If you’re in the market to purchase a gouache paint set, it’s worth doing your research before making the splurge. There is a wide variety of gouache paints available, and they vary widely in quality, price, and coverage. Many gouache artists use Winsor & Newton paints—but are they right for you? To make an informed decision, read the complete Winsor & Newton gouache review below.
Winsor & Newton Gouache: Pros
Clean Color Mixing
Gouache paints can be made from single or multiple pigments. Typically, it is easier to mix paints that are made with a single pigment, because you will be better able to predict the resulting color. Mixing multi-pigment colors, on the other hand, can result in muddiness. However, this isn’t a problem with Winsor & Newton gouache paint. Mixing colors—even when it incorporates a multi-pigment color—typically results in a clean color.
Bright Colors With High Pigmentation
One of the hallmarks of gouache paint is a bold, opaque wash of color. This is a result of the high level of pigment used in the paint’s formulation. Gouache has a higher proportion of pigment to binder than, for instance, watercolors—which is what makes watercolors more thin and transparent. However, you’ll also find a wide range of pigmentation levels across different brands of gouache paint.
Winsor & Newton gouache paints offer a good level of pigmentation, especially at their price point. That makes it very easy to get that desirable flat wash of color.
Layering is very easy with Winsor & Newton paints, which is a result of its pigmentation. The colors are highly opaque, which means that in many cases, you won’t have to paint multiple coats of a color to completely cover another element of your composition. Even when painting over a dark background, the paint is pigmented enough to create an opaque layer.
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Wide Variety of Colors
Winsor & Newton gouache paints are available in 87 colors. All colors are available in 14 mL tubes, and select shades of black and white are available in bigger 37 mL tubes. They are available as gouache paint sets (either six or 10 tubes) as well as individual tubes of paint. This makes it easy to purchase exactly the colors you need, rather than buying an unnecessarily large set that may include colors you rarely use.
Winsor & Newton Gouache: Cons
Winsor & Newton are more expensive than some introductory level gouache paints, like Arteza. While Arteza gouache paints cost an average of less than $1 per tube, Winsor & Newton paints range from $5 (if purchased as part of a gouache paint set) to $25 per tube. For some artists, this can be prohibitively expensive.
Inconsistent Paint Consistency
Sometimes, you will find that Winsor & Newton paints aren’t a uniform consistency when squeezed straight from the tubes onto the paper—some may be creamy, while others are a bit watery. While this can easily be remedied by mixing the paint a bit with your brush (and water, if desired), it is a drawback for some artists.
Color Swatches Don’t Always Match the Paint
A common issue with many brands of gouache paint, the color swatches printed on the front of Winsor & Newton gouache paints don’t always match the colors when painted on paper. To some extent, this is simply a function of gouache paint—it tends to change as it dries. Often, dark colors can lighten and light colors can darken. The best way to remedy this issue is to create your own swatches of color, so you can be sure you’re choosing the right shade for your composition.
What Else You Need to Know About Winsor & Newton Gouache
Winsor & Newton gouache paint has been around since 1935, so the brand has had a long time to evolve and perfect its paint. It’s been used for years by professional illustrators, and is consistently highly ranked by both novice and professional artists.
Where to Buy Winsor & Newton Gouache
Winsor & Newton gouache paints are available to purchase on the company’s website. However, you can also purchase them at craft stores, including Michaels and Blick Art Materials, as well as online at Amazon.
What Is the Best Brand of Gouache?
There is no one brand of gouache paint that’s considered the best; it comes down to each artist’s individual preferences. While Winsor & Newton gouache paints are consistently highly ranked by artists, there are a few other brands that are also recommended often, including Holbein and M. Graham.
To discover the best brand of gouache paint for you, it’s best to purchase a few tubes of different brands so you can compare the pigmentation, opacity, and coverage. Then, you can confidently purchase a wider range of colors that will best serve you and your art.
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