Top 5 Best Gouache Paints 2023:
- Winsor & Newton Gouache Paint Set (6 Tubes)
- Reeves Gouache Color Tube Set (24 Tubes)
- Madisi Gouache Paint Set (24 Tubes)
- Caran d’Ache Gouache Set (15 Colors)
- MIYA Gouache Paint Kit (18 Cups)
Do you want to create vibrant and luminous paintings with high levels of opacity?
If yes, toss your watercolors and use gouache paints instead. Gouache paints are incredibly versatile and provide better opacity and color vibrance than much more popular watercolors. Therefore, gouache is a profoundly underrated medium.
If you want to give this unsung hero a try, we will provide you with some expert advice and help you pick the best gouache paint.
We’ll save you the trouble of having to browse the internet or go out searching for the art supply shops. Our research and honest reviews of some of the finest brands and models should help you find just what you need.
So, without any further ado, let’s start the quest!
5 Best Gouache Paints In 2023: Detailed Reviews
1. Madisi Gouache Paint Set (24 Tubes) – Budget-friendly beginner’s set
Even though not artist-grade, Madisi Gouache Paint set is an excellent, affordable option for painting enthusiasts. It is best suited for beginners or occasional painters. The good news is that this beautiful gouache paint can also be used as watercolor paint.
Madisi Gouache Paint Set includes twenty-four tubes of different colors. Each tube has a capacity of 12 ml. You can hardly find that quantity at a similar price, especially if you consider the quality as well.
The set includes most of the popular painting colors, such as crimson red or deep green, but there are some unique colors as well. Unfortunately, they are not clearly labeled.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the brilliance of the colors once you place them on your paper. The paint is quite permanent too.
On the downside, when the paint is dry, you’ll notice small cracks. If you leave it out on the palette, it will dry rather quickly, and it will not be easy to reactivate it with water. If you stain fabric, you will have to try really hard to remove the stains as this paint does not come off easily.
- 24 differently-colored tubes of 12ml each
- Bright colors
- Fair opacity
- Cracks when dry
- Stains fabric
- Tubes are not clearly labeled
2. Reeves Gouache Color Tube Set (24 Tubes) – Good value student-grade set
Reeves Gouache Color Tube set offers excellent value for your money as it contains twenty-four tubes of 10 ml capacity. The tubes are just the right size for an average-sized hand, so you won’t feel uncomfortable using them.
This set is not artist-grade either. It is best suited for students. Each of the tubes has its own color, which makes the set highly versatile. It contains some of the most popular colors used for painting, including crimson red, deep yellow, violet, ultramarine blue, and so on. You can order or buy single tubes once you spend your favorite colors.
Colors are vibrant and luminous. They cover the canvas rather well; just don’t leave them on the palette for too long as they dry and crack rather quickly. The strong chemical smell can be too much for overly sensitive painters too.
The paint is highly concentrated, and thus the tubes last quite long even though they are small. The tube design contributes to the set’s longevity, too, as it prevents leaks and minimizes paint wastage.
- Good value for your money
- 24 long-lasting tubes of different colors
- You can order the depleted colors to complete the set again
- Vibrant colors
- Sturdy tubes
- Chemical smell
- They dry up and crack when left on a palette long
3. MIYA Gouache Paint Kit (18 Cups) – A complete set of colors and ten bristle paint brushes
If you buy the MIYA Gouache Paint Kit, you will be completely equipped to start painting right away- all you’ll need is a clear canvas and a little bit of inspiration. The price is higher than the two previously reviewed sets, but the quality is well above the student-grade models too. Still, this is not a set suitable for professionals.
Do not worry – the quality and the price are well balanced. You will get eighteen different colors in unique and practical cups. Each cup has a capacity of 30 ml and is filled to the brim. The set includes all the primary colors you’ll need. Unfortunately, you cannot replace the specific color once it is depleted as colors are not sold separately.
Besides the quantity of the paint, this set will wow you with the quality too. Paint is creamy and vibrant when applied. The colors mix easily and are not muddy, even when you work with multiple ones.
The storage box seems quite sturdy and well made. The best news is that the package includes ten bristle brushes of different styles – free of charge.
- Price and quality match
- Easy to mix
- No muddy effect
- Comes with ten brushes of different styles
- Sturdy storage box
- No option to replace the colors when they run out
- Not for professional painters
4. Caran d’Ache Gouache Set (15 Colors) – Ultra-portable, high-quality paint set
Caran d’Ache Gouache Set is a high-quality set made in Switzerland. It is easy to use and highly portable and as such an excellent choice for artists on the go. The price is the highest so far, but so is the quality.
This set includes fourteen cakes of different colors and one 10 ml tube of white paint. All of the colors comply with the European legislation on safety and contain no toxic substances or heavy metals.
This Gouache Set can be rearranged as you please since all paint cakes are removable. There is no need to buy a separate palette as there are five mixing areas for you inside the storage box. Regretfully, there are no individual colors sold to replace the depleted ones.
The paint is creamy and allows for smooth application. Moreover, you need not use a lot of water to reactivate it if it dries on your palette. Do mind that it dries quite quickly when you apply it.
When it dries, the paint is resistant to cracking and fading. Still, we have noticed that color fuchsia is an exception to this rule and fades rather fast.
- Dry paint is resistant to cracking
- High color vibrance
- Creamy and smooth
- Made in Switzerland
- Color fuchsia fades rather quickly
- A bit expensive
5. Winsor & Newton Gouache Paint Set (6 Tubes) – Artist-grade set of bright, brilliant colors
The Winsor & Newton Gouache Paint Set delivers the brightest colors on our list. Therefore, if you want to be able to paint brilliant, vibrant images, do not be thrifty and buy this artist-grade set. After all, if you’re going to be a true artist, you need to invest in quality. The good news is that in this case, the quality won’t break your bank.
What makes this paint artist-grade?
Most of all, it is its opacity that creates a clear matte finish. Your artwork will not only look better in person, but due to reduced reflection, it will look great on photographs too.
Secondly, the high-grade pigment makes these colors brilliant too. As a result, the covering power is exquisite, and you can produce a vibrant image with no muddy effect, even when using multiple colors. The paint dries quickly so that you can add layers without worrying that the previous ones will lift off.
The set is not very big, especially for the price. It includes six tubes of 12 ml capacity. You might feel that the odor is a bit overwhelming. Besides, cleaning can be a chore as paint stains plastic palettes. You can use ceramic palettes to avoid this issue.
- Artist-grade set of six different primary colors
- Produces vibrant images with a subtle matte finish
- Outstanding opacity and high covering power
- Fast drying
- Bothering odor
- Higher price tag
What Is Gouache Paint & How to Use It?
Before we start, let’s make something clear – it’s pronounced ‘gwosh’!
Gouache paints are similar to watercolors as they both contain the Arabic gum binder and the same pigments. However, gouache has one ingredient watercolors lack -solid white pigment, most often in the form of chalk.
As a result, this medium creates a velvety texture that does not absorb light but rather reflects it. Consequently, the painting has a smooth, matte finish, ideal for opaque coverage.
1. Gouache Vs. Watercolor
If we neglect the difference we have already mentioned, watercolors and gouache are much alike. They are both sold in small, concentrated portions. You need to dilute both mediums with water before you start painting.
Yet, once you start working with gouache, you’ll notice it has a different consistency and is far less translucent. The most important difference is that gouache is opaque, whereas watercolor is quite transparent.
2. Gouache Vs. Acrylic
Both gouache and acrylic paint are water-based. However, gouache has a matt finish, while acrylic is quite glossy. Moreover, when acrylic dries, it is usually permanent, and you have no possibility to change something, whereas gouache and watercolor are more open to being reworked.
3. Designers’ Vs. Artists’ Gouache
If you have shopped for gouache before, you might have noticed that there are two options offered in most stores. Some gouache is labeled as ‘designers’ gouache,’ but it is not any different than artists’ gouache. It is just named that because designers and illustrators used it at first. Therefore, despite different labels, both types are the same.
4. How To Use Gouache?
We would not like to interfere with your creative flow, so we cannot answer this question. Most artists apply gouache paint when creating big blocks of solid color. You can also use it as an add-on for watercolor. It is also often used as a medium for children’s book illustrations due to its brightness.
5. What Gouache Paint Is Good Gouache Paint?
What makes any medium good? Of course, it is its color pigment and consistency. Gouache is no exception. It needs to provide a strong, glowing color that has no bits in it.
High-quality gouache paint needs to have a high concentration of dry pigment. On the other hand, there should be less inert white pigment.
6. What Brushes Should You Use With Gouache For The Best Results?
Since gouache can be diluted with water and is entirely water-soluble, you can use your watercolor brushes without worrying that they would be ruined. You do not even need any chemicals to clean the brushes after you have finished painting, just wash them with water.
The best option for your water-based work is sable or soft synthetic brush. If you want to create textural effects, you should better choose a bristle brush.
7. What Type Of Paper Should You Use With Gouache?
The heavy watercolor paper is your best and only option. If you use any other type of paper, gouache will remain on the surface, or the paper will start to cockle. The rougher the paper, the more texture will show.
See Also: The Best Paper For Colored Pencils
8. Can You Mix Different Brands Of Gouache?
You can, but make sure they have the same consistency. If you use a cheap gouache, it will most probably be much grainier than the high-quality gouache. The difference will show on the painting and affect its quality too.
What Should You Consider When Buying Gouache Paint?
If you want to get the best gouache paint to start gouache painting, there are a couple of things you should look for, such as:
Gouache paints, just like any paints on the market, are sold in different quantities. As a result, you have a wide selection of different packages that can, for example, include 18 tubes of 5 ml capacity, ten tubes of 20 ml, 20 tubes of 24 ml, etc.
If you want to get value for your money, you need to look at the quantity too.
Quantity matters, but longevity is almost as important. High-quality 5ml tubes can last longer than some cheap 20 ml tubes because the latter are less effective and have inferior coverage.
3. Ease Of Use
You might think that all paints are the same when it comes to usability, but it is not so. Paints of different types differ much:
- Pans are cakes of paint arranged on a palette.
- Tubes that contain differently colored paints are much easier to use and mix. Do mind that some brands can be more challenging to squeeze than others.
4. Creaminess And Smoothness
Try to find a creamy and smooth paint as it will be much easier to apply on any surface compared to an inconsistent, granulated paint.
5. Color Vibrance
Different paint brands will have different levels of color vibrance, and you should choose the ones that best match your painting style.
6. Drying Time
Drying time can differ significantly depending on the type of paint you use. Acrylic gouache paint is the fastest to dry and can sometimes take only a few seconds to dry when exposed to air. Some gouache paints, on the other hand, will take more than 5 minutes.
Are you ready to choose the best gouache paints for your artwork?
It shouldn’t be hard to find the set that fits your budget as we have tried our best to include both premium and low-budget models. Of course, premium sets are artist-grade while the budget-friendly ones are predominantly student-grade.
If you want the best of the best Winsor & Newton Gouache Paint Set is your number one choice! It is the only professional artist grade set on our list and offers unsurpassable color brightness and vibrance.
The best student-grade set on our list is the Reeves Gouache Color Tube Set, which comes with 24 colors and happens to be a good value for money.
If you have to work on a low budget, or you are a beginner, go for our best budget-pick – Madisi Gouache Paint Set. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the paint as well as its brightness and opacity.