Pronounced “gwash” is otherwise known as opaque watercolor. It is a type of paint, in which pigments are bound together with a type of binder as well as an added inert material like chalk. Similar to watercolor but it is more opaque.

Gouache or Opaque Watercolor


Includes the following.

Types of gouache include: Artist's Gouache, Designer Gouache and Student Grade Gouache. Artist vs. Designer Gouache, Both have a high pigment concentration and dry with a non-reflective or matte finish.

Gouache has a long history, having been used for at least twelve centuries. In the 19th Century it was produced industrially.

Materials or Supplies

Includes the following.

Artist's Gouache offers colors from single pigments or natural pigments only. These colors or pigments are the same found in other mediums such as watercolor, oil or pastel. For example the familiar pigments such as Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Deep, etc) are used. It also has a high pigment concentration and dry with a non-reflective or matte finish.

Preferred Brands

Holbein, Winsor & Newton or M. Graham

Holbein Artists' Gouache
Primary Mixing Set of 5 Colors

True primary colors, ideal for teaching color theory. Each color has the same specific gravity for extremely accurate mixing. Includes Primary Magenta, Primary Yellow, Primary Cyan, Primary Black, and Primary White.

Designer's Gouache offers colors blended from a number of pigments. The pigment mixtures or colors are unique only to designer's gouache. For example "Peacock blue" is a blue color or pigment mixture only found in Designer's Gouache.

Preferred Brands
Holbein, Winsor & Newton OR M. Graham

Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache Set
Waterbased paint for pen, brush, or air-brush work. Great tinting strength. mixes with most acrylics (test first). For fine art painting, watercolor papers are recommended. - Primary Set of 6

Student Grade Gouache

Student Grade Gouache has working characteristics similar to Artist's or Designer's Gouache, but with lower pigment concentration, less expensive formulas, and a smaller range of colors are offered.

Preferred Brands
Reeves, Savoir Faire French School OR Opaque Watercolor Gouache

Use Watercolor Type Brushes, either soft or synthetic

Preferred Brands
For beginners without any brushes who are unsure if they will continue on using this medium, Daler-Rowney is an inexpensive brand of brush to use for experimentation.

Start out with the following basic brush size & shapes then expand from there according to your painting style and budget.

  • 1 No. 8 flat brush (14 mm 30 mm)
  • 1 No. 6 flat brush
  • 1 No. 4 flat brush
  • 1 No. 6 round brush
  • 1 No. 1 round brush (Also called a “liner brush” or a “rigger”)

How to Choose the Right Brush

Note on aesthetics:
To make gouache have the appearance of an oil paintings, use Daler-Rowney Robert Simmons Titanium Brushes. These are blended synthetic hog bristle brushes, ideal for heavy paint because they hold the brush strokes. To make gouache have the appearance of watercolor, use the Daler-Rowney Simply Simmons Brushes.

Robert Simmons Titanium Brushes Robert Simmons Titanium Brushes
Robert Simmons Titanium synthetic bristle brushes offer all the qualities of the finest Chungking interlocked hog bristle but can be used with all thicknesses of acrylic and oil paints. An interlocked process enables these brushes to hold their shape.


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