I’ve been working with Gouache for a few years now and collected quite a few art supplies throughout my journey. In this article and video, I wanted to show you my collection and towards the end, I have something for you to get you started in your Gouache journey! So here goes:
When it comes to Gouache paints, Windsor and Newton has been my favourite and an absolute go-to. I’ve tried other premium brands like Sennelier and Schminke Gouache and also a few budget gouache paints but none of them matched up to the experience the Windsor and Newton gave me.
I started out with only their set of primary colours which came with Primary Red, Primary Yellow, Primary Blue, Zing White, Ivory Black, and Permanent Green Middle. I was surprised by how many colours I was able to achieve with just this one set ((If you’d like to learn more about mixing colours, check out my course on colour mixing!) and I’ve been using these tubes for almost 2 years so I’d say it’s totally with the money. This also helped me experiment with these colours and it was great practice for me as a beginner.
I then slowly started investing in a few more colours like the Brilliant Red Violet, the cool tones versions of the primaries and some earthy tones like Burt Sienna, Burnt Umber, and Yellow Ochre. To see my entire paint collection, check out the video!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I have a slight obsession with palettes and therefore I have quite a few. I have a simple plastic palette with a mix of large and small wells where I can mix paint and reactivate them even if they dry. I do not wash my palettes till I use up all the paints that I’ve mixed because it’s an expensive medium.
When I’m working on larger pieces, I like to mix more than I need (because in Gouache, it’s almost impossible to mix the exact same colour twice), I use my large air-tight palette which has a lot of wells that allow me to mix and store mixed colours that I can reactivate. I also have a few ceramic palettes with brush rests (which is super thoughtful btw!) that I picked up from a local brand in India. They are so cute and it feels so smooth on the brush when I pick up paints from them.
My brush collection includes a few round brushes that I primarily use for painting. Most of them are from Princeton brushes. I like how they come to a fine tip so I can get both broad strokes but also use them to line my work or paint details. I also have flat and angled brushes that I use for techniques like dry brushing or background washes. The brushes I use for dry brushing and mixing are relatively inexpensive because, with these techniques, the bristles tend to get damaged relatively quickly.
I also do a lot of traditional Indian art forms and these involve a lot of fine lines and details. For this invested in a set of Monte Marte Fineliners and Detailers which have helped me achieve beautiful details and thin lines.
Unlike watercolours, where your paper plays an important role in your painting experience and the outcome, Gouache is a very forgiving medium when it comes to papers. A simple ivory sheet will work for gouache. I personally recommend that you get started with one that’s 300GSM simply because it’s comfortable to work with and you can experiment with different paint thicknesses and techniques without much buckling. You don’t have to worry about cotton, cellulite etc.
Some of the papers I’ve been using are Canson Montval, Hindustan’s 100% cotton watercolour paper, and Lana’s hot-pressed papers. The last one I usually use when I want to scan the artwork because these papers don’t show the paper grain when you digitise your pieces. The most recent addition to my collection is a sketchbook from a local brand called Furry Tail Arts that I use as a sketchbook for both my Gouache and Watercolour work.
When I work with Gouache, I use a few additional accessories. These include a 2B pencil for sketching, a micron pen for sketching, adding details, or signing my work, a brush rest to rest my brush after washing to fry, a few glass jars for water when I’m painting, and a ceramic water jar for when I’m feeling a bit fancy! I also always keep a waste cloth to wipe my brushes or dab off excess water/paint.
Something for you: Gouache Starter Kits
Now to something I’m super excited about. I recently collaborated with Hindustan Trading Company to build 2 Gouache Starter Kits - A basic and A Pro Kit. These kits come with a free resource that you can download to get started on your Gouache journey, a set of Gouache paints, a palette a few brushes, and a sketchbook. To see in detail everything that’s in the kit, check out the video. You can also use my discount code SHIVANI10 to get a 10% discount on your purchases from HTC!