Over the weekend I went to the local art supply store to get a few tubes of acrylic gouache paints to round out my growing collection. I started painting with the acrylic gouache last year when I became curious about them after seeing them in Japanese illustration magazines. I've done several illustrations with them now, and my preferred method of working with them is to start with an acrylic paint base and then work up layers with the acrylic gouache. Acrylic gouache dries to a nice matte finish, thanks to the fine pigments in them. It's less gummy than acrylic tube paints, and comes in a mind-boggling range of colors. You can water them down and paint thinly with them, but I think the colors look most brilliant when diluted minimally with water.
There are several brands out there, but the two I use are the Japanese brands Holbein and Turner. The two tubes on the left in the photo above are by Holbein, the ones on the right by Turner. I use both brands interchangeably, though Holbein seems to be of a slightly higher quality. However, Turner has a larger color range. I love the names like Cosmos Pink and Peacock Blue. Locally here in Phoenix, Holbein is carried by Utrecht and Turner by Jerry's Artarama. But you can order them online from different art suppliers. Turner also has a line of what they call "Japanesque" colors, which are muted tones very commonly seen in traditional Japanese textiles and papers. The tube on the very right above is one such color, Japanesque Deep Purple. The Japanese name for it is "Edo Murasaki" or Edo purple. On this trip to the art store, I was drawn to one particular tube by it's name ... Chocolate!
I'm a chocoholic, so I just had to open the tube and look at the color. It turned out to be a nice, rich, yummy reddish brown. You can see what it looks like, and compare it to other common brown tones in the swatch sample below.
I'll have to try it out soon on a painting. Turner also has a line of pearl and metallic colors as well, which I haven't tried yet. At this point, I pretty much have the same colors in acrylic and acrylic gouache.
A peek into my work area! I'll be posting more about that another time...