Best Brushes For Gouache

Best Brushes For Gouache

Gouache is a type of paint that is made up of pigment, water, and an agent such as gum arabic. Gouache paint is usually opaque, meaning that it covers up the colors below it when applied and dries to a matte finish, making it a popular choice for illustrations and other artwork.

There are many different types of brushes that can be used for gouache painting, but some are better than others. Some of the best brushes for gouache are those made with natural hair, such as sable or squirrel. These brushes hold a lot of paint and produce a very smooth finish. Synthetic brushes can also be used for gouache, but they may not produce as smooth of a finish.

When choosing a brush for gouache painting, it is important to consider the size and shape of the brush head. Round brushes are good for painting large areas, while flat brushes are better for smaller areas or for creating lines. Filbert brushes are shaped like an almond and are good for both large and small areas.

It is also important to consider the type of bristles when choosing a brush for gouache. Natural hair bristles are the best choice for Gouache painting, as they hold more paint and produce a smoother finish. Synthetic bristles can be used, but they may not provide the same results.

Once you have chosen the perfect brush for your gouache painting, it is important to take care of it properly. Natural hair brushes should be washed in warm water and mild soap after each use. Synthetic brushes can be cleaned with synthetic brush cleaner or white vinegar. Be sure to rinse the brushes thoroughly and allow them to air dry before using them again.

Below is a list of the best 5 brushes I have taken the time to research and try, so carry on reading and see which of these brushes is best suited to you and your next gouache painting…

01) Silver Brush Limited WC-3202S Black Velvet Watercolor Brush Set

Silver Brush Limited WC-3202S Black Velvet Watercolor Brush Set main image


  • Long wood handle
  • Natural squirrel hair and synthetic brushes
  • Flexible bristles
  • Suitable for miniatures, faces, or detailed work
  • Lightweight


The brush set contains beautifully balanced brushes for a beginner to a professional artist. The set has a liner/rigger brush, angle brush, fan brush, round brush, filbert, broad brush, and flat brush. Every brush is lightweight and the handles are made of wood which makes it easy to grab and stroke. This brush set mainly works on gouache paints.

  • Easy to cleannnPerfect for detailed worknnHigh quality
  • The brushes which are of squirrel hair can lose hair after continuous usage if not cared for properly.


I’ve tried a few different brushes for gouache and this set is definitely one of my favorites. The hairs are very flexible and the wood handle is comfortable to grip. I love that the set includes a variety of shapes and sizes, as it allowed me to do a wide range of strokes and details. I would definitely recommend this brush set to anyone, from beginner to professional.

02) Sax Optimum Golden Synthetic Taklon Brushes

Sax Optimum Golden Synthetic Taklon Paint Brushes


  • Nylon bristles
  • Sharp tips 
  • Lacquered hardwood handles 
  • Sturdy ferrules
  • Optimal brush strokes for good control


The Sax Optimum Golden Synthetic Taklon Flat Paint Brush features anodized metal that is resistant to rust, is seamless and has a gold-tone. It has a convenient long enamelled hardwood stand that is highly economical. The brushes work well with oil, acrylic, and opaque watercolour.

  • The assortment of sizes allows one to create a dynamic designnnSuperb color holding and works fine in watercolor papernnHigh-quality and durable
  • Might sound expensive to some people.


I was really excited to try out the Sax Optimum Golden Synthetic Taklon Brushes. I have used other synthetic brushes in the past, and have always been happy with the results. These brushes did not disappoint! The bristles are nylon, which means they hold color well and are easy to clean. They also have sharp tips, which is great for detail work. The lacquered hardwood handles are sturdy and comfortable to hold. And the ferrules are also very sturdy. Overall, these are high-quality brushes that will last for many years. The only downside is that they might be a bit expensive for some people. But if you’re looking for the best synthetic brushes on the market, then the Sax Optimum Golden Synthetic Taklon Brushes are definitely worth the investment.

03) Creative Mark Brush Set Mimik Hog Professional Synthetic Hog Bristle Brushes

Creative Mark Brush Set Mimik Hog Professional Synthetic Hog Bristle Brushes mainimage


  • Long-lasting synthetic brushes
  • Easy to clean
  • Vegan
  • Stain-resistant black brass ferrules
  • Long lacquered wood handle


This deluxe 20-piece set comes with a quality leatherette case and contains the following brushes: round: 1, 2, 4 ; bigger brushes 1, 2, 6 ; filberts 2, 3, 4, 8, 12 ; flats 4, 8, 12 ; broad brush 3, 7 ; extra long filberts 3, 7 ; fan brushes, and oil brushes. It is 100% cruelty-free.

  • Quality brushes with an animal-friendly alternative.nnProvide consistent brush response, time after time.nnRelease both thin and thick paint in controlled strokesnn
  • The brushes could be deemed a bit expensive when compared to their performance.


As a professional artist, I have tried many different types of brushes for gouache and I have to say that the Creative Mark Brush Set Mimik Hog Professional Synthetic Hog Bristle Brushes are certainly up there as one of my favorites. They are extremely easy to clean and maintain, and they release both thin and thick paint in controlled strokes. The only downside is that they can be a bit expensive when compared to other brushes on the market. Overall, I highly recommend these brushes to anyone looking for quality and consistent performance.

…and let’s not overlook the fact that they are 100% cruelty-free, which should obviously always a bonus in anybody’s book!

04) Creative Mark Berlin & Mimik Kolinsky Hair Professional Paint Brush Set

Creative Mark Berlin & Mimik Kolinsky Hair Professional Paint Brush Set mainimage


  • Synthetic brushes
  • Nickel-plated ferrules
  • Short balanced mahogany stained wood handles
  • Animal-friendly
  • Sharp points and edges


This special collection of short handle Berlin synthetic bristle and Mimik Kolinsky hair is the perfect setting for your studio or on the go. The synthetic bristle brushes hold a lot of paint, create an excellent coverage, and have a heavier brushstroke. These short-handled brushes offer more control and create perfectly painted artworks.

  • Excellent for coveragennHeavier brushstrokennPerforms like natural hair brushes
  • The set does not come with a brush roll or case


The Creative Mark Berlin & Mimik Kolinsky Hair Professional Paint Brush Set is a great set of brushes for anyone who wants to work with gouache. These brushes are made with synthetic bristles, which makes them sturdy and long-lasting. They also perform very well, comparable to natural hair brushes. My only complaint is that the set does not come with a brush roll or case, so you’ll need to find a place to store them where they won’t get damaged. Overall, this is an excellent set of brushes for anyone who wants to get started with gouache painting.

…a great Christmas or birthday present if you are looking for something easy-going and friendly.  

05) Pro Stroke Artist 12-Piece Paintbrush Set

Pro Stroke Artist 12 Piece Paintbrush Set main image


  • Comfortable shorter fatter handles
  • Synthetic bristle 
  • Nickel-plated brass ferrules
  • Excellent rigidity
  • Durable


This paintbrush case is lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for travel or outdoor art. The set contains rounds sizes 1, 2, and 6; Brights sizes 2, and 6; fan brushes 4, 10, and 12; Filberts sizes 1,4, 8, and 12. 

  • Soft yet strong bristlesnn DurablennExcellent rigidity
  • May be slightly too stiff for certain techniquesnnThe handles are short which could be an issue for some artists


I was really excited when I received this brush set! The handles are a comfortable shorter and fatter shape (which I personally prefer), and the bristles are synthetic with a nice softness yet good strength. The bristles are also quite durable and I haven’t had any fallout yet, even with vigorous use. The set also comes with a nice variety of brush types and sizes, which is great. The only downside I can see is that for some artists the handles are short, so if you have large hands or simply prefer a longer handle, they may not be comfortable for you. Also, the bristles may be slightly too stiff for certain painting techniques.

Overall, though, I am really happy with this set and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good quality gouache brush set.

General Information About Choosing The Best Brushes For Gouache Painting

As mentioned I have tried a lot of brushes over the years and, in my opinion (this may not be your opinion of course), the best brushes for gouache painting are those made from natural hair. The bristles are soft and hold up well to repeated use, whilst the ferrules are well-made and the handles are comfortable to hold.

I would also recommend choosing a set of brushes that come with a canvas bag or case. This will help to protect the brushes when they are not in use and prevent them from becoming damaged.

Finally, another top tip that many forget to apply is – don’t forget to clean your brushes regularly! This will help to prolong their lifespan and ensure that they continue to perform at their best.

Conclusion / Roundup

I hope that you have found this roundup helpful and that it has given you a good starting point for choosing the best brushes for your gouache painting needs. I would encourage you to try out a few different sets and see which ones work best for you – after all, everyone is different and what works well for one person may not work as well for another.

Happy painting! 🙂


Will gouache ruin my watercolor brushes?

Gouache can ruin your watercolor brushes if the paint is allowed to dry on the bristles. It is important to clean your brushes thoroughly after each use to prevent this from happening.

What kind of gouache paint brushes do you use as a beginner?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as everyone is different and will have their own preferences. However, as a general guide, I would recommend using synthetic brushes as they are easier to control and less likely to shed bristles. Once you have become more confident with gouache painting, you can experiment with different brush types to see which ones work best for you.

What is the best brush to use for gouache highlights?

The best brush to use for gouache highlights is a synthetic brush with a fine tip. This will allow you to create precise highlights without the risk of shedding bristles.

What kind of paper works well with gouache brushes?

Gouache works well on watercolour paper, but you could also use some thick drawing paper. It sometimes depends on how much water you are using.

What do nylon bristles enable?

Nylon bristles are strong and don’t rust. They also have a special mix of colors to prevent them from fading.

Can I use a palette knife with gouache paint?

Yes, you can use a palette knife with gouache paint. However, it is important to clean the blade after each use to prevent the paint from drying on it.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.