Saturday 28 January 2017

New Watercolours from Daniel Smith

I've been unwell for the last two weeks but am now getting back to normal - almost - so this post covers some new colours (eight) just introduced by Daniel Smith. With two exceptions they are convenience colours mixed from two or more pigments. With Daniel Smith now offering north of 250 paints one wonders where it will all end? Most artists palettes range from as few as 6  to 24, although there are always exceptions, so how do you choose? The danger is that you buy far too many and those least used dry up in the tubes, with some pigments more prone to do this than others. I had this experience with Quinacridone Purple (PR255), which solidified into a cement like mass and couldn't be squeezed from the tube. Several £'s worth of paint junked! I have another issue with Daniel Smith that I'll relate later.

I have consulted both Handprint and the pigment database over the pigments used but otherwise the conclusions are my own.

Rose Madder Permanent - ".....a modern , lightfast formulation of the traditional colour....". This is a three pigment mix of PR209, a red, PV19 a rose or violet shade and another red PR202.

Quinacridone Lilac (PR122). "... lies between Quinacridone Rose and Quinacridone Magenta  within the Daniel Smith Quinacridone color family...." Most other sources call this Quinacridone Magenta but it would seem there are many versions of PR122 available from pigment suppliers, Some are transparent and some more opaque. The pigment database says artists paints are mostly the transparent ones but some makers may well use the opaque versions. Handprint quotes the 1999 ASTM ratings of only 'fair' in watercolour - this refers to lightfastness, in other words whether the paint is likely to fade over time. Handprints test put it in the "excellent" category but cautions that the best rule is to treat all crimson and rose pigments with suspicion. Handprint also prefers PV19 Quinacridone Rose.

Wisteria. (PW6, PR122)" the blooms of it's namesake flowering vine....". This is PR122 , here recommended for painting florals.

Lavender. (PW6, PR122) "...a beautiful periwinkle blue, and quite different from our other blues...."

Aussie Red Gold (PY83, PR101, PV19) "....the  rich , golden colour of ochre cliffs set aflame at sunset...." Another three pigment mix. 

RawSienna Light. - (PY42)...."Raw Sienna Light for more golden tones than our Raw Sienna"...

Burnt Sienna Light. - ((PR101, PO48)...."A beautiful earthy colour Daniel Smith Burnt Sienna Light is redder than our Burnt Sienna, more transparent and slightly less granulation..."

Paynes's Blue-Gray. (PB60, PBk6). "...similar to our bluey Indigo....... Do we need another Paynes Gray, one of the easiest shades to mix?

Well there you are. I don't like paints where white has been added. This seems to be happening more and more. In my experience it tends to make the paint cloudy when diluted and also - at least in some formulations - the paint solidifies. 

Why do we need more and more colours? Daniel Smith is now something like 250 and still rising. When can you have too much of a good thing? I have the 'Paint it' sheets - 238 colours I think - and  can't help thinking many colours are very similar. They have some wonderful paints without a doubt but how big a palette should you actually have? I've bought a number and some are gathering dust as I can't see how to incorporate them in paintings I actually do. Paints for most amateurs? I think not.

Yvonne Harry, our group leader at Avon Valley Artists, is a flower painter par excellence, and thinks some of those above look lovely. She is on the DS mailing list and gets the regular e -mails they send out. I'm not, is this because I e-mailed (twice) about their claims regarding the Cadmium Hue equivalents, all mixed pigments, which they claim behave like single pigment paints when mixed with others. I'm still awaiting a reply.

I've now severely restricted my purchases of DS paints as they are so expensive in the UK. There are plenty of other good makes that are perfectly adequate, and  at lower prices. Daniel Smith have certainly shaken the watercolour world since they were introduced and must be giving headaches to the likes of Winsor & Newton. They are fabulous paints but you need a very deep pocket to major on them.


Woodcrafter said...

I have only just discovered your truly amazing blog and very many thanks for publishing such a wealth of information and the world wide variety of paintings for all to share.

Peter Ward said...

Welcome Graham and thanks for your kind words. There is a lot of good stuff in the back catalogue with the index on the July 2014 post.

Lisa said...

I've been subscribed to the Daniel Smith email list for years now, but have never received an email. For some very strange reason, they don't email out to some domains. Don't know why. They email out to yahoo domains, and probably gmail domains, but not to my own personally owned domain. After several years of trying to get through to them to fix this, I just gave up asking.

Lisa said...

Also wanted to mention that paints that harden in the tube aren't a loss. I just cut the tube open and put the paint lump into a container with some water. After a couple of days, it all softens up again and I can put it into pans. I've done this with 30 year old dried out W&N tube paints as well as with a couple of dried out tubes of DS paint.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments Lisa. Useful info.