Thursday, 20 April 2017

Da Vinci Watercolours complete range

Da Vinci (USA) is a third generation family owned company based in California. They make oils, acrylics, gouache, painting mediums and, of course, watercolour. What's great is that they make watercolours in a huge range of tube sizes from 5ml to 15ml to 37ml, as well as a couple of palettes of selected pan colours. You can see the full watercolour set and colour range here.

I have been using their 37ml tubes for many years to make up my students' palettes. Don't get me wrong - they are not student colours. My student palettes are made up entirely of artist quality colours, but I use a mix of Daniel Smith and Da Vinci to make them up. The 37ml DV tubes are so economical that I can price my palettes at a very reasonable rate and get my students started with artist quality watercolours. They are probably some of the most consistent watercolours available - thick and strong out of the tube, and they rewet well. They are now available in Sydney, Australia from Pigment Lab in Newtown, who will also do mail order.

June 2018 update: I have now tried their full current range of 104 colours, and will eventually add the last one - Lapis Lazuli - if it becomes available again. These swatches are all gradually being added to my website here.

As always, I've tried to colour match, but will mention it when the colour I see on my screen and the colour of the swatches is way out...


First are the cool yellows. Nickel titanate is usually a very weak pigment - this is one of the best example of this opaque and granulating yellow I've tried. Hansa Yellow Light is the coolest of these and a very clean yellow. I don't recommend PY40 as it will fade in washes and can discolour in mass-tone.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Nickel titanate yellow, Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Hansa Yellow Light, Da Vinci Yellow, Aureolin Mixture.
For some reason, I really struggle to show the true beauty of the orange-yellows on my computer - Gamboge Hue is definitely more orange than this swatch - it looks more like the Hansa Deep shown next.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Arylide Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light, Hansa Yellow Medium, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Gamboge Hue.
 ...and these are all more on the orange side then they appear here. The Arylide Yellow Deep is the same pigment (and the same colour) as DS hansa yellow deep and Schmincke Chromium yellow hue deep.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Hansa Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Arylide Yellow Deep, Indian Yellow,
Benzimida Orange.
These swatches should also be a little more on the red side. The DaVinci Cadmium orange is a lovely single pigment version - in many ranges this colour is a mix.   Benzimida Orange Deep is one of my favourite single pigment oranges - along with Schmincke's Transparent Orange. It's rich and powerful.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Cadmium Orange, Da Vinci Orange, Benzimida Orange Deep, Vermilion Hue, Bright Red.
These should be a little more red. Da Vinci Red is a rich fire engine red, just starting to move past the mid-red and into the blue-red range.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Cadmium Scarlet, Cadmium Red Light, Permanent Red, Cadmium Red Deep, Da Vinci Red.

Naphthol Red is described as 'mid tone' and it really does seem a perfect mid red. The tube I have of this was more runny than any others and took a long time to dry. Quinacridone Red is a coral colour - like the DS Quin Coral. The Alizarin Gold is more dull than it looks here, and the Alizarin Crimson (Quin) is more crimson - I think it's the closest I've seen to the genuine but fugitive Alizarin Crimson PR83 pigment.

Da Vinci Watercolours - rose Dore (Quinacridone), Naphthol Red, Quinacridone Red, Alizarin Gold, Alizarin Crimson (Quinacridone).
 Lots of variations using PV19 here - the Carmine is a little more dull than the Alizarin Quin shown above. Perylene Maroon is also a lovely version. It has a strong drying shift, but not the very neutral colour is often can be. The Rose Red Deep and Permanent Rose are so similar that you certainly wouldn't need both.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Carmine (Quinacridone), Perylene Maroon, Rose Red Deep (Quinacridone), Permanent Rose(quinacridone), Rose Madder (Quinacridone)
 I'm not a fan of Opus Pink and other flouro colours but they are popular. Cobalt Violet is always a very gentle granulating pigment.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Fuchsia, Thioindigo Violet, Cobalt Violet.
 I'm obviously missing a couple of purples - it's not a colour I buy much as I like to mix them. I'd like to rest the Manganese Violet as PV16 is such a lovely granulating red-violet usually. The Mauve is a convenient way to buy the common Ultramarine + Quin Violet or Quin Rose mix if you are painting a lot of purple items. The Ultramarine Violet is a fairly strong version of this gentle granulating pigment.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Cobalt Violet Deep, Lilac Permanent, Manganese Violet, Mauve, Ultramarine Violet.
 Da Vinci Violet (also called Winsor Violet, Carbazole Violet, Dioxazine Violet etc) is a powerful and staining pigment. I love Indanthrone Blue. Cobalt Blue Deep is often made from PB74 so it is interesting to see it here made from PB28. It looks very similar to French Ultramarine, but not identical.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Da Vinci Violet, Lavender Permanent, Indanthrone Blue, Cobalt Blue Deep, Cobalt Blue.
Some gaps, and it's hard to see the difference between the red and green shades of phthalo blue, but they are quite different. I find the Green Shade (just called phthalo blue) more useful if you want it as a cool blue, but I like the Red Shade in a CYM palette as the greens are a little less unrealistic. Lapis Lazuli is not being made at the moment as they are sourcing new pigment. Prussian blue green shade will appear eventually :-)

Da Vinci Watercolours - Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), Lapis Lazuli Genuine (not shown - not currently available), Prussian Blue, Prussian Blue Green Shade), Phthalo Blue.
You can see that there is a difference between the Ultramarine and the French Ultramarine with  the French being warmer (more red). I prefer the regular. I always prefer genuine cerulean made with PB36 rather than a hue as I love the granulating character of PB36 or PB35.

Da Vinci Watercolours - French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Blue (Green Shade) (not shown), Cerulean Blue Genuine, Cerulean Blue (Hue)
It is becoming more difficult to find genuine Manganese blue PB33, with Old Holland perhaps no longer making it. The Da Vinci version also has PB15, but will granulate due to the PB33. Phthalo Turquoise is another lovely option instead of phthalo blue GS. I love Cobalt Turquoise Deep for copper effects and seascapes.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Manganese Blue (Permanent), Phthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Turquoise Deep,
Cobalt Green Hue.
Phthalo Green for mixing and Perylene for deep shadow greens are two of my favourite palette greens. Viridian is a good choice if you want a less staining cool green option.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Phthalo Green, Viridian Green, Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade), Hooker's Green, Perylene Green.

Chromium Oxide Green is one of the most opaque pigments in watercolour, and it's a pigment I haven't explored much. The others here are convenience mixes, which can be useful if you find you tend to mix these hues a lot yourself.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Emerald Permanent (not shown), Chromium Oxide Green, Hooker's Green Light, Sap Green,
Olive Green.
 I love PY129 - it's a great colour for mixing and for the look of sunlight through trees. Nickel Azo Yellow is an interesting cool to mid dull yellow option. I don't tend to work with Naples Yellow but I like this one as it does'n have white pigments in it.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Green Gold, Leaf Green, Nickel Azo Yellow, Naples Yellow, Naples Yellow Deep.
Da Vinci make beautiful earth colours.

 Some lovely yellow earth options. I'd tend towards the single pigment colours every time.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Raw Sienna Deep.
I love the orange earth colours. DV Burnt sienna is a little more on the orange side than the DS one I use. Lovely granulation.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Raw Umber Natural, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Sienna Deep,
Terra Cotta (Light Red).
 PR101 has so many different personalities - here are a few more versions.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Venetian Red, Indian Red Deep, Indian Red, Brown Madder (Quinacridone), Violet Iron Oxide.

Burnt Umber and Raw Umber are colours I like to include in most palettes as it gives a deep warm and cool brown. I am not fond of black pigments in watercolour so I like the Indigo made with PB27+PV19 rather than the usual phthalo blue, indanthrone blue or ultramarine mixed with black.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Sepia, Indigo, Payne's Gray.
 I draw a black line on white swatches so I can see how opaque they are. the titanium White is more white - brighter - but also more opaque.

Da Vinci Watercolours - Ivory Black, Lamp Black, Davy's Gray, Chinese White, Titanium White.

As always, let me know if you notice any mistakes. Many thanks to those who have sent samples to help complete these posts, including Da Vinci paints in California and Pigment Lab in Newtown, Sydney. :-)







Monday, 10 April 2017

Winsor & Newton Watercolours - full range

My first watercolours over 35 years ago was a small Winsor & Newton Cotman sketching kit that I still had until my car was broken into and it was taken about 10 years ago. I'd changed the colours over to professional colours by then but I rather liked that palette and it had been all over the world with me...

Winsor & Newton started in England in 1832, and is one of the most famous watercolour brands, usually available throughout the world. They are available in whole and half pans as well as in tubes of various sizes. Some even come in extra large 37ml tubes :-)

Here is the full range of 96 current colours. There are also swatches of some of the limited edition watercolours that have been released from time to time, and some that have been discontinued.

The swatches have been photographed and colour matches are ok but not perfect. I'll note in my comments where they are way out. The most difficult to match are the warm yellows and orange-reds.


PY53 is not a powerful pigment so generally looks quite soft. I prefer the other stronger cool or lemon yellows such as Winsor Lemon or Winsor Yellow as a cool to mid yellow on the palette.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Lemon Yellow, Bismuth Yellow, Cadmium Lemon, Winsor Lemon, Winsor Yellow.

I rather like the Transparent Yellow of this row, and PY150 is a lovely mid-yellow pigment that is absolutely transparent. Turner's Yellow in interesting - it has more of a slight yellow ochre pastel look to it than it appears here - picture the look of a cad deep mixed with a little white.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Lemon Yellow Deep, Aureolin, Transparent Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Turner's Yellow.

These yellow are all much more orange-yellow than they appear - I just can't adjust to make them look right. Winsor Yellow Deep is made with an excellent warm yellow pigment and is a great choice for a warm yellow in the palette.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - New Gamboge (now made with PY150 + PR209), Cadmium Yellow, Winsor Yellow Deep, Indian Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep.

Here is a sample of the new formula for New Gamboge. It doesn't have the magic of the beautiful but discontinued PY153. If you find an older version, do pick it up. It's a beautiful pigment.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - New Gamboge updated version.

Cadmium Orange and Winsor Orange are more orange then they look here and Winsor Orange Red Shade is more or a warm red. Transparent Orange is one of the most beautiful single pigment oranges I think - along with Schmincke Transparent Orange and Da Vinci Benzimida Orange Deep and Daniel Smith Transparent Pyrrol Orange.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Cadmium Orange, Winsor Orange, Winsor Orange Red Shade, Transparent Orange (Limited Edition Colour), Bright Red (discontinued).

 Scarlet Lake is probably the best warm red option in a W&N palette.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Cadmium Scarlet, Scarlet Lake, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Red Deep, Winsor Red.

 I like Winsor Red Deep for a good strong crimson. These swatches are closer to reality. I never use Alizarin Crimson but I do think it is helpful that is is still manufactured, as long as it is clearly marked as fugitive.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Rose Dore, Quinacridone Red, Winsor Red Deep, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Alizarin Crimson.
Permanent Rose is great as a mixing rose or even as a primary red. W&N are the only manufacturer to still make genuine Rose Madder, and I'm glad it is still available to see what it looks like though it is fugitive so should be protected from light.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Sanguine Red (discontinued), Permanent Carmine, Permanent Rose, Rose Madder Genuine, Opera Rose.

 Quinacridone Magenta is a perfect choice for a CYM palette.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Quinacridone Magenta, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Violet, Permanent Mauve, Quinacridone Violet.

I like the granulation of PV15 Ultramarine, though it is not a strong mixer. I was really surprised to see this pigment in the rather amazing Smalt Blue limited edition colour.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Ultramarine Violet, Winsor Violet (Dioxazine), Smalt Blue (limited edition), Indanthrene blue, cobalt Blue Deep.
French Ultramarine is a palette staple. Winsor Blue Red shade and Phthalo Sapphire are very similar - both phthalo blue red shade colours.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - French Ultramarine, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Cobalt blue, Phthalo Sapphire, Winsor Blue Red Shade.

Winsor Blue Green Shade is often known as phthalo blue green shade - a lovely choice as a cool blue in a palette.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Antwerp blue, Prussian blue, Winsor Blue (Green Shade), Cerulean Blue Red Shade, Cerulean Blue.

Cobalt colours are expensive, but add so much lovely texture. I particularly love Cobalt Turquoise. (Note as of 2018 Cobalt Turquoise is a two pigment mix of PB36 and PB28. )
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Manganese Blue Hue, Phthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Turquoise Light, Cobalt Turquoise (now made with PB36+PB28), Cobalt Green.

Winsor Green and Winsor Green Blue Shade are the same thing if they are made with PG7. Also known as phthalo green blue shade. Viridian is a similar colour but more gentle and not staining.
Winsor Green (Blue Shade), Winsor Green, Viridian, Winsor Green (Yellow Shade), Terre Verte.

I love Perylene Green for the shadows in foliage and am rather fascinated by the granulation and opacity of PG17 though I've never really explore this pigment.
Perylene Green, Oxide or Chromium, Hooker's Green, Permanent Sap Green, Olive Green.

Green gold is useful for the look of sunlight shining through foliage.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Terre Verte (Yellow Shade), Green Gold, Naples Yellow, Naples Yellow Deep,
Yellow Ochre Light .

The Raw Sienna is a mix which is a shame as raw sienna PBr7 is a a lovely pigment. I like the yellow ochre and the lovely granulating Yellow Titanate.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Yellow Titanate, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Gold (genuine - discontinued)

Magnesium Brown is rather fun. Schmincke has just released a colour using this pigment too. Burnt Sienna is a gorgeous burnt orange colour. I prefer PBr7 burnt siennas but this will mix in a similar way to make greys with ultramarine.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Quinacridone Gold, Gold Brown (limited edition), Brown Ochre, Magnesium Brown, Burnt Sienna.

W&N Indian red is a fairly well behaved version of this colour. It can be rather wild and a little crazy, (which can be fun, but more difficult to control). Indian Red Deep is an interesting red-brown pigment made by a few other manufacturers. 
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Light Red, Venetian Red, Indian Red (limited edition), Brown Madder.

Raw Umber one of the colours which is produced as either this mid-toned colour or a dark cool brown colour depending on the manufacturer. I prefer the deeper version as a dark cool brown is not easy to mix.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Potter's Pink, Perylene Maroon, Perylene Violet, Caput Mortuum Violet, Raw Umber.


The very chocolate-coloured Dark Brown was a limited edition colour.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Burnt Umber, Vandyke Brown, Dark Brown (special limited edition), Sepia, Indigo.

W&N Mars Black can be seen here - it is the most granulating black, made with PBk11. 
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Payne's Grey, Neutral tint, Ivory Black, Lamp Black, Mars Black

I don't tend to use black or white watercolours much but they are important, as are some greys for convenience.
Winsor & Newton Watercolours - Charcoal Grey, Davy's Grey, Chinese White, Titanium White.
This post was updated in June 2017. I am very grateful to Winsor & Newton Australia who presented each member of the Australian Watercolour Institute with a gift package including a paint dot card with the full W&N range. I was finally able to add the missing 5 colours :-)

As always, please let me know if I have made any errors.
Happy painting :-)




Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Daniel Smith watercolour - full range - updated

I've been using Daniel Smith watercolours since 1995 - just two years after they were first produced. They started with just 18 colours, including quinacridone gold, sap green, new gamboge, yellow ochre and the raw and burnt siennas that I still love today. Over the years I managed to try pretty much every colour they have ever produced, and in 2015 and again in 2017 I went over and visited the factory, taught a number of workshops and met up with many of the wonderful Daniel Smith people. I've met up with the CEO and the Vice President frequently over the years, and have worked with the company exploring ideas and colours.
I continue to test out watercolours from all over the world and there are some fabulous brands to be found. But I still use Daniel Smith myself because they work so well for me in the way I like to paint. That means that even though they don't cantina honey, they dry well in the palette, rewet with ease and are richly pigmented. They also have extraordinary granulation, which I love. I am proud to be one of their international team of Brand Ambassadors. Please note that this isn't a paid position, but a recognition of our loyalty to this brand. 

The original range expanded to a massive 252 colours, including the fascinating Primateks and also the 48 luminescent, pearlescent and interference colours that I won't include here. The following charts are arranged based on the two colour charts I have - the newest and a previous one. Colour reproduction is not bad, but not perfect.

January 2023 - the range is currently 266 colours, with some having been discontinued and new ones added. I'll be gradually updating this blog post with individually colour-matched scans of each swatch. I'll order them the same as the current colour chart.

Of course you don't need all these colours and nor have I bought them all. I've bought many of them, collected others as free samples and been sent a few by fellow artists and the Daniel Smith the company - including the 8 new colours added in 2017 and another 8 new colours in 2019. But many have been tested only from the wonderful dot cards that Daniel Smith were the first to produce, such as the Mayan Yellow and many of the other Mayan and earth colours.

I can talk about colours for ever, especially these ones. However I will just include a few comments here about the colours I particularly like or use or recommend a lot. The choices are vast :-)


I love Buff Titanium - think of it as an unbleached white. Lovely granulation and perfect for beaches and sandstone, snow gums and marble. There are quite a few great lemon and mid yellows to enjoy.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Buff Titanium, Nickel Titanate Yellow, Bismuth Vandate Yellow, Hansa Yellow Light, 
Azo Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light (discontinued 2007-8)

Daniel Smith moved away from cadmiums many years ago but I've included some just for comparison with the cadmium hues. Cadmium colours are very lightfast and fun to use when a more opaque effect is needed, but I generally prefer more transparent watercolours for the yellows and reds. I particularly like Hansa Yellow Medium - a lovely mid yellow.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Cadmium Yellow Light Hue, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, Aureolin (Cobalt Yellow), 
 Cadmium Yellow Deep (discontinued 2010), Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue (not shown), Hansa Yellow Medium.

Indian Yellow has changed formulation but I haven't tried the new version. It is made with useful pigments though. 

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Mayan Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Indian Yellow (discontinued), Indian Yellow (I haven't tried the new mix), Naples Yellow,  Quinaphthalone Yellow

Hansa Yellow Deep is another excellent single pigment warm yellow option, that works very nicely as a pair with Hansa Yellow Light or Quinaphthalone Yellow for those wanting a cool and a warm yellow. New Gamboge has also changed formula, since PY153 is not longer available. It's a shame as it's a gorgeous warm yellow pigment so grab any you happen to find if you like the original version. PY110 is very difficult to capture as a scan or a photograph - it is a rich yellow on the cusp of orange. Aussie Red Gold was added in 2017 and is a lovely bright golden orange yellow. It mixes great greens with a range of blues. 
Daniel Smith Watercolours - Hansa Yellow Deep, New Gamboge (discontinued), New Gamboge (the new hue),  
Isindoline Yellow, Permanent Yellow Deep, Aussie Red Gold (new 2017).

I love orange, but don't tend to have it in my palette since it is easy to mix. In spite of my efforts, it is all difficult to show oranges totally accurately, though these are close. I've included the PR108 as a comparison with the Cadmium Red Scarlet Hue.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Pyrrol Orange, Permanent Orange, Cadmium Orange Hue, Perinone Orange,  Cadmium Scarlet (discontinued 2010), Cadmium Red Scarlet Hue.

Shown here is the old version of Transparent Pyrrol Orange, which is what I use personally as a warm red. It has changed to a gorgeous mid-orange that is the perfect neutralising opposite for Ultramarine, shown second. Quinacridone Coral is always difficult to capture, so I've used a photo here - it is a true coral colour. Pyrrol Scarlet is my recommended pigment for a warm red.

Daniel Smith Watercolours Transparent Pyrrol Orange (old version), Transparent Pyrrol Orange, Organic Vermilion, Mayan Orange, Quinacridone Coral, Pyrrol Scarlet.

There are many reds to choose from - some brighter, some more dull. While I don't have one in my palette, my choice for a mid fire-engine red would be Pyrrol Red.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Perylene Scarlet, Anthraquinoid Scarlet, Cadmium Red (discontinued 2010), 
Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Pyrrol Red, Perylene Red

Quinacridone Red is very like Quinacridone Rose though slightly richer. I have only tried Mayan Red from a DS dot so this may not be a fair indication of its true character. 
Daniel Smith Watercolours - Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Red, Permanent Red Deep, 
Quinacridone Red, Anthraquinoid Red, Mayan Red.

While I don't use the fugitive Alizarin Crimson, I am glad we can still buy it to see what all the fuss is about. Rhodonite starts more of a rose when freshly painted but becomes more magenta with exposure to oxygen. I rather like Carmine as a great 'primary' red, though I tend to use Quinacridone Rose more often. NR9 is a fugitive pigment, now only available from Winsor & Newton. The new Rose Madder Permanent is closer to the original Rose Madder pink, but it won't fade. I know many love Opera Rose, but it will fade.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Alizarin CrimsonRhodonite Genuine, Carmine, Rose Madder Genuine (discontinued 2017), 
Rose Madder Permanent (new 2017), 
Opera Pink.

The gentle Potter's Pink has gorgeous granulation and can be used as part of an earth triad. Many of the Daniel Smith quinacridone colours are quite similar. I particularly love Quinacridone Rose as a gorgeous rose pink but also to mix amazing purples. The newer Quinacridone Lilac (called Quin Magenta in many other ranges) is also excellent for this purpose, and as a primary red. Pyrrol Crimson is a palette basic for me.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Potter's Pink, Quinacridone Pink, Quinacridone Rose, Quinacridone Lilac (new 2017),
Quinacridone Magenta, Pyrrol Crimson.

Mayan Violet wast painted from a small dot and may not represent the actual qualities of this paint.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Quinacridone Fuchsia, Mayan Violet, Bordeaux, Permanent Violet (old version), Permanent Violet new version - a mix of PB29 + PR202 not shown), Quinacridone Violet.

I tend to mix my own purples, but there are some lovely granulating pigments that can add texture to your paintings. PV49, PV14 and PV15 are never powerful colours, but have interesting granulation. Mixing Ultramarine with PV19 creates fabulous strong and granulating purples.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Perylene Violet, Cobalt Violet, Wisteria (new 2027), Cobalt Violet Deep,
Ultramarine Red, Rose of Ultramarine.

The photograph doesn't capture the beauty of the Amethyst, which, like many of the Primateks, has a touch of sparkle. It's a powerful but slightly neutralised deep purple. 

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Quinacridone Purple, Imperial Purple, Purpurite Genuine (#164), Ultramarine Violet, 
Amethyst Genuine, Carbazole Violet.

I love the crazy granulation of the three-pigment Moonglow - the rose floats, the viridian speckles and the ultramarine granulates - it is rather fun to play with. Shadow Violet is similar but cooler.

Daniel Smith Watercolours Cobalt Blue Violet, Moonglow, Shadow Violet, Sugilite Genuine, 
Kyanite Genuine, Indigo

There are so many gorgeous blue pigments! I love the richness of Indanthrone blue and the granulation of Sodalite. It can be used as a great shadow colour, or for fabulous stormy skies. Ultramarine and French Ultramarine look very similar. I use Ultramarine as I prefer the way it mixes with Burnt Sienna.
Daniel Smith Watercolours - Mayan Dark Blue, Indanthrone Blue, Sodalite Genuine, Lapis Lazuli Genuine, 
French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Blue.

Cobalt blue a beautiful mid blue - neither warm nor cool. Phthalo Blue Green and Red Shades behave in a similar manner - you can see here that the Red Shade is definitely warmer. I generally suggest the Green Shade if you want it to be your cool blue.
Daniel Smith Watercolours - Cobalt Blue, Phthalo Blue Red Shade, Lavender (new 2017), Lapis Lazuli Genuine, 
King's royal blue (new 2022, not shown), Verditer Blue, Phthalo Blue Green Shade.

Cerulean Chromium is one of my favourites, mixed with ultramarine for skies. Great anywhere in the world :-) It is more powerful and slightly cooler than Cerulean. Phthalo Blue Turquoise was released more recently and is the lovely PB16 turquoise pigment.

Daniel Smith Watercolours Prussian Blue, Mayan Blue Genuine, Cerulean Blue, Cerulean Blue Chromium, Manganese Blue Hue, Phthalo Blue Turquoise (new 2018?)

Cobalt turquoise is wonderful mixed with a little yellow when you want to create the look of oxidised copper! It's also lovely for seascapes, as are all the cool blues. Phthalo colours will be staining and non-granulating whereas the Primateks and cobalt colours will have granulation.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Cobalt Teal Blue, Phthalo Turquoise, Ultramarine Turquoise, Natural Kingman Turquoise Genuine, 
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine, Cobalt Turquoise.


I am updating all swatches...in progress. I am gradually replacing each of the photographs of 6 swatches with individually scanned and colour corrected swatches.



 I love the granulation of Blue Apatite Genuine and Lunar Blue (so many lovely blues!)

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Genuine, Cobalt Turquoise, Amazonite Genuine,
Blue Apatite Genuine, Lunar Blue, Fuchsite Genuine.

Phthalo Green Blue Shade is another of my basic colours. I doubt I've ever used it alone, but it's great for mixing. Viridian is very similar in colour but much less powerful and less staining and has lovely granulation.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Cobalt Green Pale, Natural Kingman Turquoise Genuine, Phthalo Green Blue Shade,
Viridian, Malachite Genuine (discontinued 2017) Cascade Green.

Jadeite is a lovely alternative for those who don't want to use the often overpowering phthalo green. As a cool green, it mixes in a similar way, but with granulating and a bit more of a realistic look.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Diopside Genuine, Jadeite Genuine, Cobalt Green, Spring Green, Permanent Green Light,
Phthalo Yellow Green

In 2015, PO49 was replaced in DS mixes with the hue made from PO48+PY150. The new version of Sap Green is shown below. I love Serpentine Genuine - not just because it also comes from Australia, but because it creates a grassy meadow in one wash :-)

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Permanent Green, Phthalo Green yellow shade, Hooker's Green (new formula 2015 not shown),
Sap Green (original formula - discontinued 2015), Serpentine Genuine, Chromium Green Oxide.

Green Apatite Genuine is a remarkable paint as it will create soft greens, grassy greens and deep olive greens depending how thickly is it applied - excellent in a limited or plein air palette. Perylene green is fabulous - another of my basic palette colours.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Green Apatite Genuine, Terre Verte, Sap Green Deep, Perylene Green, Prussian Green,
Rare Green Earth

Sap Green, Undersea Green, Perylene Green and, for mixing, Phthalo Green work really well for me, but I love the amazing range of realistic greens available.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Sap Green (new formula 2015), Undersea Green (new formula 2015),
Undersea Green (discontinued formula), Ziosite Genuine, Olive Green, Green Gold.

There are a lot of yellow earth options. I'm not quite sure what the difference is between some of them. I like to use Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Goethite. Mont Amiata Natural Sienna is very pretty. I quite like Mars Yellow too :-) I haven't explored the new Raw Sienna Light much yet...

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Rich Green Gold, Nickel Azo Yellow, Bronzite Genuine, Verona Gold Ochre,
French Ochre, Raw Sienna Light (new 2017)

I love Raw Sienna for the glow of sunsets in the sky. It's also useful for skin tones. I tend to have Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Gold and Goethite in my palette. Quinacridone Gold was one of the first Daniel Smith watercolours I bought back in 1995. I still love it. As this pigment is no longer available, the new hue has been produced (see below).

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Burnt Bronzite Genuine, Burgundy Yellow Ochre, Yellow Ochre, Mars Yellow,
Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Gold.

The Quinacridone Gold hue that is used in mix many of the DS colours now is very close to the genuine PO49. I love earthy colours. I especially love the unique Goethite for its amazing granulation.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Quinacridone Gold (hue), Transparent Yellow Oxide, Mont Amiata Natural Sienna,
Hemetite Burnt Scarlet, Environmentally Friendly Yellow Iron Oxide, Goethite.

Lunar Earth is one of the most incredible granulating colours. Granulation is something Daniel Smith does so well :-)

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Quinacridone Gold Deep (original formula - now PO48+PY150 not shown),
Italian Deep Ochre, Lunar Earth, Burnt Yellow Ochre, Garnet Genuine

I love the earth colours. I tend to have a yellow earth, an orange earth and a red earth at least in my palette, and I love the most opaque of watercolours Indian Red as a red earth.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - burgundy Red Ochre, Indian Red, Venetian Red, Italian Burnt Sienna,
Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Quinacridone Sienna (original mix, now made with PO48+PY150 +PR209)

Minnesota Pipestone has a lovely subtle dusty pink.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Pompeii Red, Red Fuchsite Genuine, Terre Ercolano, Minnesota Pipestone,
Italian Venetian Red, English Red Earth.

So many amazing colours...Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet is also known as brown madder.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet, Perylene Maroon, Sedona Genuine, Deep Scarlet,
Napthalmide Maroon, Lunar Red Rock.

Piemontite is another favourite 'extra' colour. It is a bit like an Indian Red but has a gorgeous dusty rose undertone. The primateks are so interesting.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Piemontite Genuine, Tiger's Eye Genuine, Burnt Tiger's Eye Genuine, Hematite Genuine,
German Green Raw Umber, Hematite Violet Genuine.


Transparent Red Oxide is one of my absolute favourite watercolours - the perfect colour for rust, which I love to paint, or as an alternative for Burnt Sienna. Though I tend to have both. Permanent Brown is also an interesting non-granulating red-brown.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Mummy Bauxite, Permanent Brown, Raw Umber Violet, Transparent Brown Oxide,
Transparent Red Oxide, Environmentally Friendly Red Iron Oxide.

Burnt Sienna as a palette staple and I love this version - PBr7 rather than the common PR101 burnt orange version. Burnt Umber is a lovely classic watercolour - a rich warm brown. I love the granulation of the Enviro-friendly watercolours. The EF Brown Iron Oxide is excellent as a really granulating burnt umber option.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Fired Gold Ochre, Burnt Sienna Light (new 2017, originally a limited release as part of the Alvaro set but now readily available), English Red Ochre, Burnt Umber, Environmentally Friendly Brown Iron Oxide.

Raw Umber is a colour I use a lot as a cool dark brown, and I usually include it in a palette of 12 or more as it is not an easy cool dark brown to mix on the fly.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Raw Umber, Sepia, Sickerite Genuine, Van Dyck Brown, Bloodstone Genuine, Lunar Violet.

And now for some darks. I don't tend to use black in watercolours but the Graphite Gray is like working with liquid pencil - lovely! I make my own Jane's Black and Jane's Grey (added to the range in 2019 - see below) for my darks.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Neutral Tint, Payne's Blue Gray (new 2017), Graphite Grey, Payne's Grey, Lamp Black,
Black Tourmaline Genuine.

I thought Yavapai Genuine might have been discontinued as it was missing from the previous colour chart but it's on the new one and here it is - out of order! Lunar Black makes me break all my not-using-black rules, (it's an extra colour I have fun with), just as Buff titanium puts a white pigment in my palette :-) Titanium white is whiter and more opaque than Chinese White I think.
Daniel Smith Watercolours - Yavapai Genuine, Ivory Black, Lunar Black (sorry - miss-spelt), Chinese White, Titanium White.



Update March 2019.

Eight new colours have just been added to the DS range - another Primatek, six Signature mixes and a new single pigment grey. I've written more about them here. Though of course I am particularly delighted with my signature series colour Jane's Grey :-)

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Jane's Grey, Red Jasper Genuine (Primatek), Gray Titanium.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Alvaro's Fresco Grey, Alvaro's Caliente Grey.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - Joseph Z's Neutral Grey, Joseph Z's Cool Grey, Joseph Z's Warm Grey.

2022/2023 update: Five new colours have been added to the range. Here is the colour chart with 266 colours. I'll add the extra colours once I have them :-) by then I will also have done a full update of every swatch to colour check them more carefully.

New colours 2022/2023 - Jane's Black (Blue/Orange), Chrome Titanate Yellow,  Iridescent Vibrant Raspberry,
King's Royal Blue, Jane's Black (Red/Green)
 

I'll finish with a few that have been discontinued some time ago but I'll show them anyway as it's rather nice to know what they looked like...
Daniel Smith Watercolours - Cote d'Azur Violet (discontinued), Bohemian Green Earth (Discontinued), Vivianite Blue Ochre (discontinued), Hot Mulled Cider (limited seasonal release)

As always, if you notice any errors, do let me know.
Happy painting :-)

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