Marie's Gouache Colour~Quick Product Review

Gouache Set of 18 - 12 ml tubes. Colors include: Vermillion, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, Lemon Yellow, Titanium White, Mixing White, Yellow Middle, Cerulean Blue, Viridian, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Crimson Red, Green Pale, Lamp Black, Mauve, Rose and Prussian Blue. 

marie gouache review ncwren
 I do not use gouache, but decided it would be a nice addition to my sketchbook drawings. I tested Cerulean Blue, Lemon Yellow and Crimson Red.
marie gouache color palette ncwren
  1.  Very little goes a very long way. I was able to mix a beautiful orange and green and a subtle mauve with these three colors.
  2.  I found the colors to be vibrant. 
  3. I was able to fade them out to a nice transparency like watercolors which surprised me.
  4. They have a nice ability to move around a bit after they dry.

maries gouache review ncwren

They claim colors are lightfast and conform to ASTM D-4236 standards. For a starter/tryout set the price is certainly right for me. I paid $8.99 from Jerry's Artarama. You can also purchase this set from Amazon.

QOR Watercolor Cold Press Ground~Quick Product Review

QOR Cold Press Ground (made by Golden Artist Colors) "creates an absorbent, cool white surface with the appearance of rough handmade paper.  A smoother finish can also be achieved by skimming with a wet palette knife during application.  Ideal when a rough texture is desired for emphasizing dry brush techniques."

I had intended to purchase the QOR watercolor ground which promises to create "a porous surface similar to hot press paper on different surfaces while allowing for wash and staining effects along with bringing stained areas back to a white, absorbent surface."

That one will have to wait until my next purchase bundle. Since I thought I had the latter product I tested it as such:


  1. It does live up to it's advertised qualities. 
  2. It will not take subsequent washes of color without lifting the initial wash. 
  3. It will not entirely cover a previous watercolor stain.
  4. lt does a good job of creating a really rough texture. 
My initial impressions are that it creates a paintable surface on materials not intended for watercolors. The painted surface would have to be sealed or protected to prevent the lifting of the color. It does not cover a previous stain completely which has it's own possibilities for the usage of this material. I paid $11.19 at Jerry's Artarama. It is also available from Amazon.

Charvin Water Soluble Pastel Painting Sticks~Quick Product Review

On the box:
  • Multipurpose semi-hard pastels for use both wet or dry
  • Master quality, concentrated, highly lightfast pigments
  • Use as is or combine with water for stunning effects!
  • Create painterly effects while retaining linework
  • Square sticks measure 2 5/16" long by 5/16" thick
  • Great for spontaneous sketching as well as detail work
  • Available in sets of 24 or 48 vibrant colors
  • Perfect for drawing and painting in the studio or on the road!  
I was curious to compare the water soluble qualities of this brand to other ones not branded as such.

charvin comparison ncwren


  1. Although it doesn't show well in my photograph the Charvin painting pastels did 'melt' easier than the other three I compared them to. The first comparison was to pull the pigment from the stick with a wet brush. All of the pastels handled this well-the Charvin pastel did have a slight edge with the brightness of the pigment load.
  2. The second row shows the pastel on paper dry and then moistened with water from a brush. Again fairly equal pigment load, but less scrubbing with the brush with the Charvin brand.
  3. The third row is dipping the pastel directly into the water and painting it on directly. I did smooth out the second halve with a wet brush.  Same behaviors as noted before. The Charvin moves and dissolves without the scrubbing action.
charvin pastel comparison ncwren

I can't say that this is a must have product. The claim of water soluble is not unique to this particular brand. That being said they are exactly what the advertisement says. The price was great. I bought mine from Jerry's Artarama for $9.44 us. It is also available from Amazon: Charvin Water-Soluble Pastel Painting Sticks Set of 48