Are gouache paint sets worth buying?

Gouache is a type of water-based paint thicker than traditional watercolors and popular with illustrators. One reason to consider this set over others is the variety of colors it offers, along with being cost-effective. This article will examine the benefits and drawbacks of using gouache paint sets to determine if they are worth buying.

Table of Contents

You can watch this video where I talk about gouache sets, using the Irodori Spring gouache set by Holbein.

The Advantages of Gouache Sets

The set’s assortment of colors:

Most gouache sets include various colors, ranging from the core colors to more niche colors. This can be very advantageous for painters because it allows them to experiment with multiple color schemes and produce a wide range of colors. Additionally, it may be simpler for an artist to get the precise shade required for a project. 

A wide variety of colors can also open up additional artistic possibilities for artists; they can experiment more with combining and contrasting colors to produce distinctive tones. 

Gouache sets
Gouache bouquet painted with the Irodori Spring set by Holbein

The ease of use:

A gouache set with many colors can make painting easier in several ways. 

  • First, it removes the need to continuously switch between various paint tubes, which can be time-consuming and cause the painting process to become disorganized. An artist doesn’t have to stop and look for the shade they need because the set includes a variety of hues. 
  • Second, a large variety of colors gives an artist more freedom to experiment with various color pairings, which might open up new creative possibilities for their work. As a result, making art can be a more gratifying and joyful activity. 
  • Third, having a set with a sizable number of pre-selected colors can also save an artist time and effort when choosing particular hues. This can be helpful for novices who might still need a full palette of colors or a solid grasp of color theory.
  • Fourth, having a pre-mixed color guarantees always to have the same hue when painting. When you have large surfaces to paint, you can run out of your mix during the painting, and you’ll never be able to mix more.


A gouache set’s potential to save money over time is one of its advantages. Sets frequently represent a better value than purchasing individual paint tubes because the price per color may be lower. In this way, buying a set allows you to instantly have a variety of colors without having to buy each one separately. Additionally, you can uncover offers or discounts that reduce the set’s cost when purchasing sets. 

Beware, as some brands offer sets with smaller tubes than the ones sold by the unit. So it may seem like a good deal, but it’s not! Always refer to the price per 100 ml, not the price per tube. 

For example, Holbein has different sets, including one with small tubes of 5 ml instead of 15 ml. So when you look at the price per 100 ml, it’s very expensive!

The drawback of Gouache Sets

Inability to comprehend color mixing

Buying a gouache set has some disadvantages, one of which is that you won’t master color blending. You might not have the chance to learn and experiment with color mixing when you have access to all the necessary colors. Your ability to develop original and novel color schemes may be limited, reducing your understanding of how colors work together. A good idea would be to buy a set of primary colors like this one:

Favorite gouache palint
Holbein Gouache Primary set

Furthermore, relying too much on pre-mixed colors from a set instead of mixing them yourself can stop you from learning more about color theory. As a result, you may need more time to produce precise hues and tones for your artwork and to make more deliberate color selections. Some brands have huge sets, like 56 colors for Himi gouache, and I don’t see the need for so many colors, as they can confuse you more than help you.

Limited palette

Buying a gouache set has the disadvantage that it can only have some of the colors you want or need for your artwork. Many color sets come with a pre-determined palette that might not contain some of the shades you need for a particular project or artistic style. This may restrict your creative potential and make it more challenging to produce your desired works. 

Additionally, this limited color selection could make it difficult for you to try brand-new color schemes or artistic approaches. The set’s available color possibilities could constrain your ability to express yourself artistically. 

Shall you buy gouache sets?

The best gouache set for one artist could not be the best for another, so keep that in mind. When it comes to art supplies, everyone has distinct requirements and preferences. Because of this, you must conduct your research and base your decisions on your unique needs and tastes. 

Consider your budget, painting technique, the kind of art you produce, and the particular colors you want. It’s critical to be aware of potential drawbacks, such as a limited color palette and quality or a lack of understanding of color mixing.

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