Opus Resource Library
Opus Resource Library

That's right – Daniel Smith Gouache!

We're feeling ecstatic about bringing to you DANIEL SMITH's latest offering – 22 colours of opaque, artist-quality, DANIEL SMITH GOUACHE.

Daniel Smith Gouache is made with the same quality materials you would find in their fan-favourite watercolour paints. The formulation of the gouache was designed to achieve an opacity not found in the watercolours, and paint density without the use of white pigments or other fillers.

Our Introduction

In this article, we want to introduce you to Daniel Smith Gouache and offer you some insight into what this new paint line is like and how it behaves.

Tubes of Daniel Smith Gouache, with some paint on a small palette
We received a few tubes of Daniel Smith Gouache to try out here at Opus.​​

But first - our gift for you!

Receive a FREE DANIEL SMITH Gouache Dot Card with your $40+ purchase of Daniel Smith products.

The dot card contains paint samples of ALL 22 of the available Daniel Smith Gouache colours!

This offer is available while supplies last, starting February 23rd 2023; visit us in-store or shop online to redeem.

Updated February 22, 2023.

Daniel Smith Gouache paint dot card.
Our Daniel Smith Gouache Dot Card alongside some other tube colours.​​

How does Daniel Smith Gouache work?

Daniel Smith Gouache is a traditional gouache paint. Like your standard watercolours, you can use water / a wet brush to work your paints. This also means that you can squeeze your gouache tubes into pans to carry in a convenient palette case.

Where you'll find the main difference between Daniel Smith Gouache and watercolour paints is the paint opacity

In our test example below, we've drawn out a some lines and a pattern using a waterproof Sakura Pigma Micron pen. Over top of the pen, we painted Daniel Smith Gouache and Daniel Smith Watercolor, both in Cascade Green.

Demonstrating the difference in opacity between Daniel Smith Gouache and Daniel Smith Watercolors.
Daniel Smith Gouache vs. Daniel Smith Watercolor.​​

Gouache vs. Watercolour!

The first thing you may notice is the difference in opacity. The pen lines are barely noticeable if at all underneath the center portion of the gouache swatch. Towards the right edge, we can see what the gouache looks like when diluted significantly with water – there's more transparency, with less strength in colour.

When compared to the watercolour, we can also see that the colour appears flatter and more even. Cascade Green is a granulating paint in watercolour, but the gouache shows a pretty consistent tone without much variance. The granulation in the gouache can be seen in the water diluted areas. If you're seeking dramatic granulation effects, you may be better sticking with the Daniel Smith Watercolors!

What colours are available?

There are 22 colours of Daniel Smith Gouache available currently. All colours are ASTM rated Excellent or Very Good. Each of these colours is shown swatched out below. 

(We should note that the Buff Titanium and Titanium White do not show very clearly in the below photo, but we promise they're there.)

  • Buff Titanium
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Cascade Green
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Hansa Yellow Deep
  • Hansa Yellow Light
  • Hansa Yellow Medium
  • Indian Red
  • Lamp Black
  • Lavender

  • Permanent Green Light
  • Pyrrol Orange
  • Pyrrol Red
  • Pyrrol Scarlet
  • Quinacridone Magenta
  • Raw Sienna
  • Spring Green
  • Titanium White
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Wisteria
  • Yellow Ochre
Daniel Smith Gouache Dot Card swatches.
​​The above swatches were painted in the order they appear on the dot card, from left to right, and top down.

Looking for a colour chart?

Daniel Smith's colour chart for gouache is available here.

The chart shows swatches of: mass tones; a mixture of 1:1 paint and water; a 1:1:1 of paint, water, and titanium white. Also provided is the lightfastness ratings, staining, transparency, and pigment information.

What materials do I need?

The answer is quite simple! In short, the tools and surfaces you would use for watercolour paints will work perfectly for Daniel Smith Gouache.

We made our paint swatches on ARCHES Watercolour Paper. Regular plastic watercolour palettes and ceramic dishes we had on hand both worked plenty fine for working palettes.

For brushes, we used Opus Allegro Watercolour Brushes, and Willow Wolfe Callia Brushes

(The team behind this article preferred slightly stiffer brushes that hold a little less water for these paints. Those of you with good water control skills will probably do great with your brushes of choice.) 

Go For Gouache!

We hope we were able to inspire you to try Daniel Smith Gouache – you're probably already imagining how you'll incorporate these beautiful colours into your practice! 

We're excited to see what you'll create with this paint, so please tag us in your post if you share your work on social media.