Daniel Smith offers a range of over 250 stunning shades that all watercolourists must try. Karlee Gould put them to paper and was thrilled with her results!
Daniel Smith Extra-Fine Watercolours
Daniel Smith Watercolours are all handmade in Seattle and include shades made from minerals and semi-precious stones sourced from around the world. They have excellent luminosity and lightfastness producing truly brilliant colours. Their range also includes a selection of interference and iridescent colours that reflect light.
These paints are highly recommended for any watercolour enthusiast!
“I’m going to try out the Daniel Smith watercolors in Mars Yellow, Mayan Dark Blue, Moonglow, Phthalo Turquoise, Pyrrol Crimson and Interference Gold”
“I began using an oval brush with the Pyrrol crimson paint, allowing the brush to soak up as much of the colour as it could. I noticed that the paints have such a high pigment that you need very little from the tube in order to get fabulous saturation.”
“The Crimson colour is delicious and vibrant. I have it on good authority that some of the Daniel Smith watercolors are made using crushed semi-precious stones. It didn’t surprise me – it looks like liquid rubys, especially when it’s wet and glossy.
“Mayan dark blue is beautiful, and reminds me of deep sea creatures or the dark ocean. Or perhaps a really stormy evening at the seashore. A wash with this particular colour is intoxicating to watch. It has a grainy feel when you experiment with the undiluted colour. This blends and bleeds like the veins of a leaf with a fresh dose of water, saturating it with its deep colour. As it dries, you can cut back into the colour to make a very soft blue”
“Mars yellow seemed to really compliment the red of the Crimson colour. I didn’t expect them to interact quite in the way that they did. They didn’t blend together exactly as I had imagined, but instead slowly crept into one another with this organic, super veiny finish. “
“The moonglow paint is absolutely phenomenal”
“I adore how this paint dries and shows about three different colours, almost as if each of them were painted in separately. It seems to incorporate a deep navy blue, a complimentary purple, and a fresh pale pink. I tried out a few little butterflies to show off this paints super dexterity. [At this very point, I thought it must be simply amazing to work with this colour on a big scale. I couldn’t wait to incorporate it into something more planned. Luckily, I had some Fabriano Artistico Cold Pressed watercolour sheets waiting for me…]”
“I did expect the Interference Gold to be a little more coloured on its own. It seemed to be more of a pearlescent paint with a translucent base and metallic pigments. So I had the idea to mix it with a little Mars yellow to create a bolder gold-tone. The overall effect is lovely, especially when dry.
“Then I tried tapping this gold hue into some of the darker rich tones to see what the bleed was like – it was mesmerizing! It looked just like deep sea corals on a micro scale. My experiments lead me to the idea of a humpback whale illustration to really show off and appreciate the play I found in the colours. Particularly the Moonglow paint and Mayan Dark Blue with dashes of the the Interference gold.”
“The perfect place to compose something a little more exciting is on a huge piece of Fabriano Artistico 640gsm Cold Pressed paper.”
Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Paper
“When picking this paper up the first thing you notice is the shear volume of it – it’s all density and weight, in a bright, creamy, ivory colour. It has a stunning deckled edge, which is very much to my taste, and slight impression of the brand along the side.”
“The quality is absolutely outstanding; nothing short of superb. Feels good and smells good, and is begging to be made into art. I just wish I had loads of it. If I could have only one watercolour paper again for the rest of my life, it would be this one!”
“I found that the density of this means you barely need to stretch it – it rarely wrinkles anyway. Water seems to glide over the surface, allowing a little more time than usual to play with the colours you put down. It soaks up colour gradually, so I did indeed get plenty of time to drop in some gold mixed with Mars yellow. The mix into the dark blue is something everyone needs to try. It’s so interesting. It’s more satisfying than watching kittens on Youtube all day on a Monday, when you know you should be working.”
“I had a lot of fun sampling each of these watercolours, noticing just how spectacular each and every one of them was. And I couldn’t be happier with the over all result on this paper. Well done Fabriano! It’s also fabulous to know that it’s pressed without gelatine, making the product Vegetarian and Vegan friendly too!”
Have you tried Daniel Smith Watercolours? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
More about Karlee
Karlee Gould is the founder of Treasures Studios, offering complete stationary packages for weddings and events, as well as bespoke stationary and branding design services.
Treasure Studios is an entirely vegan and eco-friendly design studio, so all the products reviewed and used by Karlee will be cruelty-free and suitable for use by vegan and vegetarian artists. Daniel Smith Watercolours are all cruelty-free with the exception of Sepia, Ivory Black & Payne’s Grey.
You can find all Karlee’s posts published in the GreatArt online magazine by clicking here!
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