Difference between watercolour, acrylic paint, gouache and poster colours


Before discussing the difference between watercolour, acrylic paint, gouache and poster colours. Let us understand what these colours are.

Watercolour paint is a sort of colour created by combining the pigment with a binder, most often gum Arabic.

Acrylic paint is made by combining pigments and polymer emulsions.

Gouache is a type of watercolour that is made in the same way as watercolour. It contains a pigment blended with a binder, as well as white paint, to make it opaque.

Poster colours - poster colours are prepared similarly to gouache. They have larger pigments and are mixed with a binder to give a more opaque texture.

Before we get into the differences between Watercolours, Gouache, and Poster Colours, let me point out one thing they all have in common: they're all water-based. This simply implies that you can use water to activate the paint on both the paper and the palette.

Now let's discuss the difference between them. Every colour is different as well as some similarities. They depend on the following:


  • Pigment



Each colour has a similar pigment the only difference is the size of the particles in it.

Watercolour and acrylics have very fine particles that give them transparency.

Whereas gouache has larger particles and poster colours have larger particles than gouache making them more opaque.


  • Surface



Every colour may it be watercolour, acrylic, gouache or poster colour has a specific application that then results in the final result.

Watercolour, gouache, and poster colours, for example, can only be used on certain media, such as paper. Acrylic colour is adaptable and may be used on a variety of materials including paper, plastic, canvas, MDF, and wood.


  • Opacity



The term opacity here means the result the colours give upon drying.

Watercolours have transparency whereas acrylic, gouache and poster colours have opaque textures.


  • Price



When it comes to price it depends on the quality of the colours. The poster and watercolours are budget-friendly. Whereas acrylic and gouache are a little expensive which again depends on the brand, prices vary from brand to brand.


  •  Use



Watercolour is usually used to get a transparent or translucent effect.

Whereas acrylic and gouache are used to get an opaque effect. Acrylics give vivid results while gouache is matte in texture.


  • Storing



Watercolour gouache and poster colours are easy to store as they are water-soluble and can be revived by adding water when they dry out. Whereas acrylic needs extra care as they contain polymer binder which once dried can't be revived again.


We hope these comparisons have clarified the fundamental distinctions between watercolours, gouache, and poster colours.

Transparent watercolours are our favourite.


Which one do you prefer or employ?


  • Isobel Mcneill

    Translucent watercolours

  • Sunny Deol

    Kya bol ra tha koi ni ayaaa😂😂😂😂

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