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Jelly Gouache Review

Check out this video and get a first hand look on how I set up my jelly gouache palette and organized the colors!

In today’s post I will be sharing my opinions and experiences with the popular new art medium jelly gouache! What is it? How does it work? If you’re interested in finding out more on the paint that took over the online art community, keep reading. 🙂

This past February, I received the 56ct. MIYA Jelly Gouache as a Valentine’s gift from my loving fiancé. It was one of my wishlist items I had been pining over ever since I learned of its popularity amongst artists on YouTube. I had to know what the hype was all about! You can find this brand (as well as HIME) on Amazon.com At the time of this post the 56ct set will cost you around $50-56 USD. The smaller sets of 18 and 24 colors is also available for $20-30 USD.

What is jelly gouache, exactly?

One of the most asked questions is “What is jelly gouache?” followed up by, “How is it different from regular gouache?” In short, it’s simply gouache that behaves the same and holds the same characteristics as traditional gouache. This paint gets its name from it’s packaging! The paint is housed in bite sized containers, similar to the gelatin dessert cups sold in China and Japan; hence the name jelly gouache. The consistency of this water-activated paint medium is thick and creamy (similar to pudding). This paint can be used in opaque, solid color finishes like acrylic paint or thinned with water to create light, translucent washes of color; similar to watercolors. Being able to create artwork that is both opaque and translucent and can be reactivated with water for continued work, is the highlight of traditional gouache paint!

Traditional Gouache vs. Acryla Gouache // Both traditional and acryla gouache hold the same characteristics when it comes to the level of opacity options with the medium. That is pretty much were the likenesses end. Traditional gouache takes a bit more time to fully dry (and even then, it can still be reactivated with water). It dries completely to a matte finish with minimal shine (if any). Acryla gouache has a much faster drying time, dries semi matte with a slight sheen. Acryla gouache is also NOT reactivated with water. Which can be a plus or minus, depending on your work style. This type of medium is great for many layers.

Artwork

I really enjoy using the paints. The consistency seems to be smooth and blending is easy. I tried these paints on varying grades of papers and they performed well even on the lower quality sheets. Cleaning my brushes was relatively easy with only a bit of stinging from darker colors like navy blues, royal purples and black (as to be expected). Even with my heavy-handed thick paint layers, I experience no cracking of the paint once my piece dried; which is a major plus!

Here are a couple of recent artwork pieces I’ve completed using the MIYA Jelly Gouache set.

Review

Rating: 10 of 10 // Ultimately, I really like this product! Not only is it sold at an affordable price point for artists at any level of their craft, it also offers a wide range of colors. Even with the smaller 18 or 24 color sets, there is enough variety to not feel like you are lacking; plenty enough to exercise your color-mixing skills as well. If you aren’t the best at mixing colors, or simply want a larger quantity of a specific color palette (like pastels!), the 56 color set is a great option as well. This product is also easily available to a wide range of artists in different countries. I hate nothing more than a great product that seems to be limited in availability.

Keep in mind that the lightfastness of gouache paint in general is not to be compared to artist grade watercolors. Gouache paint was originally created with the intent of works being scanned or photographed for longevity; not necessarily for original art pieces. I recommend keeping your pieces away from direct sunlight as the UV rays can lighten the colors over time. Lately, I use my gouache for paint studies/sketchbook practice. In the future, I’d like to make prints of my work or scan it for digital use.

If I had to point out one flaw, it would be the paint storage design and labeling of the colors. Once your paint cups are opened, there is no way in telling what the color information is (plus, the packaging is not in English, if that is your only language!) The storage box can easily get messy with use since the colors are so close together, so keeping it tidy will be a chore. Nevertheless, I think it is worth it!

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