When I was in grad school at SCAD, I started using gouache to paint with. It is great for textile design work because it is matte and opaque, which makes for nice blocks of solid color and less sheen when scanning in to put into repeat (as opposed to acrylic or watercolor, which can both be transparent, and acrylic can sometimes also be a little glossy). I quickly started using Holbein’s Acryla Gouache, and for the last 8 years, it has been primarily what I paint with! I love that it isn’t re-wettable like some gouache can be, so I can paint in layers without the pigments bleeding. 

I’m not sure why it took me so long to think to do, but for fun, I recently took all the colors of gouache I have (over 50!) and painted some little color chips with them. I love that I’ll be able to easily pull these out to pick a color palette, since the colors can be ever-so-slightly different than the color on the tubes. 

I also love that in these paint chips I can remember more easily which colors are ever-so-slightly more translucent than others (you can see the streakiness in their swatches). And it’s always fun to compare colors. 

I’ve collected a lot of colors over the years, but I still constantly reach for my favorites! I mix these colors, but I absolutely love how pretty many are directly out of the tube. If anyone from Holbein reads this — reach out to me! I desperately want a green straight from the tube that’s a good mix of olive and sap green! I’m constantly mixing those two! Many of the “greens” straight from the tube are too cool. If you are trying to compare colors and decide which to buy — I hope this helps you!

    1. I still use acrylic or oils for painting canvas/panels, but I love it for my sketchbook and textile design/pattern work!


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