View Full Version : Recommended Daniel Smith pigments?

07-20-2013, 03:06 AM
Hi all! I think a lot of you use Daniel Smith. I've never used them. I researched Holbein a lot and stocked up (40+ 15mL tubes) when I was in Japan. They were $5 apiece .. haha.

Anyhow! I am attending a workshop in Germany and the workshop leader is sponsored by Daniel Smith and Escoda. He said he will be selling Daniel Smith paints .. and I am naturally interested in a bargain! Does anyone have recommended Daniel Smith pigments? I am happy with my Holbeins but if there are some goodies out there, I wouldn't mind introducing them to my palette.

07-20-2013, 05:10 AM
Undersea Green is a beautiful, natural looking deep green color by DS, Josh.

There are many, many more, but that is one to start you off. :D


07-20-2013, 08:27 AM
I like any of their Quin range I have tried and one I'd recommend is the Quin Rust as a Burnt Sienna.Although I wouldn't be big into pre made greens, the Green Apatite is a lovely paint.For the main pigments like French Ultra,Cobalt etc I prefer W&N for value on this side of the world as they can be got in 37ml tubes and are not in any way inferior to DS.

07-20-2013, 09:45 AM
Three of my favorites are Goethite, Potter's Pink, and Diopside Genuine. All are great for landscapes.


07-20-2013, 11:37 AM
My favorites which are fairly specific to Daniel Smith:
Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Yellow Deep, Quinacridone Purple, and Sodalite.

I also really like their pthalo blue green shade - it's a nice cyan color.

07-20-2013, 12:27 PM
My faves are New Gamboge, Transparent Red Oxide, Quin Rose, and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. (I didn't think that last one would be so useful, but I loved the name, so I got it. I find it a great, subtle alternative to cerulean.) All of the DS paints I have tried have been great quality. I don't think you will be disappointed. Have a great time at your workshop!:D


07-20-2013, 12:33 PM
Oh, yes, I forgot Quinacridone Gold! Definitely worth getting a large tube of it. It is a wonderful color. I like Indanthrone Blue too, a nice rich blue.


Marcio C
07-20-2013, 01:15 PM
I don't know if this works as a recommendation... since I don't know what and how you are planning to use the colors... but to share my experience, I like and use a lot my green apatite genuine, new gamboge, cobalt teal blue, monte amiata natural sienna, plus others like quinacridone burnt scarlet, anthraquinoid red, permanent orange, sap green.
I am not crazy about DS blues, I prefer M Graham and Schmincke. I like the DS indanthrene blue color, though.

07-20-2013, 03:37 PM
When using tube colours I enjoy using DS colours for my 'earths' - Quin gold as a sort of ochre, Quin burnt orange instead of burnt sienna and transparent brown instead of umber. All these are a lot more vibrant and rich than your standard earth colours, I've never been a subtle person :)

07-20-2013, 09:40 PM
Josh, I love my DS paints a lot! Many of the ^^^ are some of my favs, too. Get New Gamboge as soon as you can and as many as you can. . .the companies are discontinuing that mix (PY 153) and it is wonderful. DS seems to the be the only source for it at the moment.

I also love the Sable Escoda brushes. . .a bit pricy, but good brushes. But, when they are on sale. . .some very good prices!

Have fun, Josh!! We want pictures of your work and to know your experiences at the Workshop!!


07-20-2013, 09:52 PM
I could be wrong, but I thought it was PO48 or 49 that was vanishing. from the markets.

Pulling from memory here........ which is burned out at the moment.

Car colour is all I can remember. Didn't think it was New Gamboge

Saint Ragdoll
07-21-2013, 02:47 AM
If you paint alot of greens you would love Green Apatite Genuine and Serpentine. Green Apatite has this darker part that settles out in a wash and looks wonderful. Both are natural enough greens on their own for painting trees, grass, bushes right out of the tube, and they mix well too.
Green Apatite Genuine is a Primatek color and so is expensive but, IMHO, it is worth it!!!!
Rich Green Gold is a bright very yellowish green, think " bright sunlight shining on a tree" sort of color.
Quincridone Gold in another good color, I use it as a subsititute for Yellow Ochre.....
I recently bought the DS Neurtal Tint and I am impressed with how it really does darken down colors without destroying or muddying the orginal color, even works with yellow!!!!! You can check the DS website or youtube for a video that shows 2 artists demostrating Neutral Tint in a couple of paintings.....
I bought the whole set of the Quincridones so any of those are wonderful colors,maybe you will see them demonstrated and can make a choice....all are bright saturated colors. I also like the Buff Titanium. It is so useful for painting sand, rocks and some sorts of buildings and city scenes....It is opaque. I dont use it as much as some other colors but it is nice to have it when I want it.
Seeing the colors painted out will help you decide, I ordered the dot cards and bought some colors that I wouldnt have bought if I hadnt seen how beautiful they were. The catalog and monitor screen doesnt do justice to the colors.
Saint Ragdoll

Quinacridone Gold
07-24-2013, 03:24 AM
I'm with Saint Ragdoll

Buff Titanium if you paint rocks, trees, shells, beaches.
Green Apatite genuine if you paint landscape
Quinacridone Gold if you paint (!)
I'd add Goethite if you paint landscape/rocks/ beaches - a granulating yellow earth.
DS earth colours are great - Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Raw sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber - all lovely versions.
Indanthrone Blue is also gorgeous.
For a 'primary' red that makes oranges AND purples, Carmine is terrific, or Quinacridone red.
Then there is Moonglow - a mixture of three that makes wonderful shadow colours...
And Transparent Red Oxide if you want a very granulating bright version of burnt sienna...
And Luna Earth for special effects...
There are other threads with the colours posted on them, one about Primateks and another 'try it dots' if you want to have a look at them.

07-27-2013, 06:16 AM
Daniel Smith has some good sales. I jes bought the "Essentials" set. Seven 15ml tubes for only $38USD. That's a hair under $5.5 per tube for mostly series 2 paints. It's a viable split palette selection. Offer good till end of month.

07-27-2013, 04:01 PM
Moonglow is great, if you remember that it is already a mix of three colors, and can go muddy if you mix it with too many other colors. It really is the color of moonlight, and great for night paintings. Serpentine is a beautiful green, as is Jadeite, which s a granulating green. Rose of Ultramarine is a rich, purple shade, great shadows on flowers. Daniel Smith colors are among my favorite. Hope you like them, too!

07-29-2013, 05:39 PM
> Moonglow is great,

Oh my!

Got my DS paints, today, and now understand what they mean by DS color dots. Ingenious! Itty bitty paint dots of real DS waco paints. I got two free palette cards with about 15-20 colors each, including moonglow and the ever popular quiny gold. Also read in detail about his Watercolor Sticks. I think I'm gonna like this Danny guy. ;)

07-31-2013, 08:38 AM
I recently discovered DS' Perylene Green (http://www.danielsmith.com/Item--i-284-600-194) (PBk31). Wow, what a useful mixing color to tone down greens and get amazing neutralized darks! Even though it's a black pigment, it reads as a very dark, dull green. It became an instant staple on my palette. I love it.

08-02-2013, 04:53 PM
Sodalite Genuine, any of the Quinacridones, especially Quin Gold and a red or rose or magenta, your pick of those. Also the Luminescent paints. These include a full spectrum of Iridescent colors, Duochrome colors that are strong color but shift back and forth between hues and Interference colors that are very pale, almost white sparkle but also shift hue.

Duochrome Autumn Mist (I think that's the name, it's Autumn something) and Oceanic are gorgeous as a wash over similar colors. They give a subtle luster. I got a spectrum of Duochromes because they became so useful. I thought using sparkle paints would make paintings look like a kid project, but not the Luminescents.

Interference Green is so insanely useful that I literally used it up and got a second tube. I use it when I want a little hint of iridescence. It is much more interesting than using the Winsor & Newton iridescent medium. It's like a pearl white with character, flashing green from one angle and magenta the other while staying that light and somewhat unobtrusive. In mixtures it gives a little shimmer and doesn't overwhelm them or vanish.

Sodalite Genuine is a cold dark color a bit like Payne's Grey but richer. It's replaced Payne's Grey for me and Payne's Grey was my favorite dark for ages. It mixes well and is a single-pigment color best for anything I'd use black in, also in monochromes it's utterly gorgeous.

Last suggestion, if they're selling paints they may have the dot cards available. I bought the entire-range dot cards because that gives me an amazing palette of colors and lets me try all of them before choosing what to buy. I like having a big palette, being able to choose exactly the right yellow for its hue, transparency, warmth, mixing qualities for that painting.

DS paints are cheaper in sets. Primatek colors are pure mineral pigments sometimes made from gemstones like the Amethyst Genuine - it's a lovely violet, very useful. The ten color Color Map set includes a couple of Primateks, Rhodonite Genuine is a surprisingly bright cold red that was in my Color Map set. This set makes a complete palette in itself and costs out to getting two or three of the big tubes free.

There are actual Primatek sets too that can help reduce the cost of those expensive pigments. Look over the sets they have for a budget. Also look at the triads. They often include one or two of the special expensive colors and a cheaper one, at a bargain price that usually gives at least one tube free. Azalea Triad has Perylene Green, Sicklerite Genuine and Rhodonite Genuine - it's fantastic because the Perylene Green is a great deep dark slightly cool green, very useful for value range, Sicklerite Genuine is a deep dark warm that's a good balance or opposite of my beloved Sodalite Genuine and the Rhodonite Genuine is this grand cold red - think a very strong hot pink that's not fugitive! It's almost as bright as Opera but it's not fugitive.

I just got that triad as a gift from a friend, so I'm looking at it at the moment. Once I started getting the DS paints I got addicted to trying new ones and the quality is the best. I've tried Holbein and like the DS paints better. Their website is also great for giving lots of information about each of their watercolors in depth.

They will usually give out smaller dot cards free. Right now I think there's a promotion where you can email them and get a dot card for the personal palette of your choice of two famous artists, a good many colors in a full palette with enough in the dots you could do a good sized painting or a lot of small ones.

When I first heard of Daniel Smith and went to their site, I ordered a Primary Triad to see if I liked the paint. The tubes were big and they claimed great quality. I got my triad and they included a dot card with fourteen colors I hadn't seen before or even heard of - they included Sodalite and Interference Green. I used up the dot and had to get that, my next order included pretty much everything on that first dot card.

They know this, it's why they send out the dot cards. It'll hook you to try a good color and find out your favorites.

So what I'd recommend first off is Sodalite, a couple of Quinacridones, Interference Green, at least one Duochrome to try that out in washes and mixtures, and any Primateks that appeal to you. Get a dots card or the full range dots card. It's not that much to get the full range dots card and that'll let you discover which of their specialty paints fits your style and needs.

The quality is the best of any watercolors I've ever used. I still love my Winsor & Newton Artist watercolors and other artist grade watercolors like Yarka, but Daniel Smiths top the list for me.

Get on their email list for notifications too. They have flash sales sometimes only a few hours, at deep discounts.

Quinacridone Gold also gives you Sap Green because that's the mix with Pthalo Green blue shade to get Sap Green. It's one that I put in my pocket kits ever since, replacing yellow ochre because it's transparent but has that hue. It's gorgeous, easily muted but doesn't need to be. Quin Gold, Quin Red or Magenta and Ultramarine would make a cool primary palette.

08-04-2013, 08:57 AM
I agree with everything suggested! Diopside, Green Apatite, Sleeping Beauty, all of the Quinacridones...

I would also suggest Graphite, a pencil grey that's great for adding pseudo-Victorian feel to underwashes. And Amazonite, a paint that looks green, but is more of a dark cyan. I've found it surprisingly useful as a component in sky wash mixes with some Quin Rose and whatever else I decide to toss in.