M. Graham vs. Holbein Gouache

Friday, March 9, 2018

SPIDER-MAN. 2017. Ink & watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

I was recently asked if I had a preference between 2 brands of gouache, both of which I use regularly.

I use Holbein gouache for most paintings (used to paint with Acryla Gouache, an acrylic that dries matte, but now only for impasto passes with white). M. Graham is good for keeping on a watercolor palette because it doesn't dry out and crack as much. They use honey as part of the binder, which might make the difference (though I honestly have no idea). I should also say that I prefer the finish of Holbein gouache, which is a true matte. M. Graham leaves a slightly shiny surface, so I use it mostly in underpainting.

This Spidey pin-up has nothing to do with the info above, just realized I hadn't added it to my gallery yet. It was inked with a Pentel Pocket Brush and painted with Holbein watercolors. Have a great weekend!

detail of raw scan


  1. Any chance this will become a print 😬?

  2. Can I mix the two brands of gouache?

    1. I've done it without issue for quite some time. I can't guarantee that they're chemically compatible, but I've noticed any ill effects.


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