Monday, September 9, 2019

Trying out 'Daniel Smith' watercolours

I was excited to win a raffle prize at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam this year, especially as it contained a set of Daniel Smith watercolours. I’d always wanted to try them as I had heard such great things about the paints!

My raffle prize!
Firstly, I set about painting some colour swatches. The ever so tiny Hahnmuhle zigzag sketchbook, which was part of the prize too, was perfect for this. The set I won has colours put together by Jane Blundell. My initial reaction was that they were very earthy colours with no greens. The texture was quite creamy with an almost gouache feel when using them. I particularly enjoyed using the Buff Titanium, both on its own and as a mixer.
Colour testing in the Hahnemuhle zigzag sketchbook

Colour testing in the Hahnemuhle zigzag sketchbook
Next was to take the box out on location. I painted with them at Greenwich, Dulwich and Pitzhanger Manor. The lack of ready mixed greens was the biggest problem for me. Also at one point the colours fell out of their box so I bought a metal tin to hold them instead. 

The main result from using them was that I realised what my favourite colours are from Winsor & Newton. I missed their Cobalt Blue, Naples Yellow, Indian Yellow, Cobalt Turquoise Light and Opera Rose. I love their greens especially Oxide of Chromium and Perylene Green.
My usual W&N palette, just one DS - Lunar Blue
I’m off on an exciting trip soon so I think I’ll combine the two sets, picking my favourites from both companies and see how that works.


  1. I'm still a Winsor Newton fan too even with all the hand-made Kremer stuff. WN still acts like watercolor on the paper and the colors are reliable. Some of the others are more like qouache and sticky instead of spready. Love yr greens in the landscapes. Nice and lively 👍🏻

    1. Interesting to get your take on W&N watercolours. Was good to try something new but I'm heading back to my old palette. Hope you are enjoying your painting trip in the US!