12 February 2011

testing gouache

Sometime before Christmas, I purchased a bundle of Winsor & Newton gouache tubes on eBay. After setting up a travel palette, I never got around to really testing them out. (Christmas tends to do that)

Now seems as good a time as any to see what they can do. I've already found some colors I could do without. (I got a really good deal on them, so I guess it's OK that some won't be used.)

After reading what Roz had to say on the Artist's Journal Workshop blog, I wish I had held out for the Schmincke or M. Graham brands, but this is what I could afford.

This palette is an old one from Winsor & Newton, the Cotman WC Deluxe Sketcher's Pocket Box --- I made some alterations and fill it with my own choices, attaching the pans with dabs of rubber cement.


  1. This is GREAT! Looks like you've got a great selection of pigmemts. The gouache colors seem really intense. I can't wait to get a few to try out myself. I'm curious how they compare to transparent watercolor, and how they mix and mingle.

    It funny, I have that same sketch box, as well as the Golden Fleece travel brushes. I like how you modified the sketch box. How did you shape the ends of the brushes, what did you use? I've been wanting to do the same to mine (it will help them to fit in the box because they are just a touch too long), but I'm afraid I will tear them up.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I need to do a lot of mixing trials before I know if I like them. I'd especially like to try them on toned papers.

    To allow any choice of whole or half pans to fit in this box, I also leveled the protrusions that held the dividers in place, using a knife heated in a flame. Much more versatile this way.

    I had my husband cut the ends of the travel brushes off with his power saw, one at an angle and one straight. Then I used a pencil sharpener on the straight one --- this gives me two different tools to drag through wet washes.

  3. I have never tried gouache. My first love is water color and I am in crush with wax pencils. I think I need to own a pen brush only I don't think they are available in the Philippines as of the moment.

  4. I'm finding that I do prefer watercolor's transparency, but I want to be "fluent" in gouache for working on toned papers.

  5. I agree, Vicky! I love gouache on toned paper, but it won't take the place of watercolor, even the Schmincke and M. Graham. I am just too much in love with transparency and fluidity.

    And I LOVE the new look of your blog! Professional, clean, and the art really stands out.

  6. Thanks to some free tubes of gouache from Wendee, plus 3 from Creative Coldsnow, I've cut this gouache palette down to the whole pans seen in the "colors" page of my new journal. Mostly M. Graham with one Schmincke and a few W & N. More browns than needed, but I'm comparing them before eliminating more.

    As for the blog look --- thanks! It's still a work in progress (wish I could figure out what I want to do for a banner!)


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