At long last the good news is that the acclaimed Daniel Smith range of watercolour paints, 247 colours and rising, is now available in the UK via Jacksons http://www.jacksonsart.co.uk/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bad news is that price is a problem, not so much for the professional artist perhaps but certainly for the amateur. While this range has a whole raft of unique colours and is widely praised by American artists as ` the best' UK prices are higher than those in the USA and dearer than Windsor & Newton, as well as ALL other leading makes. Are they worth it? Time will tell. The other benefits of the DS range, apart from the huge choice http://www.danielsmith.com/ are a very high number of single pigment paints, high pigment content and a formulation that means the paints can be easily re-wetted.
With Graham http://www.mgraham.com/ now being stocked by Lawrence of Hove http://www.lawrence.co.uk/ and also the new Da Vinci range http://www.davincipaints.com/ we have the three leading American brands. Without doubt they are a serious combined threat to the long standing supremacy of Windsor & Newton. I have already ordered two colours to try, a small sample true but I am very well stocked with paints at the moment! I shall certainly buy more over time but I already have a good number of Grahams.
The ones ordered are Quinacridone Gold (PO49) and Quinacridone Fuschia (PR202). I am told by American friends on the Wetcanvas forums that the Quinacridones are particularly lustrous, but they have many other favourites. DS have apparently bought the remaining stocks of PO49 and are probably the sole source of this unique pigment, which has been discontinued by the usual producers. Many of these pigments are developed for the automotive industry and if they drop the colour then demand from the art world is insufficient to keep production going. Maimeri supposedly still offer Golden Lake which proclaims `quinacridone' on the tube but also details the pigment as `PV49'. A question to Maimeri about this went unanswered! PV49? A mistake it seems because this is an uncommon violet pigment (DS may offer it|) but what actually is in this paint?The Maimeri version is gritty and slightly greasy not at all like the original W & N version which unfortunately is now a three pigment mix. I still just happen to have two full pans of the original W & N version.