Product Review: Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache

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Much like my Passion Planner review, this post isn't going to be the typical pros and cons list. Once again, I have no cons.

A couple years ago, I tried a 3-month subscription to SketchBox, a subscription service that delivers new art supplies to your door every month. It's a great idea in theory, but in practice I was underwhelmed. I received watercolor pencils, then oil pastels, then acrylic paints - they were nice quality, but nothing new to me. I was hoping for some more under-the-radar types of art supplies.

I discussed this disappointment with my dad, who actually used to work at an art supplies store. He absorbed the information and then surprised me with a set of Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache for my 30th birthday. It was a brand new medium for me, and I've had a ton of fun playing with them since. In fact, the entire Birds+Blooms collection was painted with that very set!

How to Use Them:

Gouache works very much like watercolor, it's just more strongly pigmented. They blend just as beautifully, but you can build up bright, solid colors more easily. All this to say, you can follow any gouache OR watercolor tutorial to get the technique down. (Spoiler alert: keep an eye out for next week's blog post!)

A Quick Demonstration:

The most notable thing about gouache, as I've alluded to above, is its color intensity range. I painted a flower with some foliage last weekend. The first stopping point looked like this, which was a perfectly passable flower:

first version of painted gouache flower

Something still didn't feel "done," though, so I kept going:

second version painted gouache flower with gold

Everything on this page except the gold is gouache! (The gold, for anyone interested, is Finetec watercolor in Arabic Gold.) I didn't turn up the saturation on the photo - it's really that bright.

So, long story short, I'm incredibly impressed with this gouache series. An excellent birthday present!

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