Gouache paint is a versatile paint that can be used on almost any surface. With so many different gouache brands to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one will work best for your needs.
So if you have ever asked yourself where can i buy gouache paint, then this article is just for you as it reviews 7 of the top gouache brands with pros and cons for each, where to buy them, along with a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision about which gouache brand will suit your needs best!
The post includes reviews of some of the best gouache brands as rated by artists and casual artists such as Sennelier, Winsor & Newton, Holbein Artist Gouache Set, Arteza, Royal & Langnickel, ABEIER (HIMI), and Caran d’Ache.
While i reviewed many more brands of gouache I decided to keep the list to 7 so you will not be overloaded with information which only makes your buying decision even harder. Hopefully this shorter list will help you more.
Best Gouache Brands
Caran d’Ache is a quality art supplier based in Switzerland, offering art supplies at the highest level meaning their gouache offering does not disappoint with an average 4.7 out of 5 satisfaction rating. This Caran d’Ache gouache set has 15 tubs consisting of 14 colors and a White in a tube that can be used for mixing. It also comes with a quality synthetic hair sable brush.
The colors in the Caran d’Ache Gouache studio 15 are: (001) White, (010) Yellow, (240) Lemon Yellow, (060) Vermilion, (080) Carmine Lake, (090) Magenta, (140) Ultramarine, (170) Azurite blue, (180) Malachite Green, (230) Yellow Green, (210) Emerald Green, (035) Ochre, (059) Brown, (005) Gray, (009) Black.
Below are how most of the colors look, the chart is from another set that has almost the same colors.
Free Blank Caran d’Ache Gouache Color Chart
Caran d’Ache also provide a free downloadable color chart (link below) that you can use to mix your preferred combinations.
- Does not flake, chip or peel
- Colors are very opaque and great for layering and painting on dark paper
- If the paint dries it is easily reactivated with water
- Water-based paint with a natural binder for paint adhesion and no plasticizer, water-soluble
- Great for layering bright colors
- High pigment concentration
- Luminous colours
- Good light fastness meaning it has good light resistance
- Long lasting metal tin for safe carry and storage
- Non toxic (but not suitable for children under 3 as there are small parts such as the cap on the white tube)
- Comes with a synthetic haired brush
- Can’t buy individual color pans when they finish so you will need to buy replacement tubes or bottles to refill the tubs or purchase a completely new set
- The pans don’t hold as much paint as a tube would
Caran d’Ache Gouache Set Unboxing video
Have a look at this unboxing video to see the contents of the set. The owner does not allow embedding of the videos in articles so you will need to view this link in the YouTube app (sorry!)
I rate Caran d’Ache as one of the best gouache brands available for the price. There are many more expensive brands out there but Caran d’Ache tick all the boxes for me.
- Set of 15 pans of gouache
- Quality Art Products
- Resists cracking
- Made in Switzerland
Arteza is another quality art supplier, and this large set of gouache paints consisting of 60 colors is my pick if you want bang for buck.
Consisting of 60 vibrant colors in small tubes rather than tiny tubs this means you will get a longer life from your gouache paints and you will also find it easier to replaced tubes that will finish much faster than others.
The fact that you have access to 60 colors also means you will need to mix less allowing you to paint more. Having to mix less colors also means you will get a consistent color range across your artworks as you never tend to mix the exact same ratios every time you mix a new batch.
With a 4.8 rating out of 5 this edges the other gouache brands out there purely based on providing quality volume. It is not a cheap set but it’s not the epitome of quality but it should be good enough for 90% of people out there looking for a large range of gouache colors at a good price.
This set is aimed at beginners and not professional artists.
- 60 vibrant colors in a stackable set
- It includes ten metallic colours
- Colors are very opaque and great for layering and painting on dark paper
- Tubes can be purchase separately when they run out
- When the paint is left to dry on a paint palette it can be reactivated with water
- Perfect for time poor artists who don’t want to premix their colors
- Paint can be applied thick or thin since you are using a tube
- Non toxic, completely toxin free
- Tubes are quite small
- Quality control may not be the best so there have been some complaints about the quality of some batches resulting in dried up tubes or paint chipping or cracking
Arteza Gouache Color Chart
- 60 Vibrant Colors of Gouache Artist Paint: Our gouache paint has a high level of pigment content, which gives artists the opportunity to blend their own color mixes.
- Rich and Opaque Coverage: The opacity of our professional gouache paint lends itself to layering beautifully. We formulated our paint set so that a little bit goes a long way.
- Nontoxic Viscous Formula: It’s important to us that all of our products, including our artist gouache set, is completely toxin-free. This set is safe and suitable for artists at all levels.
- Designed and Created by Artists: Here at Arteza, we are passionate about creating products that inspire. For us, art is an expression of the human experience. That’s why we work to make our art supplies accessible to all people.
- Art Supplies for Everyone: Arteza was built on providing quality painting, drawing & art supplies for all ages and levels. Find tons of arts and crafts accessories, paint sets, drawing supplies, and more for all your general needs as an artist.
Winsor & Newton have been producing Designers Gouache since 1935. I have been a user of their oil paints for over 30 years and I highly rate their products overall. This designers range has better opacity than the artist range but either will be good for the average artist.
As stated by Winsor & Newton, “Designers Gouache colors are a range of opaque watercolors, mainly used by designers, illustrators and commercial artists to create vibrant illustrations in solid color.”
- Designer quality gouache – highest quality
- Aimed at professional artists but also great for beginners
- Easy to use
- High levels of pigmentation in the formulation
- Gum Arabic binder
- Quality Matte finish
- No flaking, peeling
- Can be mixed with other types of gouache
- Can be replaced with individual tubes that come in 1/2 ounce (14ml) & 1 1/4 ounce (37ml) sizes
- Brushes like an acrylic, blends like an oil paint and washes like a watercolor
- Not always lightfast (depending on how much water you use)
- There have been some complaints about quality where the pigment has separated from the binder in the tube
You can find yourWinsor & Newton gouache color chart here.
- Opaque Water Colors renowned for their color brilliance & matt finish
- Introductory set ideal for designers
- Includes 6 primary colors in 14 ml (0.47 oz.) tubes
Holbein was founded in 1900 in Osaka, Japan as Holbein Art Supplies. It was modelled on german art suppliers at the time of its creation. It is one of the world’s most respected makers of professional-grade gouache paints among other art supplies.
The factory is still based in Japan, producing high quality art supplies on a consistent basis.
When it comes to the Holbein artist gouache set, the rating of 4.9 out of 5 is mainly due to the superior quality of the gouache paint which only contains the finest well ground pigments.
The only concern I have is the lack of transparency regarding what type of biner they use to mix with their pigments. My research shows that they may be using an acryl-polymer binder which in fact makes this gouache dry permanent (like an acrylic) unlike other traditional gouaches using a water based binder.
If that is not an issue for you then this is a great gouache but it is quite expensive compared to other brands.
- Professional/Designer level quality pigments
- Made from the finest pigments selected for high density saturation and light-fastness
- Vibrant colors
- Not gritty and very smooth
- Binder may be an acryl-polymer making this gouache permanent
- If the above is true then this gouache can not be reactivated with water once dry making it permanent. This may be a Pro for some.
Holbein color chart
You can find the Holbein gouache color chart can be found here.
- Vivid coloring :The beauty of the pigment carefully selected can be expressed on a picture as it is.
- Excellent light resistance :Excellent pigment with little fading property is used in a large quantity.
- High hiding power :The color painted below can be covered, since its coloring is clear and its hiding power is high.
- It is possible to use it as ink for woodcut.
Royal & Langnickel has been producing art materials since the 1950s. Producing quality art supplies at an affordable price point and this extends to gouache.
A set of 24 gouache paints from Royal & Langnickel will not break the bank.
This means you would be aware that these are not designer or professional grade gouache paints but in my opinion these are still a great offering for beginner artists looking to expand on their gouache paint range.
Don’t let the low price and entry level grade put you off though, these are a great quality paint and can be applied thickly or thinly and still provide a great level of opacity.
It blends well and mixes well with other gouache paints.
The only drawback can be manufacturing variance as some buyers have found the gouache can be too thinned out with binder and containing less pigment than they preferred. But they do need to remember that this is at the budget end of the range.
- Affordable price
- Lots of colors in the set
- Dries matte
- As opaque as more expensive brands
- Great for kids to learn how to use gouache
- Manufacturing can be varied in quality
- Can be streaky and runny
- Not for the professional artist
Royal & Langnickel Color chart
- Model GOU21-24 – Pack of 24 Royal Artist gouache colors; 21ml tubes
- Great opacity and reflective characteristics; Conforms to ASTM D-4236
- Colors in this set include: burnt sienna, cerulean blue, crimson red lake, green pale, lamp black, lemon yellow, mauve, Prussian blue
- Titanium White, Vermilion, Viridian, Yellow Ochre, Medium Yellow, White, Ultramarine Blue, Rose, Burnt Umber
- Scarlet, cobalt blue orange red, deep green orange yellow, medium green
Miya HIMI is the only Chinese brand to make the list, this manufacturer of stationary and art supplies has been producing art supplies such as gouache since 2011. As one of the newest entrants in the art supplies space it is not the smallest or worst.
Miya HIMI is a premium gouache paint set with 24 eye catching and vibrant gouache colors that come in small jelly cups for ease of use, enclosed in a convenient but durable plastic case.
What I like about the HIMI gouache set is that it comes ready to go with a simple palette and 3 premium paint brushes so all you need to do is bring your water and paper and you can start working.
- Convenient case
- Designer grade pigment and binder
- Rich colors
- Cracking and peeling resistant
- Comes with palette and 3 brushes
- 30ml (about 1.25 ounces) per jelly cup and replacements can be purchased separately
- Non toxic
- New brand, unproven over time but worth a try for the price
- Brushes are of low quality
- Travel case can be susceptible to some spills and needs to be carried flat once the paints are opened
HIMI Gouache Color Chart
- 【24 Vibrant Colors】- This set of gouache paint with 24 eye-catching vibrant colors. Benefit from rich color selection and excellent mixing characteristics, whether you are a beginner or a professional artist, these vivid colors can meet your needs for color, release your unlimited imagination.
- 【High Quality, Rich Pigments】- HIMI gouache colors are made of high-quality pigments, thick and creamy. Feature excellent coverage and great mixing characteristics. Offering opaque watercolors with matt finish. It could be rewet and reworked by water when it dries. It’s perfect to paint on watercolor paper and canvas.
- 【Portable Gouache Paint Set】- Comes with 24 jelly cup gouache paint, a palette, and 3 premium paint brushes in a portable carrying case. The unique jelly cup design with an excellent sealing lid keeps our gouache pigments wet and creamy. The all-in-one design makes it easy to carry for both ladies and children. It is perfect for indoor, outdoor, and travel painting.
- 【Safety Guarantee & Non-Toxic】- Made of eco-friendly paint material conforming to ASTM D-4236 and EN71 standards. It is safe for all ages from kids to adults. Ideal as a gift for creative adults, artists, beginners, students, kids, teens, boys, and girls at Christmas, Halloween, Birthday and more festivals.
- 【100% Satisfaction Guarantee】- Adhering to the principle of buyer first, we provide 100% after-sales service guarantee. We’re sure you’ll love our HIMI Gouache Paint Set. But if you are any issues with our products, please feel free to contact us at any time and we will make it right.
Sennelier have been around since 1887 producing high quality artist paints using the best pigments available to them and superior quality natural gums as the binder.
Sennelier’s gouache paints come in a variety of colors that are mixable with each other. They’re highly colorfast, except for the few tones needed to illustrate things.
Gouaches can be applied using brushes or airbrushes on thick paper and card stock if desired, though they have been known to work well as watercolors mixed together too!
Their paints are highly rated and very very expensive. You are also purchasing directly from the manufacturer.
Gouache Buyer’s Guide
You may wish to check out my guide on everything Gouache if you wish to take a deeper dive. Otherwise I have summarized some of the key aspects of Gouache paints below.
Do Gouache brands matter?
While I don’t believe gouache brands matter too much when you are planning a purchase within a specific price range of between $20-60 what actually does matter is the range provided by various gouache brands. By range I am referring to Artist colors vs Professional or Designer variations of the same brand.
You will find one brand offering Artist Quality Gouache as well as Professional Quality Gouache. And this makes your job in deciding what to use even harder.
I could go into more detail myself but I believe this post has every angle covered in the best possible way.
What is good gouache?
What qualities make a good gouache paint? The medium is all about hue and texture, so it’s important for the paint to have no lumps. A high-quality paint will generally include more dry pigment and less inert white pigment.
Good gouache is well-made, high opacity colored paint. It stays wet for a very long time and absorbs into the paper easily, but it also can take a lot of scrubbing before coming up off the paper which makes it easy to control.
Why is gouache so expensive?
Gouache is a type of paint that has larger particles and more pigment. This makes it cost more because it takes longer to mix. Some types are less streaky than others which means they give better coverage than the cheaper brands.
Is gouache cheaper than acrylic?
It all depends on the brand but overall gouache is more expensive. It has a higher pigment to binder ratio than acrylic, it also has the same properties as acrylic but it’s more opaque and less water-resistant.
If you shop around you can find plenty of brands that will be within your price range.
How much to spend
You can spend anywhere between five bucks to fifty bucks on a single tube of gouache or paint set, as this will depend on the size of the set, the size of tubes or tubs, paint quality whether it is artist quality or professional quality, and the brand that made it.
If you’re looking for an everyday gouache for quick painting or to perform studies, there’s no need to spend too much. The prices start to increase when you’re looking at gouache brands designed for professional level artists, as these gouache paints are usually made to higher quality using more quality pigments and binding agents. They will have better coverage and opaqueness.
If you intend of using gouache as your primary medium and something that represents your brand as an artist then it’s worth investing a little bit more in a quality set of gouache paints as you will be using these for many years to come across many works of art.
So if you are just starting out, I suggest you purchase a small set of 6 colors to get the feel of the medium and not spend more than $15. If you want to explore the differences between what average quality looks and feels like against a more expensive brand then compare them against a $30 or less set. With anything over $30 for the artist who wants to use gouache as the medium that represents their art.
It’s a beautiful painting medium, whichever brand you buy you will not be disappointed with how gouache behaves.
If you found this guide useful, I have more on Gouache here.