During the month of November I had the chance to be contacted by Arteza to test some of their products. I was happy to accept because I’d seen some other artists that I love on Instagram using their products, and was curious about them.
As I had the choice to choose which product I wanted to test, I was mostly curious about their gouache paint. I hesitated at first before their watercolor products, but as I already have my Neocolors, the Winsor & Newton, and Van Gogh palette (which I still haven’t even tried), I wanted something new to test and but still around painting.
Also, I was given two paper pads of 32 sheets 300 g/m². Maybe I'll be using those later for my next stickers (I think!) But let me continue about the paints… (I’ll give a brief overview of the paper at the end.)
The set of 24 colors came in a nice, colorful cardboard box! I don't know if I would’ve naturally selected this set because I would assume it contained bright colors, since I prefer more pastel colors, but this is just my personal opinion. On the back of the box is a summary of all colors in a small legend, which is always useful to see what’s inside.
Once we open the box, we see all the tubes are stored in a plastic holder, which I didn't like, at all. It makes this horrid plastic-y noise which I couldn’t stand and wanted to just take them out. I felt it didn’t quite fit the exterior packaging of the nice, smooth box.
First of all I will say that this is my first time ever using gouache, and so for this first test I decided to just wing it and go for it… So I maybe didn't use them correctly? I did however, do some quick research and read some quick tips and notes about gouache.
The first thing I always like to do when I'm about to use new products is to do color swatches. It’s always useful to see the real colors and also to see how they look once dried. This is when I discovered that the colors "described" on the tube weren’t always true to the color it said or that were described on the back of the packaging. Some were completely different which is disappointing.You can see for yourself in the following :
If like me you only have one paint palette and it has dried acrylic all over, then you can take a simple dish and use that as a palette. You can add your paint on it. I always like to just squeeze out very little, I feel a little goes a long way for me, but that always depends on the style, or size of the drawing you’ll be doing. You don’t want to waste your products, but the good thing about gouache is that even when it’s been taken out of the tube it reactivates with water even when completely dried.
So, what are the different things that I’ve noticed with gouache?
I mostly use watercolor so I’m not too familiar with other types of paint, even though I have tried acrylic, but not quite often.
- The first thing I noticed is the opacity of the paint, it’s more opaque than watercolors.
- As I mentioned before gouache reactivates with water, meaning the paint which was once dried on your paper will reactivate and become “wet” again, so you have to be careful when adding layers to your painting because they can all mix.
- I read online that many get this problem and will get “mud” on their painting because all of their colors mixed together, so be careful! The tip I read was to choose your colors wisely to avoid this problem.
- Also, because it reactivates the paint you've squeezed out from the tube and that has dried can still be used, you just have to add water to it. So you don’t have any wasted paint, unlike acrylics, where once it’s dried it can’t be used anymore.
- Once gouache has dried on your paper it remains the same as when they were wet. Often with other paints the colors become lighter once dry, but not with gouache.
- Gouache is pretty opaque but it can still be watered down and used as a watercolor.
- It also dries pretty quickly!
The Arteza Paper
The one they sent me is their 32 sheets watercolor pad. It is listed as being : cold press (which after some research I discovered meant it’s textured paper, while hot press means it’s smooth paper), it’s acid free, 300 g/m² or 140lb. As for the size they are A4 sheets (21 cm x 29.7 cm).
It also lists that it can used for watercolor, as for mixed media. I won’t be giving a review on the paper, maybe later in the future once I have used them more since I mostly paint in my journals.
I hope this quick overview of Arteza’s gouache paint has been useful! As I am a beginner, I can’t give much of an in depth review or compare them to any other brand of gouache, but so far I really enjoy using them!