Friday, May 29, 2015

Shinhan Pass Hybrid

      I've been meaning to learn how to paint with gouache, but this medium is not so popular nowadays that it is really hard to source unless you order online. I had but five tubes of basic colors I bought sometime ago, but to be of much use requires that I buy some more tubes of paint which I think is not so practical at the moment.

Shinhan Pass Hybrid

     Then I've learned of Shinhan Pass, a paint formulated to behave as gouache or watercolor, depending in the amount of water you use to dilute it. It's a new product and there isn't so much reviews or sample works floating around the web yet, so I guess the best way to learn about this product is to try it.
     I was able to get my hands on some paint tubes available locally. The tubes are in easy squeeze plastic tubes similar to the one used in most toothpaste. I got the split primary in their range of colors plus 2 earth tones and white. Split primary means two sets of primaries comprising of warm and cool colors. (cool red ,yellow, and blue plus warm red ,yellow, and blue)
     First, I've made some color charts to test its properties:
Here we see the paints Mass tone(A), Dilution(B), and liftability(C ). and and on the right are overlapping washes to test its glazing quality. Arches CP
     Then I've also tested the rate of dispersion and compared it to Winsor & Newton watercolors. I'm not sure if this test is that relevant but I just wanted to know  how it compares to paints marketed as "true" watercolors. Colors below are in "tea" consistency daubed into wet paper (see my previous entry on watercolor experiments).

Not much difference. Arches CP

As a Gouache
     Working in gouache is  requires a slightly different method than working with watercolors. You lighten the value by adding water, revealing more of the paper underneath. Gouache, on the other hand with its opaque properties, typically requires that you mix a color with white, similar to working in oils.  
     I was surprised that the colors are intense even after drying. They mix well and doesn't become muddy.

Shinhan Pass on Arches 7" x 11" CP.  inspired by a reference photo from WETCANVAS image library
More Test  
     I've tried painting a simple subject to test how it compares with my limited gouache paint stock from Winsor and Newton and M.Graham. I think it fares well with the known brands. The only thing I noticed is the huge "drying shift" (Drying shift means a change in color and value as the paint dries in my case it became lighter as it dries.)in comparison to Winsor and Newton or M.Graham gouache which gave me a lot of surprise during this test. I think it is more evident in mixtures rather in pure paints from the tube since there is no significant "shift" from my swatch above. Given my limited experience with gouache, maybe it's just me. I know this could be remedied by being more familiar with the paint.
What is possible to paint with limited colors? Then I painted some happy trees on a sky background. Left: Shinhan Pass(Permanent Yellow Deep, Peacock Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre and White). Right: W&N(Winsor Blue and Cadmium Yellow Pale) and M.Graham Gouache(Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White).

As a Watercolor
   I was able to do some glazing without disturbing the initial washes. But maybe on thicker washes it will provide a little bit of a challenge (more experiments on this one). I had minimal (to almost none) dying shift issues when using it as a watercolor as if I'm just painting with watercolor. The colors are surprisingly intense for a paint that is "gouache" but a little bit matte looking for a watercolor.

Shinhan Pass on Arches 7" x 11" CP.  inspired by a reference photo from WETCANVAS image library
      Being formulated as a hybrid paint to behave as both watercolor and gouache it is only natural that it may not totally compete with paints formulated as true watercolor or gouache. But it is impressive enough that this paint provides the flexibility of having the the qualities to two different mediums. I like it better as a gouache paint, the colors are intense, re-wets better on the palette and being able to do some watercolor washes is a bonus. Light-fastness is another issue that requires more testing time but that's another post. Overall, I like these paints, given the high price of quality art materials, these are surprisingly cheap. I know that more time should be spent learning its strengths and limitations but I already see myself using it for future sketchwalks. Now I don't have an excuse. :)

Useful Art terms to remember:

Mass tone -  is the color of the paint as it is applied thickly from the tube

Drying shift - a change in color, value or saturation as the paint dries.


  1. This is VERY informative. Thank you! Where can you buy this new type of paint? And if it isn't too much of a bother, I was wondering if you can show what the paint/colors looked like before the drying shift happened? I'm really interested.

    Salamat nang marami, Man. :)

    1. Hi Glenda, thank you for your comment. The paint is available locally thru They have a contact number on the top of their page. Regarding the drying shift, it is a natural phenomena in paints especially on thick applications. I will try to make a post on that one. Stay tuned!

    2. Aabangan ko yan. At thankyou! ^_^