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. 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.​

What you will find on this page

Artist's Gouache

Offers colors from single pigments or natural pigments only. These color 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.

Holbein Artists' Gouache Sets Holbein Artists' Gouache Sets
Available in 5 ml and 15 ml tubes, each Artists' set is arranged for the fine artist with lightfastness and the landscape still life watercolorist in mind. Artists' sets of 12, 18 and 84. Designer sets of 12 and 24.

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

Student Grade
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


Watercolor Type Brushes (soft, synthetic) Preferred brand: 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”)

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.


Used with gouache does not have to be really expensive. Smaller sizes work well as gouache dries quickly.

  • ​EITHER Heavyweight sketchbook paper (9x12 or larger) ​
  • OR Cardstock which is heavy weight office paper that goes into the printer (8.5x11) 
  • OR Watercolor paper (9x12 or larger) (either hot or cold press).


Palette for mixing paints
Palette Knife
​Preferred w/ flexible tip

Container to Hold Water
  • Brush Washer
  • ​OR Bowl 
  • ​OR a disposable cup (for water)

Palette for Mixing Paints
  • Wax paper
  • OR Disposable palette paper 
  • OR Plastic palette (Any Brand)

Paint Storage
  • Watercolor palette with cover (Any Brand)
  • OR disposable paint rags

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