I think one of the things that has affected me the most when it comes to traditional art making tools is this philosophy: Bob Kato, a teacher at Art Center, once said to buy the best tools you can afford, because half the time with cheaper tools you will spend arguing with the capabilities of what it can do.
Now, that can be extremely unfair to the poor art student/enthusiast, as good supplies get extremely costly. But I think Bob knows what's up with his years of experience, and I do too (now)!
Enter: Arteza. I thought it was a weird Amazon brand but friends of mine were using it and making beautiful little gouache studies. I saw a sale and went for it.
I bought this kit: x. It ended up not arriving correctly despite the delivery status so they very lovingly sent me another one. Arteza has EXCELLENT customer service. I can very much vouch for that.
My experiment: buy an empty palette and fill it with gouache so I can gouache on the go. I am very attracted to the flat, matte quality gouache can give so I was excited.
For about two weeks it stayed put so I thought I would take it out for a spin. When I opened up my palette, the gouache was crumbly. I'm not surprised, because this isn't what it is for. Upon rewetting, I did get some pigment and managed to paint this:
The consistency from the dried pans gave a transparent, watercolor effect on the Midori / Traveler's Notebook watercolor insert. It was fine, if not a bit grayed out / muted on the paper.
On the Leuchtturm sketchbook paper, applied from the tube the colors looked nice and pigmentation felt consistent.
From the tube and on canvas board, a few months after purchase I found myself wrestling with the paint quite a bit. A few tubes were dried out already despite me keeping caps tight and closed. I wouldn't say I am the best painter, but I found myself frustrated because it wasn't behaving the way gouache normally does. The yellows in particularly weren't as opaque as the other colors so they behaved badly; I was unable to rework the yellow so I had to add a lot of paint which caused an inconsistency with textures among both paintings.
Here is a painting I did with Holbein Gouache. In comparison, yes it's more expensive, but it is creamier and better behaved on the brush. I feel like this image is a better representation of what I am capable of, painting wise, and I can see the flaws that my actual lack of skill show in this image.
The same brush was used for all three daffodil paintings, and I did all three in three days back to back.
Would I recommend Arteza? Yes and no. I think if you are truly starting then I would buy a set; because of Arteza I am way more comfortable squeezing paint on a palette that I could actually paint with and not feel guilty because of the price. I still will use my set to completion.
I wouldn't recommend it if you are already comfortable with other brands (Holbein, Windsor & Newton, Daniel Smith etc). There's just too much of a lack of consistency among the pigmentation and texture of the paint on the brush. I find it harder to control.