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Hand-drawn Copperplate, Spencerian, and block calligraphy on white, ecru, and black paper using Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache in Primary Blue. A tube of the product is shown on the left, a Speedball oblique pen at the bottom, and a bright pink azalea blossom on the right.

Welcome to The Calligraphy Supply’s review on Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache! Please be aware that we may receive a commission from purchases made through links on this site.

I used the Primary Blue for this review. This is one of the colours included in the 10-tube Introductory Set available on Amazon. Gouache is a super easy medium for mixing and creating custom colours. Because of this, buying a set is more economical than buying individual tubes. Having a variety of colours on-hand makes it easy to create the perfect colour and shade for your projects. Take a look at my calligraphy checklist if you’re just getting started with dip pen calligraphy.

Company background for Winsor & Newton

Winsor & Newton was established in 1832 bringing together chemistry and art to create a wide range of clear colours with high performance for artists. The company has a rich history and patented the first collapsible metal tubes with screw top for pigments. Queen Victoria awarded a Royal Warrant to Winsor & Newton and the company remains by Appointment to HRH the Prince of Wales. The company still employs artists alongside scientists to continue developing pigments together today, and is committed to reducing the environmental impact of their manufacturing process and products.

Product details for Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache

Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache uses a pure gum arabic binder and a high load of pigment. This creates a deeply opaque, matte finish perfect for any project. 

Review of Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache

OpacityThis gouache is very opaque when used for calligraphy. This makes it a great choice for writing on any paper colour.
FlowGetting the right consistency required more water than other gouaches I’ve tried (about 10 drops for a US-quarter sized area of gouache). Once I got it, it was absolutely gorgeous. The diluted gouache dried fairly quickly on the pen so every so often I had to clean off the nib. I also added more drops of water to the gouache a couple times as I used it.
Finish qualityOn 4 paper types, this gouache dried with a velvety matte finish with beautiful depth. 
Drying speedMost of the gouache dried fully in about 3 minutes. The areas with heavier gouache dried in about 4 minutes.
GumminessThere was no gumminess experienced with this product.
Water resistanceGouache is a matte, opaque watercolour and is 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 very similar to the colour when it was wet. The colour on the paper was vibrant and bright.
Ease to cleanVery easy to clean from the nib with some water.
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