Holbein Acrylic Gouache Review


Holbein Acrylic Gouache Review

This winter I enjoyed playing with the new 5 Color Holbein Acrylic Gouache set while always looking for a product that performs well with multi-media artworks adding pens & watercolor. Turns out Holbein Acrylic Gouache has unique attributes that combine the durability of acrylic paint & the mat surface quality for a finish like traditional water-based gouache.

Holbein Acrylic Gouache Paint Review

As a curious and experimental person by nature, I am always looking to try something new, fresh, and exciting like taking up flamenco dancing... I digress these days the only toe-tapping is listening to music while doing art! 

To spice up my creative world I will purchase new art products, always looking for the magic combo that can tackle my experimental explosions on a strong yet forgiving surface, THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM, but I continue to pursue its possibilities.

Color Mix Charts for 

Holbein Acrylic Gouache with 3 basic colors & white & black:

Primary Magenta, Primary Yellow, Primary Cyan

When I get new mediums, I like to paint color charts on heavy photograph printing paper bought at a clearance store years ago. It has a shiny surface that seems to take a lot of abuse for most mediums without issue, except for watercolor which needs specific watercolor paper for its staining qualities. 

I use my 23-year-old Staples purchase Swingline GBC machine to make reference booklets. I found this one like mine on Amazon now for a much better deal than Staples... it punches out the Comb style edges that fit into the Comb Spines that come in different colors and widths. This machine is such a useful tool for anyone who likes to keep notes or print off recipes as I do often and categorize them into their own booklets using clear plastic covers purchased from Staples. 

I keep all my painting charts for products purchased as well. I make a paint palette color chart for each painting as part of the preparations. 

Great idea for future references for the collectors, gawd forbid the collected paintings need a conservationist 200 years from now or for forgery checks... wink-wink, ya never know!

See some samples of paint palette charts for an oil painting, 'Tipping Point'.

REVIEW with Holbein Acrylic Gouache Paint:

  • Right away I liked the FEEEEEELLLLL of this smooth creamy butter easily rolling off the brush onto the surface.
  • ADDING ACRYLIC MEDIUMS can get a semi-transparent quality using the glazing technique. 
  • Build up texture intentionally using layers of scumbling technique over other dried layers.
  • Being acrylic paint I was wondering if pencils, charcoals, and especially pens would mark the surface film of this style of gouache and it did perform well with other mediums.
  • I am having fun with this creamy medium that glides off the brush evenly. DELICIOUS!
  • ONLY one negative... the PRICE... toooooo expensive to make this paint the only paint to go onto large formats unless relying on other mediums like watercolor to back it up for coverage in the composition.

Holbein Acrylic Gouache with watercolors.

To get an idea of how far this 5x 20ml each tube will go... I have used about half of the volume in the Holbein Acrylic Gouache 5 set which equals the coverage to make the 3 color charts and the two following paintings combined with watercolor. 

I had only 3 primary colors with black and white to make all the other colors so they get used up fast when making secondary colors like greens, reds, oranges, and purples. Using the primary set of Primary Magenta, Primary Cyan, and Primary Yellow will produce any color one wants to mix but would have to have LARGE tubes of these three to make all your colors, or will run out of tube paint fast. 

NOTE: The Holbein Acrylic Gouache does dry quickly like any acrylic paint on the palette unless you have a moist palette to keep them out longer. I have a DIY idea of how to make a moist palette at the end of this blog post.

Pink Waterlily by Minaz Jantz

PINK Waterlily: Holbein Acrylic Gouache with watercolor 
White uni-ball Signo Broad Pigment ink Pen

My first painting trial was using the Fabriano hot press watercolor paper with a previous waterlily watercolor painting and decided to layer it over with the Holbein acrylic gouache.  I also put watercolor into the wet acrylic gouache to see what happens and the two mediums cohesively mixed together very well.

CLOSE-UP of Pink Lily: Holbein Acrylic Gouache with  White uni-ball Signo Broad Pigment ink Pen

CLOSE-UP of Pink Waterlily: Holbein Acrylic Gouache highlighted with 
White uni-ball Signo Broad Pigment ink Pen (made in Japan) 

I like to add some hints of spice and was happy to see the White uni-ball Signo Broad Pigment ink Pen glides over the top of the Holbein Acrylic Gouache even though the surface was textural and yet it still went down smoothy so thumbs up performance for the White uni-ball Signo Broad Pigment ink Pen.

Garden Dance with Butterflies by Minaz Jantz

Garden Dance with Butterflies
Holbein Acrylic Gouache,  Collage, Watercolor, 
White uni-ball Signo Broad Pigment ink Pen, Pentel EnerGel Black Pen, 
on Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor Paper

I took the previous leftover wet pallet of acrylic gouache and just smooshed it into the white watercolor paper for this next art piece titled, 'Garden Dance'. Once dried, I loosely added watercolor over top, then added my traced composition over top with graphite paper.

The composition of 'Garden Dance' was traced from a design used in two previous artworks... links below. I thought it perfect subject to play around with the new Holbein acrylic gouache wanting to get into more smooshing, layering, and mark-making texture aiming for a feeling of movement and life in my garden.

Paper Cut Light Box 

Moonlight Dance on Scratchboard

CLOSE-UP of Garden Dance by Minaz Jantz

CLOSE-UP of Garden Dance
BLACK EnerGel Pen details over the Holbein Acrylic Gouache. 
Watercolor & Acrylic Gouache complement each other beautifully.

CLOSE-UP Garden Dance: glove by Minaz Jantz

CLOSE-UP of the glove in Garden Dance:
White uni-ball Signo Broad Pigment pen for the white design on the pink glove.

I give thumbs up for this medium Holbein Acrylic Gouache overall except for the price. Are they worth it? YES, but how I use them and the size of the format will have to be considered.

I can think they would make a good-to-go traveling set, as they are easy to wash up with water and a big hit of color that the pigments stay strong even when mixed into acrylic medium to create texture and glazes. 

Mix the Holbein Acrylic Gouache and watercolors for a perfect marriage made in art heaven.

CLOSE-UP: Lots of layers intermixing acrylic gouache with watercolors.

CLOSE-UP of layers intermixing acrylic gouache with watercolors.
The ink pens brought another layer of textural interest at the end.
I scrubbed the acrylic gouache getting a soft effect.

DIY paint pallet for acrylic paint to slow drying:

  1.  Use a low-sided plastic container with a tight lid for storage. (check dollar stores)
  2.  Put a damp paper towel on the bottom of the plastic container.
  3.  Cut parchment baking paper to fit the inside of the plastic container.
  4.  Push down the baking paper slightly to touch the damp paper towel underneath.
  5.  Squirt out the paint. 
  6. I could keep the paint wet for days. It is not perfect as the surface can be lumpy and paper towel water can thin out the acrylic paint but it is very helpful in a pinch.

Explore, do some smooshing, turn up the music, and create! Minaz

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