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My Honest Turner Acryl Gouache Review [12 Colors Set]

Choosing acrylic vs gouache? Why not combine?! Acrylic gouache has properties of both!

I’ve recently made 4 mini paintings and one portrait with Turner acryl gouache and let me share my thoughts.

turner acryl gouache portrait
Portrait I made with Turner acrylic gouache

I also have Holbein gouache and Holbein acryla gouache and I will compare acryla to Turner’s acrylic gouache as well.

Turner Acryl Gouache Review
Swathes and mini paintings I made with Turner acrylic gouache

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Is acrylic gouache different?

There are some differences in composition and use between the acrylic paint, gouache, and acrylic gouache.

Difference between regular gouache, acrylic paint and acrylic gouache
Difference between regular gouache, acrylic paint and acrylic gouache reactivate
  1. Traditional gouache:
    Regular gouache is a type of paint that’s often called “opaque watercolor.” It’s like watercolor paint, but it’s thicker and more opaque, which means it can cover up mistakes or previous layers of paint more easily. Gouache is usually used on paper and provides a matte finish. It’s great for detailed work and illustrations, but it can re-activate with water after it’s dried, so you need to be careful if you’re adding more layers.

Read also: Holbein Gouache Review [Artist’s 12 Colors Set] – Top-Notch Quality

  1. Acrylic Paint:
    Acrylic paint is a versatile type of paint that’s water-based but dries to a water-resistant and flexible gloss finish. It’s often used on canvas, wood, and other surfaces. Acrylic paints are known for their fast drying time and vibrant colors. Once they dry, they’re usually permanent and won’t reactivate with water. They can be thinned with water for a more watercolor-like effect or used straight out of the tube for thicker coverage.
  2. Acrylic Gouache:
    Acrylic gouache is a bit like a mix between regular gouache and acrylic paint. It’s more opaque like gouache, but it dries water-resistant and remains more vibrant like acrylic paint. It’s often used by artists who want the best of both worlds: the smooth application and matte finish of gouache, combined with the durability and water-resistance of acrylics. Acrylic gouache is usually applied on paper, canvas, or other surfaces and can be layered without reactivating previous layers.

In a nutshell, regular gouache is good for detailed work but can be reactivated with water after drying, acrylic paint dries waterproof and vibrant, and acrylic gouache gives you the opacity of gouache with the durability and layering possibilities of acrylics.

Read also: Gouache Vs Acrylic: Major Difference Between Gouache And Acrylic


My Honest Turner Acryl Gouache Review

I tried out Turner Acryl Gouache, and I really liked it! It’s affordable high-quality gouache, thick as acrylic paint. The colors are super bright, opaque, and mixed easily. It covers the surface really well and dries quickly to a velvety matte finish.

You can also watch my YouTube video review:

Key Features:

  • Mind-blowing 236 color chart range
  • Highly pigmented colors (high quality)
  • Creamy consistency
  • Great coverage with matte velvety finish
  • Great adhesion to versatile surfaces from paper to styrofoam
  • Quick drying like acrylics
  • Smooth blending and mixing
  • Good water-resistance
  • Most colors have excellent lightfastness
  • Japanese standards and quality
  • Great for illustrations, reproduction and mixed media
  • Affordable
Turner Acryl Gouache Review / turner acryl gouache yusuke nakamura set

High in pigment composition

Turner acryl gouache is a professional water-based paint made of safe fine pigments and acrylic binder.

As it is an acrylic gouache it has acrylic polymer emulsion binder instead of regular gum arabic. But ti keep it still a gouache, with matte and opaque finish, the ratio of pigments to emulsion is higher than in acrylic paint.

There are some easy-flow agents and thickening agents as part of additives in Turner acryl gouache but they are still not as heavy body as professional acrylic.

The colors are fully pigmented and do not contain any inorganic pigment made of heavy metals (toxic).

They are quite open about the process and sometimes show on one of their Instagram pages how the paint is mulled, packaged, or mixed. Interesting to watch!

Turner Acryl Gouache Review

Colors: My swatches

One of the most striking features of Turner Acryl Gouache is its impressive range of colors.

From rich, deep tones to delicate pastels, this paint line caters to diverse artistic preferences.

My 12 color set is very unique as it is a collab between Turner Colours and famous Japanese illustrator Yusuke Nakamura.

Turner Acryl Gouache Review/ turner acryl gouache yusuke nakamura set
My little Nakamura set

My colors are single and mixed-pigmented:

  • White (single pigmented – titanium dioxide)
  • Jet Black (single pigmented – aniline black)
  • Burnt Sienna (mixed pigments: synthetic iron oxide + magnesium ferrite)
  • Sky blue (mixed pigments: copper phthalocyanine, titanium dioxide, arylide yellow)
  • Permanent Green Middle (mixed pigments: copper phthalocyanine, arylide yellow)
  • Permanent Lemon (single pigmented – arylide yellow)
  • Permanent Yellow Deep close to orange (mixed pigments: two different diarylide yellows)
  • Permanent Red (single pigmented – naphthol carbamide)
  • Gold Light (mixed pigments: magnesium ferrite with metal oxide coated mica)
  • Pastel Emerald (mixed pigments: chlorinated-copper phthalocyanine, titanium dioxide, arylide yellow)
  • Pastel Lavender (mixed pigments: titanium dioxide, carbazole dioxazine, copper phthalocyanine)
  • Pastel Pink (mixed pigments: titanium dioxide, naphthol AS)

It’s truly a unique set, only 12 colors but I have all main colors, 3 pastel and 1 metallic.

Turner Acryl Gouache Review color swatches
Turner acryl gouache swatches.

But Turner’s color range is more impressive than that.

Turner acryl gouache has total of 236 colors available:

  • 92 original colours
  • 15 pastel colors
  • 24 pearl colors
  • 9 metallic colours
  • 6 grayish colors
  • 69 Japanesque colors (coarse texture)
  • 13 Lamé colors (shining and shimmering colors)
  • 3 mixing colors
  • 6 neon colors

Quite Thick Consistency

Directly from the tube Turner acrylic gouache is something in between soft and heavy body acrylic paint, it is thick yet creamy as regular gouache.

With some water the consistency changes immediately to a very fluid, yet same opacity, flowy paint.

Turner Acryl Gouache Review consistency vs Holbein acryla
Turner acryl looks heavier body

No impurities, no lumps, no separated binder coming out of the tube.

Optimal consistency for painting with acryl gouache is 2:1 paint to water.

To make it act like watercolor, you need to add quite a lot of water as the color stays pretty intense.


Very Opaque Colors

One of the standout characteristics of gouache is its opacity, and Turner Acryl Gouache maintains this quality beautifully.

  • White – opaque
  • Jet Black – opaque
  • Burnt Sienna – opaque
  • Sky blue – opaque
  • Permanent Green Middle – opaque
  • Permanent Lemon – semi-opaque
  • Permanent Yellow Deep – opaque
  • Permanent Red – opaque
  • Gold Light – opaque
  • Pastel Emerald – opaque
  • Pastel Lavender – opaque
  • Pastel Pink – opaque
Turner Acryl Gouache Review opacity
Turner Acryl Gouache Review opacity

The colors are impressively opaque when applied without thinning them with water. They dry somehow even more opaque than when they were wet.

Turner Acryl Gouache Review opacity

Of course, once you make it more like watercolor – with much more water – the colors will appear transparent.


Finish and coverage

Turner Acryl Gouache Review finish

Turner acryl is very opaque and dries quickly to a velvety finish. It dries completely matte.

Very good coverage with water. Dry brushing, just as with acrylic paint, will “eat up” more paint, so use water.

One layer is usually enough to fully cover paper.

You should use thin layers, and brands doesn’t recommend textured or thick application.


Fast-drying

Turner acryl gouache dries faster than regular acrylic paint – within 5-15 min as brand says, but I’d say under 5 min with dry brush, under 10 min with more water.

Unlike regular acrylic paint, acrylic gouache while being fast-drying, keeps its gouache base and dries to matte finish.

Yet, we know once acrylic dried on a palette we can simply peel it off. As acryl gouache has less polymers it won’t peel as one uniform plastic film.

But can easily be scrubbed off with soap/water.


Tubes

In my set tubes are 11 ml. To be honest I think it is rather a small tube. I don’t think it will last long and I will not be comfortable making larger paintings with it.

BUT!

turner acryl gouache tubes
Turner Acryl Gouache Review tubes

It is only because it’s a collab. In regular set the tubes are of 20 ml.

However, if you will buy paint tubes individually there better sizes.

Sizes available:
  • 20ml tube
  • 40ml tube
  • 100ml tube
  • 250ml pouch

The tubes themselves are firm but plastic, and have quite a lot of general information on them which I would put just on the box.

But each color also states what pigments are used, what is the lightfastness of it and the non-toxic label.

Unlike acryli paint you won’t find the information about opacity on the tubes as gouache in general is considered to be highly opaque.


Versatile

According to Turner, you can use their acryl gouach on pretty much anything: wood, acrylic sheeting, stone, PVC, fabric, clay, metal, slate, glass, aluminum, iron, vinyl, Styrofoam, stretched canvas, etc.

Yet, compared to acrylic paint the adhesion of acrylic gouache is still not that strong.

Acryl Gouache won’t stick to polyethylene, polypropylene or nylon plastic at all.


Water-resistant

Turner acrylic gouache is water-resistant because of its acrylic binder. Once it is dry, you cannot rewet it, reactivate it or correct any mistakes.

It also makes it more durable but not as durable as regular acrylic paint, because acrylic gouache has less binder. So it is like 90% water-resistant.

Turner Acryl Gouache Review waterproof
Turner Acryl Gouache Review waterproof

It’s important because when you use Turner acryl with lots of water – you are diluting the composition even further (more than the suggested 2:1 paint to water) and the water resistance goes down.

In case you need washes, use the acrylic medium for that.

And also, water-resistant doesn’t mean waterproof. To fully protect the dried painting, use a brush-on or spray acrylic varnish.

Varnishing options for Turner acrylic gouache:

  • Krylon or Winsor&Newton spray varnish.
  • Turner Gloss Varnish.

Lightfast

Lightfastness is how Turner’s acrylic gouache is resistant to fading.

Turner Colours has a simple LF grade that you can find at the back of the tube, at the bottom.

  • ★ ★ ★ Excellent LF (50+ years)
  • ★ ★ Good LF (20-30 years)
  • ★ Fair LF (10-20 years)
  • No stars Poor LF (less than 10 years)

So in my color set most of the colors are permanent except just a few:

  • White – Excellent lightfastness
  • Jet Black – Excellent lightfastness
  • Burnt Sienna – Excellent lightfastness
  • Sky blue – Excellent lightfastness
  • Permanent Green Middle – Excellent lightfastness
  • Permanent Lemon – Excellent lightfastness
  • Permanent Yellow Deep – Good lightfastness
  • Permanent Red – Good lightfastness
  • Gold Light – Excellent lightfastness
  • Pastel Emerald – Good lightfastness
  • Pastel Lavender – Good lightfastness
  • Pastel Pink – Fair lightfastness

In other paint colors, decorative and fluorescent colors will have poor LF and be non-permanent.

Even though most colors in the Turner range are lightfast they are better for indoor use.


Affordable

Turner Acrylic gouache comes in sets of 12, 18, 24, and 36, and the Japanesque colors series are available in sets of 12 and 45.

I have a special set but it comes with 12 colors as well.

Where to buy

Turner gouache is widely available in the US, UK, and Canada. It is easy to find in Japan, of course, but harder to come by in other South-East Asian countries (I haven’t seen it in Thailand, Indonesia, or Malaysia) but of course easy to buy in Japan.

I believe it’s also available in Europe.


My Test Performance

I enjoyed using Turner acryl gouache, and mixing colors, but I thought that blending is quite challenging as they are really really fast drying.

Blending
Mixed colors

I think they maintain their opacity even when diluted with water, all the colors, even mixed, are bright and beautiful, no dull or muddy colors.

As they are fast-drying – super easy to work in layers, but I believe that thinned colors dry darker and sometimes are less visible in multiple layers.

Tips:

  • they are water-soluble and the brand recommends using water to paint in a ratio of 1:2
  • to slow the drying time use acrylic medium retarder.
  • Water or medium help make the paint more fluid and get rid of brushstrokes.
  • Since this paint cannot be reactivated, only squeeze a small amount and immediately spray it with water.
  • You cannot mix them with oils or use them over oily surfaces. Won’t stick.
  • As they are very fast-drying, take care of your brushes – don’t let the paint dry out on them and wash with soapy water.
  • You can draw the sketch but lightly as pencil marks can be visible through semi-opaque colors and thinned paint.

I made small illustrations with Turner acrylic gouache paint in my simple sketchbook (thinner paper than watercolor paper) but I made swatches on watercolor paper as well.

Thinner paper warps with thick paint like acrylic gouache and especially when you use water.

I thing this paint works great, especially with a wet brush and some water.

Here is what I made:

Turner Acryl Gouache Review painting

Disadvantages I found

  • Turner acryl gouache is still very fast drying and unless you use a good amount of water, blending and spreading will be challenging. It acts more like acrylics than gouache when it comes to drying time. Under 5 min all dry!
  • I didn’t see my acryl gouache crack or peel, but I know that it happened to some painters. I think the reason is layering and the easy fix is to do thin layers, use less water, and wait until each dries.
  • If I add water and don’t quickly make washes, the acrylic gouache will become patchy on paper and If I quickly don’t rework it it will dry like that and the only fix is to cover it completely with a new layer.

Holbein Acryla Gouache vs Turner Acryl Gouache

THe biggest rivals on the acrylic gouache market are Holbein and Turner and in Japan, I bought both paints to compare. Both Holbein and Turner are Japanese brands so they undergo the same strict quality control.

Yet, Holbein acrylic gouache is considered to be a more premium paint than Turner’s.

turner acryl gouache yusuke nakamura set

Turner’s is much thicker (closer to heavy-body acrylic), while Holbein’s is much more fluid.

Some colors in Holbein feel more satin, closer to acrylic than just the straight flat matter colors of Turner. I’ve only tested a few colors and I believe that Holbein Acryla’s yellow is more opaque than Turner’s.

holbein acryla vs turner acryl gouache
Comparing colors from Holbein and Turner acrylic gouache paints

In some color swatches, I haven’t though seen too much of a difference in coverage, opacity, and flow between the two.

And not to forget, Holbein is more expensive.


To Sum Up

turner acryl gouache

Taking the best from both acrylic and gouache worlds, Turner Acryl Gouache is a great creamy thick, and opaque paint.

However, it is not for everyone, and it will be a bit disappointing if you’re used to paint with gouache, because of how fast it dries.

At the same time, if you are usually paint with acrylics, Turner acryl gouache can give you slower drying times with added water and you can really enjoy making some loose portraits or flat-colored illustrations.

With its wide spectrum of colors, opacity, smooth application, and the durability of acrylics, these paints are an excellent addition to any artist’s toolkit.

I do believe, however, that many professional painters switch to Holbein at some point.

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API