Exploring the Difference Between Artist Gouache and Designer Gouache


Gouache is a versatile and popular medium in the world of art and design. It provides artists and designers with the ability to create stunning works that combine the qualities of both watercolors and acrylics. In this article, we will delve into the distinction between two types of gouache: artist gouache and designer gouache. We’ll explore their unique characteristics, applications, and the brands that stand out in each category.

gouache paint
gouache paint
gouache paint

Understanding Gouache Paint

Gouache is a type of opaque watercolor that is widely used by artists and designers alike. It’s known for its vibrant pigments and the ability to provide solid, matte coverage on various surfaces, making it a preferred choice for illustration, design projects, and even fine art paintings.

What Sets Artist Gouache Apart?

Artist Gouache takes gouache paint to a more elevated level. It’s characterized by its high-quality pigments, finer texture, and enhanced lightfastness. This type of gouache offers artists a broader color spectrum, allowing for more intricate and nuanced color mixing. The opacity of artist gouache ensures that the underlying layers of paint remain hidden, resulting in a rich, velvety finish.

ARTEZA Gouache Paint Set, Set of 24 Vibrant Colors in 12ml/0.4 US fl oz Tubes, Bright Gouache Artist Paint, Gouache Sets for Professionals, Students, Art Supplies for Canvas and Paper

as of July 17, 2024 12:56 pm

Winsor & Newton Designer's Gouache, 14 ml (0.47oz) tube, Permanent White

as of July 17, 2024 12:56 pm

Holbein Artists39; Gouache 15 ml Tube - Permanent White

as of July 17, 2024 12:56 pm

Holbein Artists Gouache Set of 12, G702 ,5ml tubes

as of July 17, 2024 12:56 pm

Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache Paint Set, 0.4 Fl Oz (Pack of 10), 10 Colors

as of July 17, 2024 12:56 pm

Exploring Holbein Artist Gouache

One prominent brand in the realm of artist gouache is Holbein Artist Gouache. Renowned for its exceptional quality, Holbein offers a wide range of colors that maintain their brilliance even after drying. Professional artists who seek the finest results in their work because of its exceptional color vibrancy and archival properties favor this brand.

The Intricacies of Designer Gouache

Designer Gouache, while similar in many aspects, is formulated with a slightly different purpose. It’s often used by graphic designers, illustrators, and artists who work on projects that require a flatter, more consistent color application. Designer gouache may sacrifice some color intensity compared to artist gouache, but it compensates with a smoother finish that’s suitable for reproductions.

A Closer Look at Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache

Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache is a hallmark in the realm of designer gouache. It offers a balanced compromise between color intensity and flatness, making it a popular choice among designers. The paint consistency and quick drying time of Winsor & Newton designer gouache cater to the demands of projects that involve scanning, digitizing, or reproduction.

Comparing Artist Gouache and Designer Gouache

We commonly divided the traditional gouache paint into two categories: Artist gouache and Designer gouache. However, it is important to consider what each type of paint offers rather than categorizing them based on the art created. In this article, we compare the characteristics of artist and designer gouache to help painters choose the best option for their practice.

Traditional gouache is a water-based paint that offers a matt, opaque finish. Artists, designers, and illustrators use it. Artist gouache usually contains more lightfast pigments, while designer gouache ranges often include more fugitive pigments.

Here’s a more detailed elaboration of the characteristics and qualities of “Artist Gouache” and “Designer Gouache” based on the content you provided:

Artist Gouache:

  1. Lightfastness: We know Artist gouache for containing pigments that have better lightfastness, meaning they resist fading over time when exposed to light. This is essential for artworks intended to last without significant color changes.

  2. Opacity: While artist gouache is mostly opaque, some ranges might offer semi-transparent and semi-opaque colors. This opacity allows for layering and covering underlying layers effectively.

  3. Price: Artist gouache is more expensive compared to designer gouache. We attribute this higher cost to the use of high-quality pigments that contribute to the paint’s superior lightfastness and color vibrancy.

  4. Color Range: Artist gouache typically offers a more limited range of colors compared to designer gouache. The emphasis is often on providing colors with excellent lightfastness and color mixing capabilities rather than sheer variety.

  5. Suitability for Professionals: Professional artists because of its quality, lightfastness, and color accuracy prefer artist gouache. It is used for fine art applications and is favored by those who prioritize the longevity and archival quality of their work.

Designer Gouache:

  1. Lightfastness: Designer gouache ranges often include more fugitive pigments. Fugitive pigments are prone to fading when exposed to light, which might affect the longevity of artworks created with this type of gouache.

  2. Opacity: Designer gouache is opaque, making it suitable for creating bold and solid colors with no layering. This quality is useful in graphic design and illustration.

  3. Price: Designer gouache is more affordable compared to artist gouache. This cost-effectiveness makes it a popular choice, especially for students and hobbyists.

  4. Color Range: Designer gouache typically offers a larger and more diverse color range. This can include pre-mixed colors that cater to the convenience of illustrators and designers who need a diverse array of colors that readily available.

  5. Suitability for Professionals: We commonly used Designer gouache in illustration and design because of its ease of reproduction in digital formats. It’s a practical choice for projects where color consistency and graphic elements are important.

Both artist and designer gouache share certain characteristics:

  • Finish: Both types of gouache offer a matte and opaque finish, which is ideal for creating flat, solid areas of color without the sheen of other paint types.

  • Usage: Artists, designers, and illustrators use both artist and designer gouache. Those who prioritize quality and longevity favor artist gouache, while we appreciate designed gouache for its convenience and affordability.

It’s important to note that each brand and range of gouache may have unique characteristics, so artists and creators should consider these qualities when making their choices.

The opacities of both types of gouache can vary, with some artist gouache ranges offering semi-transparent and semi-opaque colors. Artist gouache is more expensive than designer gouache because of the use of high-quality pigments.

Designer gouache ranges typically have a larger color range, offering pre-mixed colors for convenience. The characteristics of specific artist and designer gouache ranges vary.

Here’s the detailed elaboration of the characteristics and qualities of “Artist Gouache” and “Designer Gouache” presented in a tabular format:

AspectArtist GouacheDesigner Gouache
LightfastnessContains pigments with better lightfastnessContains more fugitive pigments
OpacityMostly opaque, with some semi-transparent optionsGenerally opaque, suitable for bold colors
PriceMore expensive because of high-quality pigmentsMore affordable, suitable for students and hobbyists
Color RangeOffers a limited range emphasizing qualityOffers a diverse range, includes pre-mixed colors
Professional SuitabilityPreferred by professional artists for qualityCommonly used in design, illustration, and digital media
FinishMatte and opaque finishMatte and opaque finish
UsageUsed by artists, illustrators, and designersUsed by artists, designers, and illustrators

Artist and designer gouache share the following characteristics:

  • Finish: Both types of gouache offer a matte and opaque finish, ideal for flat and solid areas of color.

  • Usage: Artists, designers, and illustrators, catering to different preferences and needs utilized both artist and designer gouache.

Remember that the characteristics and qualities provided are based on general trends and tendencies, and there might be variations within specific brands and product ranges.

In summary, the primary difference between artist gouache and designer gouache lies in their application and intended outcomes. We prize artist gouache for its luxurious finish, broad color spectrum, and archival quality. We tailor designer gouache for projects where consistency and reproducibility are key.

When choosing between the two, artists and designers must consider their specific needs. Whether aiming for fine art or graphic design, the choice between artist gouache and designer gouache depends on the desired effect and the medium of presentation.

astronira, sea, sailing
flowers, roses, vase
ai generated, nature, flowers
african, woman, african coast


Gouache paint, with its unique qualities, offers a bridge between watercolors and acrylics. The distinction between artist gouache and designer gouache provides artists and designers with options that cater to their creative pursuits. The versatility and adaptability of both types of gouache ensure that artists can experiment, explore, and create captivating works of art and design.


  1. Can I use artist gouache for graphic design projects? Artist gouache is better suited for traditional art forms because of its opulent finish. Designer gouache is more appropriate for graphic design work.
  2. Does Winsor & Newton produce artist gouache? While known for designer gouache, Winsor & Newton also offers a range of high-quality artist gouache paints.
  3. Is Holbein Artist Gouache suitable for beginners? Professionals appreciate Holbein Artist Gouache, but beginners can also benefit from its vibrant colors and smooth consistency.
  4. Can we reactivate designer gouache with water after drying? Yes, designer gouache can be reactivated to a certain extent with water, making it suitable for reworking or correcting.
  5. Are there other brands of gouache worth exploring? Certainly, there are various brands of those mentioned in this article, each with its own unique attributes and offerings.