Featured Product: Talens Gouache

We’re about to take a trip into the most misunderstood, perhaps mysterious and certainly one of the most versatile mediums in our range.  For centuries artists, designers, illustrators and educators have been using Gouache for a variety of purposes.  Because of its many unique properties and as a result of it being difficult to classify, we like to call it the Platypus of the art material world – or at least I like to call it that.

Gouache as a medium is often known as an opaque watercolor, and with some manufacturers, that is a very adequate description.  Many formulas today rely on gum arabic with an opaque filler to alter the natural opacity of the pigment, basically a modification of a watercolor formula.  Talens Extra Fine Gouache is one of the few still made in the traditional way with Dextrin, or potato starch as the binder.  This ingredient as a binder allows for the paint to take on several unique characteristics.  Dextrin is by its nature, thixotropic, meaning that it is self-leveling when agitated.  This provides for excellent coverage and a smooth, matte film surface.  Because dextrin is not sticky, like gum arabic, it glides smoothly off the brush without drag.  Because dextrin is opaque, there is not the need for additional opaque fillers, therefore more room for pigment in the formula, resulting in cleaner and stronger color mixes.  Dextrin is also relatively cheap and widely available, so we can offer a professional range of colors in the Extra Fine quality for a lower price!

Gouache has seen a resurgence in outdoor painting circles as a perfect tool for creating studies or finished works.  It allows a easy to transport and clean up solution which behaves more closely in oils in some ways, but is also very much like working in watercolors if you dilute them and can even be mixed with transparent watercolors – see why it’s like the beautiful platypus?

Gouache Extra Fine is a high-pigmented opaque water colour. This paint dries quickly and adheres to any non-greasy and somewhat porous ground. After drying the paint layer has a matt appearance with very intense colours. Gouache Extra Fine is used by artists, designers and illustrators, it is also very suitable for educational purposes. The assortment consists of 65 colours, including reflex (fluorescent) colours, metallic colours and also a number of special colours for making illustrations and designs and for practising the colour theory. The paint doesn’t contain pigments based on heavy metals.

If you haven’t tried Talens Extra Fine Gouache, you’re in for a treat.  Find out why we are so enamored with the Platypus of the art material world for yourself!


  • Gouache Extra Fine can be thinned with any amount of water; all colours can be mixed amongst each other.
  • Gouache Extra Fine dries on every non-greasy and slightly porous grounds.
  • The paint dries within a few minutes and has a velvety matt and equally opaque finish after drying. After drying the paint layer is not waterproof.
  • Gouache Extra Fine is a thixotropic paint. This means that the paint becomes thinner after moving it, so that it can more easily spread. Paint in bottles which has not been used for some time will become thicker and can be made thinner by stirring. Paint in tubes will become thinner by itself when it is pressed through the neck opening of the tube (and is thus moved).
  • Clean brushes with water after use


  • If you want to apply areas of gouache without leaving brush marks, it is best to apply the paint with criss-cross brushstrokes, using the paint undiluted or just thinned with some water.
  • To prevent cracking it is best not to apply the paint in very thick layers. If you thin the paint with Gum Arabic (see Auxiliaries) there is less risk of cracking even in thick coats.
  • Adding Gum Arabic decreases the thixotropic properties of the paint and enhances the flow.
  • Gouache Extra Fine doesn’t dry to a waterproof layer. A dry paint coat can dissolve in a freshly applied moist paint, causing (partly) intermixing of the colours. To prevent this a new colour should be applied on the dry colour in one brushstroke.
  • Gouache Extra fine is excellent for use in the airbrush. All you need to do is to thin the paint with water. The high pigmentation will produce a very vivid and matt effect. However, be sure to adjust the nozzle opening to the particle size of the pigment (airbrushes with a nozzle size of 0.25 mm or larger).
  • Gouache extra fine is also very suitable for stencilling techniques.


The colours in the gouache range are very pure and mix easily together, so that an infinite number of colours can be created with an optimal mixing result. There are two special “Mixing Colours” sets available: a three-colour and a six-colour mixing set. The three colour mixing set contains the three primary colours Lemon yellow (primary) 205, Permanent rose (magenta) 397 and Light blue (cyan) 501, completed by White 100 and Black intenso 703. Talens also supplies a six-colour mixing set: apart from the primary colours already mentioned, this set contains Yellow 200, Vermilion 311 and Ultramarine deep 506, including White and Black intenso. With the six-colour mixing set you can achieve colour mixes with a high purety in each colour range. The mixing colour sets contain a leaflet on mixing colours, enabling you to mix the best colours for your work.


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