Art Materials, Journal

Getting my brush wet with Daniel Smith paints

Guess who finally decided to try out the Daniel Smith paints?

To be entirely honest, my curiosity has seen me spend a good amount of money for my watercoloring obsession lately. I’m pretty happy with the 36 watercolor palette I got myself recently (thoughts on that upcoming), but for the life of me I cannot shake off my desire to test out these paints.

Daniel Smiths are highly regarded as one of the best paints in the watercoloring world. Many artists actually declare it THE best. I can’t say much about that having tried none of the other expensive famous brands, but when I saw that DES Artroom were selling these Dot Charts I closed my eyes and clicked buy.

This 238 Dot Chart cost me Php 1,444 with shipping, but I figured it sure beats getting the set of primaries for the same price, or getting the set of 6 essentials for double the price. Primaries are colors I already have, and what I wanted more than anything was to see the unique colors Daniel Smith were offering.

These Dot Charts have nearly all of Daniel Smith’s existing colors. They even include all the pertinent information about each paint. Even though there’s only a smidge of paint on there, these are actually enough to make full paintings, since the colors are really pigmented and you don’t need a lot of scrubbing to pick up the color. (You have to wet them first to soften them up though, like any other dried watercolors.)

To add value to this order, DES Artroom even gave me a mini dot “palette” for free. I thought that was pretty awesome of them since I can bring this small one out with me. (I later found out my brother had another mini dot chart lying around which he got from an art convention he attended. YAS!)

Well the paints are everything I expected them to be! They have this certain luminscence to them once applied onto watercolor paper. I love the way the pigments kind of glow as they lay suspended inside the water. Plus they are easy to manipulate and move around. Not sure if this might be a problem when glazing. I’ll have to try it out soon.

They dry really nicely with different degrees of granulation. I made a little chart of my favorite colors here. The swatches are nice and all but they’re tiny, so I went ahead and painted bigger squares.

As you can see, I gravitated towards the bright and eye-catching colors, as well as all those rusty earthy tones. I loooove the Daniel Smith phthalos. Look at how stunning! The reds are super nice as well.

The thing I love about this palette is how I also got to try the Primateks, the shimmery Duochromes, and the metallic Iridescent colors. 

Right now, I don’t know what I’d use them for but they are amazing. They don’t look like much as you apply them on paper wet, but they dry down into these stunning colors! I might end up buying some of these after all. 🙃

It’s extremely hard to get the metallics to show nicely in the photos. 😩

I decided add stars beside the names of the colors I am planning to buy in the future while I put an “x” beside the names of colors that are similar to ones I already own. On the top of my list are Buff Titanium (nice cream color) and Naples Yellow (good base for yellowish skin tone).

I don’t paint often enough to require another set of primaries even if they are by Daniel Smith, so I will probably pass on those unless I finish my current palette. (Which will probably take like 10 years since they are full pans lol.) 

I’ll be making sure to put these Daniel Smith paints to good use soon. In a way, although I didn’t really need to get myself this chart, I’m glad I get to try these paints out before even thinking about investing in them. (Conscious choice of using the word invest. This brand is EXPENSIVE!) I know that if I hadn’t done this, I would’ve spent way more money guess-buying colors based on online swatches.

Some of these colors are actually quite similar to each other. Perhaps as I become more well-versed with colors, I’ll come to understand the nuances of each color. Right now, I shall happily use these for my future paintings. ❤️

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