I wouldn’t say I’m “good” at gouache, but I enjoy it a lot more than watercolor – or most other media, probably.

If you’re looking for a comparison of student grade gouache, I haven’t found one as thorough as this:

That said, though? Pebeo gouache ain’t worth buying. It’s astoundingly chalky when dry and exceedingly difficult to apply evenly (there’s some sort of gooeyness to it?). I hear Arteza’s good, I know Himi to be better.

I haven’t been doing as much since the household acquired an iPad with Procreate, but I ought to be–there’s nothing as satisfying as the transformation that happens when your layers are building up and the patchy colors are suddenly Not That Shit After All, and things look like they make sense, like you’d known what you were doing all along.

m. graham

The romance of PNW honey is deeply compelling! Their ultramarine has more of a rich glow than Holbein’s, though I can’t yet speak to which is better in mixes.


  • ultramarine
  • hooker’s green
  • titanium white
  • yellow ochre
  • prussian blue


You don’t realize your materials are working against you until you try some that work for you (cough cough pebeo cough cough himi). Velvety and vivid even on paper entirely unsuitable for it.


  • ultramarine deep
  • dark green (it’s a phthalo!! don’t believe the swatch!)
  • alizarin crimson
  • true red (get a more orangey one if you’re also going to get alizarin crimson)
  • lemon yellow
  • ivory black

I also bought the mars violet from the watercolor line because I love that pigment.

miya himi gouache

Amazon.com: HIMI Gouache Paint Set 18 Colors (30ml/Pc) Paint Set Unique Jelly Cup Design Non Toxic Paints for Artist, Hobby Painters & Kids, Ideal for Canvas Painting for Novelty Gift(Blue): Home Improvement

It’s cheap! It’s good enough to learn with! It’s very much not light-fast, so in your mind the canonical copy is going to have to be a scan. Get a plastic palette knife to put some on a palette because you’ll waste a lot of paint using a brush to dispense it.

utrecht artists’ / utrecht designers’ gouache

Far more expensive than the Himi but not… actually… better.