Review: Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache

Here are the six tubes of Winsor & Newton Designers' Gouache I bought recently for around SGD $26. That's quite a reasonable price considering each tube is 14ml. I also bought the 5-tube primary set of M Graham Gouache and that was more expensive at SGD $39. In terms of value for money, I'll probably recommend Winsor & Newton in this case but the price really depends on who and where you buy the paint from.

By the way, there's also a 10-colour WN Designers' Gouache set available too.

The colours in my 6-tube set are:

  • Primary Yellow - PY74, PY138
  • Primary Red - PR170
  • Primary Blue - PB15
  • Ivory Black - PBk9
  • Zinc White - PW5
  • Permanent Green - PY3, PY74, PG7

I'm not sure if there are artist and student grade gouache for Winsor & Newton, just like there are for their watercolour, ie Professional vs Cotman.

These paint behave just like watercolour, except they are opaque. It's great that I can use the same watercolour palette, brushes and water containers.

This is actually my first time using gouache so I'm still getting used to the new process. With watercolour, you paint from light to dark. With gouache, you can go either way.

Shown above are the paint in concentration, mixed with Zinc White, and lighted with water. If you paint thick with gouache, it can be re-activated with water easily. When water is added, it behaves very much like watercolour, and is even more vibrant compared to opaque gouache because light is reflected off the paper through the paint.

Here's an artwork I painted using the colours. If the art looks familiar, it's because it's from the book Get Up and Gouache.

Unlike my watercolour sketches where I always draw with pen and ink, with gouache, I just laid down some pencil lines and painting with paint. I've to be more award of getting the contrast, tonal values and shapes right with the colours. I also have to plan in advance what I should paint first so that I can paint the overlapping elements last.

The paint is quite opaque but if you dilute it with water, it's going to be made transparent. I had to paint the leaves again because they were a bit transparent with water added.

The colours are vibrant. When mixed with water, they flow well.

You can use all the different watercolour techniques too, such as dry on wet, wet on dry, wet on wet, or create textures with splatter.

The quality of these gouache paint from Winsor & Newton looks good. They mix well and are vibrant when mixed. This primary set is a good and affordable introductory set for those who want to test out gouache. I can definitely recommend this easily.


Find more reviews at Dick Blick Art Materials (US) | Jackson's Art (UK)


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