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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.


OpacityThis gouache is very opaque when used for calligraphy. This makes it a great choice for writing on any paper colour.
FlowWith 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 qualityOn 4 paper types, this gouache dried with a rich matte finish with luscious depth. 
Drying speedMost 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.
GumminessThere was no gumminess experienced with this product.
Water resistanceGouache 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 dryThe 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 cleanVery easy to clean from the nib with some water.

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