Daniel Smith Gouache Review

There is a lot of buzz surrounding the new Daniel Smith Gouache. It sold out in a few days, and it got me curious. Is it really worth the hype? I share my experience with Daniel Smith Gouache’s paint and discuss whether it meets high expectations.

You can watch the video if you prefer.

Color selection in Daniel Smith gouache

Primary set

The primary set of Daniel Smith Gouache includes Hansa yellow medium, pyrrole red, and ultramarine blue. These colors are not true primary colors but rather warm primary colors. The primary colors from their limited color palette would be Hansa yellow light, quinacridone magenta, and cobalt blue.

Daniel Smith gouache review

Limited color palette

The color selection was minimal, with some colors appearing too close to each other. For example, the two blues and the three reds look very similar, and they lack a fresh cool blue like turquoise so that you can make fresh greens and purples. They could also have phtalo colors.

I understand they’re testing this new line with limited investments, but it’s still a strange selection.

Daniel Smith gouache review

Titanium white

My biggest concern is white. There is only Titanium white, a powerful, opaque white with a slight blue undertone. So it’s perfect when you’re mixing cool colors like blues and purples, but it can change the colors in oranges. It’s very slight, and most people won’t bother about this, but I’m not too fond of it. Titanium white is a bit more sticky than regular white, like Zinc white or Chinese white.

I usually mix colors with Zinc White and keep Titanium white for highlights at the very end of the painting. 

Testing the Gouache Paint

To put the Daniel Smith Gouache to the test, I decided to paint a scene in my sketchbook. I could swatch all the colors I bought, but I have theirs, which would be tedious. And there is no better way to test paint than to use it in an actual painting with your traditional painting techniques.

Daniel Smith gouache review
you can get the full tutorial for this painting

First Impressions with Daniel Smith gouache

The tubes are fully filled. When you open them, the paint is already spreading outside. The cap is good and closes very well. One tube had some binder coming out with the color, but nothing serious. The paint has a very smooth consistency and nice application. The coverage is fine, very opaque. 

I noticed the gouache was slightly sticky during the painting, which reminded me of M. Graham’s gouache. Despite this, layering and dry brushing went well. The paint was drying slowly, and I had to spray my palette once or twice during the painting session.

Using dry gouache

Daniel Smith gouache is supposed to rewet easily when dry. In the future, I plan to test the gouache in a dry palette perfect for plein air painting. 

Price of Daniel Smith gouache

The price is the highest range of artist-quality gouache paints. I have uploaded my article comparing the cost of different gouache brands per 100 ml, as you can’t compare the price per tube.


Overall, the Daniel Smith Gouache is a high-quality paint. However, I’m not entirely sold on it due to the limited color selection and the slight stickiness. I will continue to use it, but I will also keep exploring other options.

If you’re considering purchasing the Daniel Smith Gouache, I recommend getting Hansa yellow light, quinacridone magenta, cobalt blue, and titanium white. Adding burnt sienna and burnt amber might also be helpful for some paintings.

Remember that the Daniel Smith Gouache is quite expensive compared to other artist-quality gouache paint options. The hype surrounding the brand might contribute to the high price, but it’s essential to consider whether the paint meets your needs and preferences before purchasing.

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