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Sometimes called opaque watercolor, gouache is a popular water-based paint that is used by artists and designers. Its opacity, brilliance, and matte finish make it a favored choice for illustration work, including posters and comics. While you can buy these paints individually, the best way to immerse yourself in everything this medium has to offer is with a set.
Unlike watercolor, gouache can provide full coverage of color. Not only that, but after it is applied to the paper, it will dry in a smooth and flat texture, which is why it works so well in certain types of illustrations. In addition, since this medium has a fast drying time like acrylic paint, and possesses an opaque appearance, you can even add layers of gouache to your composition to hide mistakes or create more depth. But before you start, it's important to have high quality paint on hand.
Whether you're new to painting, a student, or a professional, we've selected the best gouache paints to help you get started. Among them are esteemed brands like Winsor & Newton and Holbein, which offer an array of smooth colors that can be used as-is or mixed with each other to create a more diverse palette. Or, there are larger sets, like the one from German brand Schmincke, which include even more ready-to-use hues.
Scroll down to see our selection of the 11 best gouache paint sets.
Need more art supplies? Check out our lists of the best palettes, paint brushes, and watercolor sketchbooks.
Create beautiful artwork with one of these high-quality gouache paint sets.
Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache, Primary Set of 6
When in doubt about where to start, you can't go wrong with Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache. Since 1935, this product has been popular for its high-quality pigments. This set comes with six primary colors in 14 ml tubes—all of which will appear smooth, flat, and opaque when applied to paper.
Daler Rowney Aquafine Gouache
Daler Rowney gouache paints can be used directly from the tube, or diluted with water to create a semi-transparent effect. This makes them ideal for both mixed media art and traditional techniques. The set comes with essential colors like yellow ochre, titanium white, and burnt umber which you can mix to create a more diverse palette.
M. Graham Artists' Gouache
This professional-quality set features five highly pigmented colors, including cobalt blue and naphthol red, with no added opacifiers or adulterants to the formula. Instead, M. Graham includes honey in their gouache paint to increase flow and moistness.
Holbein Artist Gouache Set
Holbein gouache paints are professional-grade colors that are opaque, brilliant, and do not bleed or crack. This set of 12 will help you render vibrant artwork with a selection of colors like burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and violet.
Caran d'Ache Gouache Studio
Swiss brand Caran d'Ache offers a convenient pan-style design of their gouache paints. Not only does it maintain the same quality of opacity and smoothness, but it's also portable for traveling artists.
Royal Talens Gouache
Unlike other brands, Royal Talens gouache paints are made with a unique dextrin-based binder. This allows artists to cover large areas with ease.
MIYA Gouache Paint Set
MIYA jelly gouache paints are unlike the standard product. With hues that vary from medium yellow to neon green, the unique jelly cup design and a sealing lid help keep the paints creamy for a long time. Additionally, each cube of color can be removed from the tray.
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Gouache Paint
If you want a gouache paint that is also water-resistant, then you'll want to take a look at acrylic gouache. Liquitex has a set of 6 primary colors, featuring intense opacity, a matte finish, and a fluid texture without the need of mixing it with water (which is the case with regular gouache paints).
Utrecht Artists' Gouache
Made in Brooklyn, New York, Utrecht gouache paints are a favorite among students and professional artists. All of their colors offer great flow, brilliance, and a velvety matte finish.
Maimeri Artist Gouache Plastic Box
Italian brand Maimeri is known for its high-quality painting products. This gouache set of 12 features an array of opaque colors like lemon yellow and sky blue that are fast-drying and easy to apply to a variety of surfaces, including canvas.
Schmincke Horadam Artist Gouache
Schmincke gouache paints are ideal for professionals. No white is added to any of the colors, so they boast great covering power and easy mixing. Plus, since all of the paints are finely grounded, they can also be used in 0.15 mm airbrush work.
This article has been edited and updated.
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