Welcome to The Calligraphy Supply’s review of M. Graham Artists Gouache! Please be aware that we may receive a commission from purchases made through links on this site.
For this review, I used M. Graham Artists Gouache in the Burnt Sienna colour which I purchased as a single tube through Amazon.
Because gouache is a very easy medium for mixing and creating custom colours, buying a set is more economical than buying individual tubes. This makes it possible to create the perfect colour and shade for your projects. M. Graham offers an Artists’ Gouache 5-piece set with primaries, plus black and white on Amazon which is perfect if you’re starting out with this medium and want to be able to mix.
Take a look at my calligraphy checklist if you’re just getting started with dip pen calligraphy.
Company background for M. Graham & Co.
With founders inspired by the Renaissance masters, M. Graham & Co. has been supplying fine artists’ colours for over 25 years. The company is focused on creating toxin-free, small-batch, hand-crafted products using pure, historical ingredients. M. Graham products are made in the USA, and they are committed to environmentally friendly products and manufacturing practices.
Product details for M. Graham & Co. Artists’ Gouache
M. Graham Artists Gouache uses a pure blackberry honey and gum arabic binder for its pigments. The high pigment loads leads to a gorgeous, velvety finish with luscious depth as you’ll see later in the review. This gouache is lightfast and is intended for permanent work.
|Opacity||This gouache is very opaque when used for calligraphy. This makes it a great choice for writing on any paper colour.|
|Flow||With just 5-6 drops of water into a US quarter-size area of gouache, the gouache had the texture of heavy cream and flowed easily through the pen without getting runny.|
|Finish quality||On 4 paper types, this gouache dried with a rich matte finish with luscious depth.|
|Drying speed||Most of the gouache dried fully in about 3 minutes. The areas with heavier gouache dried in about 5 minutes. When I wasn’t using the pen for a few minutes (usually when arranging the things in my workspace to look effortless, but artful for photos), the ink dried on the nib very quickly. To avoid clogging the pen, I cleaned out the nib whenever I stopped writing.|
|Gumminess||There was no gumminess experienced with this product.|
|Water resistance||Gouache is a watercolour pigment and not water resistant. If your project may encounter rain, you can use a waterproofing coating after the gouache has fully dried.|
|Colour wet close to colour dry||The dried pigment on white paper was definitely darker than when it was mixed in my dipping glass. This is not a negative, but definitely something to keep in mind when you’re mixing custom colours.|
|Ease to clean||Very easy to clean from the nib with some water.|