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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pan Gouache, anyone?

Someone just asked me if I'd tried Caran d'Ache Fancolor pan gouache paints...I haven't, have you?  Any input?  It says it's artist-grade paint...(you can click the link above to read the product information.)

Here's a similar set, with fewer colors, though it says it's from age 3 up...
Normally I squeeze tube gouache into my palette and let it dry to travel with--some brands re-wet better than others, and some want to crumble when dry, so of course I'm curious about these.

I've used Pelikan gouache like you see below, too, and although it's not as rich and saturated as artist grade gouache, it's still fun on toned paper...

So anyone have any hands-on experience I can share with Ruth?


  1. Hi Cathy when i followed the link it says that they are Tempera , as far as i know they are different to gouache , tempera is based on egg white isnt it....

    hugz bev langby leofaerie17@gmail.com

  2. I think the reference to the set being tempera might be a mistake of Amazon's as other references to the set don't mention it: Caran D'ache Fancolor Gouache is a new water based paint that's made up with a natural vegetal binder instead of a plasticiser formula

  3. I'm wondering if "used dry as temperas" means something different...temperas I grew up with weren't dry. Egg tempera is dry till you mix it with egg yolk and distilled water, isn't that right? So yes, I'd say the description is a bit hazy...

    They also said "armatures and professionals alike..." Hmmmm...I'm guessing they meant "amateurs," since armatures are something you make to build a sculpture on. :-)

  4. Actually in some languages (like Italian) tempera is the common name for gouache, no eggs there!

  5. if you check the Caran website they list this product as Plasticizer-free formula with a natural vegetal based binder:

  6. Thanks, frostdoll, I suspected as much...and Sue, thanks for the link! Funny, on their website they say plastic box, and Amazon says metal. Darn, guess I'm going to have to order it and see which it is! >:-D

  7. Never tried those, but Caran d'Ache usually make great stuff. Sometimes I use gouache by Talens, in the old glass bottles that it seems they don't make anymore. They are great, rated as designer gouache.

    Almost no one uses tempera (the original technique) anymore. In tempera paintings you would mix egg yolk with pure pigments and water, and a bit of clover oil (optional). I learned the technique in a course last year. It was great! :)
    You first prepare the wood board that you will paint with a mix of diluted animal glue and a specific kind of gesso so you will have a nice and uniform surface to paint with tempera. A classic approach of painting, but who will use it nowadays will all the modern paints available? It's nice, but not for everyday art making since it stinks and you can't keep the paint and stuff for too long since it doesn't have conservants.

    Those industrialized gouache are just gouache, I think they call tempera gouache sometimes because of the origins of the paint but it's nothing to do with the classic tempera at all.

    :) If you try those Caran d'Ache palette, show us later! :) It's a pity their stuff are too expensive, I really like this brand.

  8. I like these gouache pans as I prefer pans to tubes for convenience.

  9. I just looked at the pelikan n plaza art and the sales person told me gouache wouldn't come in pans because it's not reusable. Plus, he said the pelikan was not gouache but watercolour. So, was he talking nonsense or am I missing something?

  10. P.S. it looked like the pelican set, in fact it was, I'm sure of it, you have here. It said opaque on the box, and didn't use the word, 'gouache,' though.

  11. Yes, the Pelikan set is the last one on the page, the Caran d'Ache's are the two top ones, is that what you mean?

    Technically, opaque watercolor IS gouache, and gouache is opaque watercolor, and gouache is indeed reusable, so I'd say I'm afraid the sales person was misinformed.

    Pelikan makes both transparent and opaque watercolor, which is what I have...that makes the opaque gouache, by normal definitions. Hope that helps!

  12. Opaque watercolour, that's the one. Great, I could've had a set to play with by now if that silly man hadn't thrown me off. He spoke with such confidence that I got worried about buying the wrong thing...

    Thank you for clarifying, though! Much appreciated.

  13. There IS a lot of confusion about gouache! It's also called "body colour" in the UK. Some brands don't rewet well, but the pans do pretty well, and GOOD tubes do. Take a peek at Roz Stendahl's post on white gouache from earlier today..

  14. I have all three sets in question: Pelikan Pans (both transparent and opaque) and I also have the Caran d'ache Pan Gouache set. The Pelikan opaque set is NOT gouache. Although it can be used heavily, it behaves more like a collection of sedimentary watercolor pigments. I can assure you that the Caran d'ache pan set is most definitely REAL gouache- it will mix up into the thickest, richest, opaque and most brilliant gouache you could wish for. The color palette choices are particulary well suited to landscape; there are 14 oversized pans and one tube of white (15 colors). Box is plastic but lid works well as mixing palette (no beading up of pigment). Perhaps the only surprise about the set was how huge it is-opened flat it measures 8.25"x11". If I can answer any other questions about it I am happy to help! ~ gretchen

  15. I'd be interested to know what other people think of the Pelikan's not being gouache. As for the caran d'ache, my ebay supplier reneged, so I bought the pelikan set from Dick Blick and am quite happy with them. They seem pretty gouachey to me in their effect. Anyway, can't afford the caran d'ache now, sob.

  16. Here's the subsequent post I did on comparing the various opaque watercolors/gouache paints: http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/07/gouache-again.html Maybe that will help?

  17. We've got these in stocks at kadmium.com.au , we might be able to help the doubts you are having above. The plastic and metal box is a lil confusing though.. its actually is a metal box and inside is a plastic peel off kind of thing - may be thats the reason why some refer as plastic or some as metal. :) I hope that helps

  18. Hi, I"d be very grateful if someone could advise me as to which brand of gouache is most easily re-wettable. I have a handicap, and squeezing paint out of tubes is very difficult for me. So, when I can I just rewet it is much easier. With watercolors I have someone refill my palette every so often with tube paint, but otherwise can function pretty well on my own. I wanted to try gouache, though. Thanks!

    1. This post might help, Marilyn...I list the tube gouache brands I've used to fill my palette and let them set up, just like watercolors. http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/07/gouache-again.html


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