two kids painting
Make your world a little brighter. DepositPhotos

If you haven’t tried gouache paintings before, you’re missing out. Gouache is a form of opaque watercolors. They have the vibrancy and richness of opaque painting styles like acrylic or oil, and also the flexibility and easy-to-fix qualities of watercolor. They come in pans or tubes, can be rewetted, and dry to a matte finish ideal for illustrations. If you haven’t tried gouache before, explore one of these starter paint sets below.

Budget-friendly and brightly colored set. Amazon

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Want to test the waters of gouache without committing to pricey artist paints? Love to fill up backgrounds of solid color in your sketchbook without worrying about wasting paint? This budget-friendly starter set of 24 12ml gouache tubes is for you. Colors include classic palette options like burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and shades of red or yellow. The paints are rich and vibrant, mix well, and are a great way to start exploring the medium.

Well packaged, brightly colored pick perfect for experiments. Amazon

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The generously sized pans (30 mls!) of these gouache paints make it easy to play around and experiment. The pigments rewet easily and a snap-on lid prevents them from drying. You’ll get a plastic insert that doubles as a mixing palette, too. The pigment cups are removable and replaceable, and 18 colors are plenty for small sketches and studies or full-on paintings. It’s a little too bulky to bring to travel on the go, but it’s portable enough to lug to your next figure drawing session.

A great choice for professional artists. Amazon

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If you’re ready to move on to artist quality gouache (or just want to start from higher quality paints to begin with), you’ll be rewarded with velvety, rich pigment that mixes beautifully. A twelve-color starter set will let you mix pretty much any color you’d want to use. Artist quality tubes dry quickly and are full of pigment, which means even when you’re just messing around, the paints might help your practicing sketches look just a little better.