What I use for Gouache painting


I’m always really fascinated to see what other artists have in their toolbox and I know that a lot of people who follow we are really curious to know what brushes, paints and papers I use for my work. So today I’ll be sharing my gouache collection with you as well as a recommended starters set for you if you’re looking to dip your toe in and try your hand at some gouache painting. Art supplies can be really expensive to buy so hopefully I can get you started with a basic kit without breaking the bank!

1. PAPER

The first thing you need to create just about anything is paper.
Not all papers are created equally so what makes artist paper different from say copy paper or regular notebook paper? One of the biggest differences that sets artist papers apart is archival quality. Artist papers are made so that over time, they’re less likely to yellow or degrade in quality. In the art world this is known as archival quality or acid free paper. Acid-Free means that the paper was made with water that is PH neutral or contains minimal acid. It would be really unfortunate if a beautiful artwork you made started to turn yellow over time which is why I always recommend getting archival quality paper.
Basically any art paper that says either acid-free or “archival” is totally fine and you’ll find many different papers from textured papers to colored paper to suit what you’re looking to do. With that said, sometimes you’ll see products in an art store labeled “student grade”. This means it’s for artists who are just starting out as well well as students. I always recommend student grade art supplies over anything you would find in a drugstore or department store because they’re engineered specially for art materials and age gracefully (and don’t we all want to age gracefully? ;))

Luckily, gouache is really versatile and you can really use it on most surfaces but I’ve found that my favorite paper has been the Strathmore 300 series vellum pads. They’re really easy to work with, really cheap (I think they’re about 7 bucks a pad) and you can really do a lot with them. Strathmore also has a smooth version of the pad where the paper is even smoother but I like the slight eggshell texture of the vellum. It’s a personal preference and I would suggest trying them all out so you can see what you like best too.
The smooth texture is great for scanning. These days I do 99% of my work on the Strathmore although Sometimes, I’ll venture outside if I’m experimenting but generally I always go back to that because it works and it’s really affordable.

2. PAINTS

Personally I think if there’s one place to allocate the most of your budget, it’s in the quality of your paints. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend lots of money buying lots and lots of paints. On the contrary, I would suggest getting started with the main necessities, and then adding colors to your collection as you progress.

So start off with a very small collection but make them the highest quality paints you can get. In the Gouache range, my favorites are Winsor and Newton and Holbein although recently, I’ve been more into the Holbein paints than the W&N because I love their buttery consistency

So you could either get started by purchasing a set from them or hand picking colors that you like but I think purchasing a set is a good value to get a range of color at a better price. I recommend this set Holbein Artists' Gouache Set which is a perfect place to start. If I were starting out today, this is what I would pick.

3. BRUSHES

Unlike the paints you can scale back and go cheaper here.
 If you go to an art store you’ll probably see a huge range of prices depending on the material the brushes are made with. I’ve seen brushes go for a couple of hundred dollars! But for me, I think cheaper end brushes can get the job done really well.

I love the Princeton Select line of brushes which is really inexpensive. Most of their brushes go for a couple of dollars a piece and they’re great value! If you have more expendable income or you want to level up your brushes, there’s a brand called Escoda which has fantastic brushes as well. All of the brushes that I use are synthetic which means they don’t use real animal hair which is cruelty-free and work just as well. I recommend starting with a couple of sizes and shapes. Here are my favorites and the best ones to get started:

Princeton Select Round 6 : https://bit.ly/3tvgjqp Princeton Select Round 2 : https://bit.ly/3tAOFbj Princeton Select 8 Flat : https://bit.ly/3xV2cxT Princeton Select 8 Angled : https://bit.ly/3o1IX0Y Princeton Select 8 Filbert : https://bit.ly/3exD1dj Princeton Select Round 12/0 Brush : https://bit.ly/3f2rIZu Princeton Select Round 5/0 Spotter Brush : https://bit.ly/3tyxG9L --- Escoda Brushes --- Escoda Versatil Round 6 Brush : https://bit.ly/3bcnKfY Escoda Versatil Round 2 Brush : https://bit.ly/33tcyqY


Here's a video on YouTube where I dive deeper into all my favorites! Enjoy!
 

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