This refers to the paint’s resistance to fading over time. Artist-grade paints often have higher permanence ratings.
  • Viscosity and Consistency: You’ll want a paint that has a buttery consistency for ease of application but is not so fluid that it compromises coverage.
  • Color Selection: Some sets offer a broad range of colors, while others provide a limited palette that encourages mixing. Decide which is best suited to your work habits.
  • Brand Reputation: Established brands with a legacy in art supplies typically offer reliable quality. However, newer brands can sometimes offer innovative features and superior value.

Factors to Consider Before Buying

  • Your Skill Level: Beginners might prefer a set offering a vast array of colors to reduce the need for mixing, while professionals may prefer a concentrated palette that affords greater control over the mixing process.
  • Medium Interactivity: If you plan to mix gouache with other mediums, ensure the brand you pick interacts well with others and retains its properties when mixed.
  • Application Surface: Gouache works on various surfaces, but not all. Verify that the paint adheres well to your preferred surface, whether it’s paper, canvas, or something else.
  • Packaging: Tubes or pans? Both have pros and cons in terms of storage, usage, and wastage. Consider your workspace and habits when choosing.
  • Price: Determine your budget and assess which gouache offers the best value for your money. Pricier does not always mean better, but with art supplies, quality often correlates with cost.
  • Eco-friendliness: If environmental impact is a concern for you, look for brands that use sustainable practices and non-toxic formulas.

Why Trust ChooseRight?

At ChooseRight, our commitment is to provide you with tools and products that enhance your artistic pursuits. To compile this selection of top gouache paints, we have not only reviewed the products ourselves, but we’ve scoured through thousands of real user reviews. Additionally, we’ve solicited feedback from professionals in the field – artists who understand the nuances of various gouache brands and how they perform in real-world scenarios. Our goal is to ensure that you, the reader, can make an informed decision with confidence, backed by comprehensive research and reliable testimonies.

Finishing Thoughts

Whether you’re dabbling in gouache for the first time or seeking to elevate your existing toolkit, selecting the right paint is fundamental. Remember that the “best” gouache will depend on individual needs and preferences – consider factors such as opacity, consistency, permanence, color range, and price before making your choice. With our top picks and a deeper understanding of what to look for, you’re now equipped to choose the gouache paint that will best realize your artistic vision. Paint boldly and watch as your creations come to life with the stroke of a brush!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is gouache paint and how does it differ from other paints?

Gouache paint is a type of water-based paint that is similar to watercolor but is more opaque due to the inclusion of a white pigment such as chalk. Unlike watercolors, gouache provides a matte finish and solid color, which can be reactivated with water after drying.

Can you mix gouache with water?

Yes, gouache can be mixed with water to adjust its opacity and fluidity. It can be used in a thick, opaque manner or diluted to create wash effects similar to watercolor.

What are the best surfaces to use with gouache paints?

Gouache paints work best on watercolor paper, illustration boards, or other thick papers that can absorb water without warping. Surfaces should ideally be acid-free to prevent deterioration over time.

Is gouache paint suitable for beginners?

Yes, gouache is a good medium for beginners because it is easy to work with and can be corrected by re-wetting and adjusting the paint. It also dries quickly and doesn’t require any special techniques.

How do you preserve gouache artwork?

To preserve gouache artwork, it should be kept away from direct sunlight and humidity. It can be sprayed with a fixative or framed behind glass to protect the surface. Using acid-free materials also helps in the longevity of the artwork.

How long does gouache paint take to dry?

Gouache paint typically dries to the touch within a few minutes to an hour depending on the thickness of the application and the humidity of the environment. However, it remains water-soluble after drying.

Can gouache paints be used with other mediums?

Gouache can be used in conjunction with other water-based media like watercolors and acrylics, but it’s important to be mindful of the different properties of each medium when layering them.

Can you use gouache paint on canvas?

While gouache can be used on canvas, it’s not the most common surface because it does not adhere as well as it does to absorbent papers. If using gouache on canvas, it’s best to apply a layer of ground, such as gesso, to ensure better adhesion.

What brushes are best for gouache painting?

Synthetic or natural hair brushes with soft to medium stiffness are best for gouache painting. Watercolor brushes work well too, as they are designed for smooth application and good water retention.

Is gouache environmentally friendly?

The environmental impact of gouache paint varies by brand and composition. Many brands offer non-toxic and environmentally friendly options that are free from harmful chemicals and use sustainable production practices.

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