Turner Colours Brnad wanted to make gouache as easily and widely used as acrylic colors so they came up with acrylic gouache in early 80s.
Today Acryl gouache is one of the most popular art mediums for designers and illustrators around the world.
I love both acrylic and gouache so for me it’s a perfect occasion to test and share with you my Turner acryl gouache review.
I also have Holbein gouache and Holbein acryla gouache and I will compare acryla to Turner’s acrylic gouache as well.
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Difference between regular gouache, acrylic paint and acrylic gouache
There are some differences in composition and use between the 3.
- 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.
- Acrylic Paint:
Acrylic paint is a versatile type of paint that’s water-based but dries to a water-resistant and flexible 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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
Turner acrylic gouache 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 milling, packaged or mixed. Intresting to watch!
Colors: Turner Acryl gouache 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.
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.
But Turner’s color range is more impressive than that.
Turner acryl gouache has 236 colours available:
- 92 original colours
- 15 pastel colors
- 24 pearl colors
- 9 metallic colours
- 6 grayish colors
- 69 Japanesque colors (coarse texture)
- 13 Lamé colours (shining and shimmering colors)
- 3 mixing colors
- 6 neon colors
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.
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.
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
The colors are impressively opaque when applied without thinning them with water. They dry somehow even more opaque than when they were wet.
Of course, once you make it more like watercolor – with much more water – the colors will appear transparent.
Finish and coverage
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Brands quick guide on how to read labels.
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.
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.
It’s important because when you use Turner acryl with lots of water – you are diluting the composition even further (more than suggested 2:1 paint to water) and the water-resistance goes down.
In case you need washes, use acrylic medium for that.
And also, water-resistant doesn’t mean waterproof. To fully protect dried painting, use brush-on or spray acrylic varnish.
Varnishing options for Turner acrylic gouache:
- Krylon or Winsor&Newton spray varnish.
- Turner Gloss Varnish.
Is Turner Acryl Gouache Lightfast?
Lightfastness is how Turner acrylic gouache is resistant to fading.
Turner Colours have 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 color in the Turner range are light fast they are better for indoor use.
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.
|Turner Acryl gouache 12 colors|
|Turner Acryl gouache 18 colors|
|Turner Acryl gouache 24 colors|
|Turner Acryl gouache 36 colors|
|Turner Acryl gouache Japanesque 12 colors|
|Turner Acryl gouache Japanesque 45 colors|
Where to buy
Turner gouache is widely available in US, UK, Canada. It is easy to find in Japan, of course, but harder to come by in other Asian countries (I haven’t seen it in Thailand, Indonesia or Malaysia).
I believe it’s also available in Europe.
I enjoyed using Turner acryl gouache, and mixing colors, but I thought that blending is quite challenging as they are really really fast drying.
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 some times are less visible in multiple layers.
- they are water-soluble and the brand recommends using water to paint in ratio 1:2
- to slow the drying time use acrylic medium retarder.
- Water or medium helo 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 over oily surface. 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:
Holbein Acryla Gouache vs Turner Acryl Gouache
Both Holbein and Turner are Japanese brand so they undergo the same strict quality control.
Yet, Holbein acrylic gouach is considered to be a more premium paint than Turner.
Turner’s is much thicker (closer to heavy body acrylic), while Holbein is much more fluid.
Some colors in holbein feel more satin, closer to acrylic than just 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.
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
Taking the best from both acrylic and gouache worlds, Turner Acryl Gouache is a great creamy thick and opaque paint.
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 painter switch to Holbein at some point.