Designers Gouache is a type of opaque watercolour, used by designers, illustrators, and fine artists to create paintings and illustrations in solid, bold colour. I’ve tried several brands of gouache over the years, and some I’ve liked and some I’ve hated, and I’ve found Winsor & Newtons Designer Gouache to be the best brand of the highest quality. Winsor & Newton started producing Designers Gouache in 1935 and offers an extensive selection of colours.
Gouache is in my opinion a misunderstood medium. Often called Designer Gouache, it’s a paint that is often thought of as suitable only for graphic design. However, it has a long history as an artistic medium with artists such as Picasso and Miro making great use of the medium.
Due to the wide range of pigments used in the range it is necessary to use a series system. The series indicates the relative price of the colour and is determined mainly by the cost of the pigment. Designers Gouache has four series with Series 1 being the least expensive and Series 4 the most expensive.
Over the years I tried different colours from their selection and I eventually came to have a selection of colours I use in my pallette. I try to use colours that have an excellent lightfast rating, and I prefer opaque pigments as opposed to transparent or semi transparent. I always use a Robert E. Wood watercolour palette, and I squeeze the colours into the well of my palette and let them dry into a cake.