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by Jessie Crook November 01, 2018

Gouache paint is unknown to a lot of artists, unaware of how the tubes of opaque watercolour can transform their work.

Winsor & Newton have formulated a Gouache paint in a huge range of colours, 90 to be exact. Being a fan of this product myself, it’s going to be easy to write this blog.

What is Gouache?

Gouache is a method of painting; it’s made up of opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a glue-like substance. To put it more simply, Gouache won’t run along your paper quite like water colour paint will.

How does it work?

You need very little Gouache paint, I squeeze out a pea-sized amount and it goes a long way. Once dry, Gouache looks like acrylic paint with a high vibrancy. Gouache is made up of a high ratio of colour pigment, the binding agent Gum Arabic and a solid white pigment such as chalk. When you consider these three mediums I think it’s easy to imagine what Gouache looks like on paper.

 If you’re looking for any level of translucency Gouache isn’t the paint for you, it has a high coverage and will dry much quicker than water colour. I’d say that’s one of the cons of Gouache, you have to think slightly quicker than when you’re using water colour. The paint drags more and sometimes you can see brush strokes if you don’t use enough water or brush quick enough. Although if you apply a second layer of paint, usually the brush stokes will become invisible and you will have a layer of bold, even colour.

 

Will I like using Gouache?

If you want flat opaque colour, Gouache is the paint for you. Learning how to best use Gouache can be a slow process but it’s worth it in the end, some abstract block colour pieces look stunning created with this medium. If you would like an opaque base coat, Gouache would work brilliantly for that too, the matte finish acts as the perfect surface for other paints or mediums to be layered on top.

About the making of Designers Gouache

Winsor & Newton have been making their Designers Gouache since 1935 and over this time they’re created 82 opaque water colours. It’s particularly popular among designers, illustrators and commercial artists. I recently painted a bold floral design with strict black lines and block colour, gouache worked perfectly with this style. Winsor & Newton say “All these tones are intermixable and you can pair them with our water colours for a flat, matte colour effect. “

Price point

All of our Designer Gouache shades come in 14ml tubes, however we do sell Ivory Black, Jet Black, Lamp Black, Permanent White and Zinc White in 37ml tubes. The 37ml tubes are sold at the reasonable price of £7.85 per tube. 14ml Designer Gouache is £4.15 per tube.

Can it be purchased in sets?

Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache is also available in two sets, there is the Primary Colour set and the Introductory set. The Primary set holds 6 primary colours and comes at the price of £16.95. 

Colours in the Primary set:

  • Primary Yellow
  • Primary Red
  • Primary Blue
  • Permanent Green Middle
  • Ivory Black
  • Zinc White

In the introductory set you get x 10 14ml tubes, this is an ideal starter set. You get every colour you'd first consider using. Then you can buy individual tubes afterwards to build on your Gouache collection. This comes in at the price of £24.95 for 10 tubes. Which means you will make a saving of £16.55 if you choose not to go down the individual tube route. 

Colours in the Introductory set:

  • Primary Yellow
  • Permanent Yellow Deep
  • Spectrum Red
  • Primary Red
  • Primary Blue
  • Ultramarine
  • Permanent Green Middle
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Ivory Black
  • Zinc White 

 

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a paint to add bold, even vibrancy to any painting then this is the medium to add to your art collection. Use it along side standard water colour to get a washed out look alongside a block of colour, it’s interesting to see different paint types side by side. Enjoy Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache and see how it can make your work stand out.

Jessie Crook
Jessie Crook


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