I’ve been reading reviews of Daniel Smith paints for about a year now and the temptation to try some has been increasing. A couple of weeks ago I needed to get a few replacement tubes of paint for colours that were running low so I chose the Daniel Smith version to give them a try and threw in a couple of new colours I fancy just for fun. And true to what I’ve read, they are vibrant and juicy. I couldn’t resist grabbing a few more this week and there they were waiting for me when I got into the studio today, along with a new hake from Rosemary and Co. When I put a photo on Facebook and tweeted about the new colours I got some questions back from fellow artists so quickly painted up a few swatches to share here.
I’ve recently discovered the joys of Cobalt Violet. It’s a colour favoured by Roger Jones. We were splashing it around liberally with blues and yellows to make interesting greens in our workshop with him. I have still got some of the Winsor and Newton paint so painted a swatch of each for comparison. Cobalt Violet is a granulating colour with excellent light fastness ratings in both ranges. The difference in the two is that Winsor and Newton rate this colour as semi-transparent, while Daniel Smith’s version is transparent. I did find the Daniel Smith to be the more transparent of the two and I can see why this is an excellent colour for glazing. Daniel Smith’s website has a good amount of information the paints and video clips to show some of their colours in action. Here’s the video clip on their Cobalt Violet.
Green Gold is a colour I didn’t have before but having seen it used to beautiful effect by Ann Blockley, it’s been on my ‘I really want one’ list for some time. Both swatches in this photograph are the Daniel Smith paint just painted with different pigment to water ratios. These days I pay close attention to the light fastness of the paints I use as I want my paintings to stand the test of time. Green Gold also has a high light fastness rating, (and it is transparent, and it doesn’t granulate).
Another new colour for my palette (I could be a colour junkie, you know. Just can’t resist them). Perylene Green is a wonderful dark grey green. It’s so dark is almost looks black until you add the extra water and then the glorious semi-transparent green floats across the page. I have generally tended to mix my greens on the paper rather then using greens from the tube – but I think these two have to be exceptions. Once again, good light fastness and no granulation. in this colour. Here is the Ken Bromley video clip of Perylene Green in action.
One of my all time favourite colours is Quinacridone Gold. Transparent and granulating, this paint has a fantastic tonal range from deep gold with a slightly orange tint, to delicate yellow when the water ratio is increased. My colour swatches are of the Winsor & Newton and the Daniel Smith versions. Both are beautiful and I’d be very happy to use either. The Daniel Smith seems to have a more orange tint, but, as it came out of a fresh tube, unlike the Winsor & Newton paint which has been on my palette for a while, I can’t guarantee that the freshness of the paint is not a contributing factor to the different. The Daniel Smith video clip is here
And finally, my little indulgence. Texture in watercolour is so seductive. It draws you into the paintings and grabs your attention. I just love it when the paint creates runs and rivulets down the page. I just had to try Lunar Blue (Semi-transparent, wonderful granulation).
What wonderful shadowy textures. This paint has lunar black granules in a Pthalo Blue base so you get the sublime combination of radiant blue and rich black speckle. The Daniel Smith Lunar Blue video clip shows much darker tones of the paint. I suspect I was just a bit light on pigment in my little test swatches
And when you use it to overpaint a light wash of indigo for the background colour like I did on this little postcard – just look what happens:
Very juicy colours.