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Trying Out some Watercolors from Daniel Smith

June 27, 2009

 

090625DSwatercolorTests

Above: color test swatches of three new Daniel Smith watercolor paints I purchased: Serpentine Genuine, Rhodonite Genuine, Transparent Red Oxide. Click on the image to view an enlargement. (Tab in gutter: when I start a journal I remove pages throughout it immediately, to allow space for collage.)

Note: Daniel Smith Watercolors are my preferred brand, the brand I use the most frequently, enjoy using the most, find the most vibrant and consistently well-made, etc. While I use a fairly limited number of colors in my typical travel palette I often look at additional colors to use for expanded palette situations, or as replacements.

The other day I stopped by Wet Paint in St. Paul and picked up a couple Daniel Smith watercolors I hadn’t tried before. I had been reading a lot about the Rhodonite, was curious about the Transparent Red Oxide, and, well when I saw the Serpentine Genuine I just had to have a tube (and I do not like green paint!)

Before you rush right over to Wet Paint to get these paints to try out for yourself give them a call. I bought the last tubes of these paints. Find out when more will be coming along. If you don’t live locally you know where to find these paints mail order.

Here’s what I would like to tell you about these three paints: they are fabulous. The Serpentine Genuine won me over immediately in the store because this pigment, made from a green rock with purple flecks presents the same way in a paint: green wash with purple flecks. If you like granulating paints, or if you like complex textures in your watercolors then this is a paint you need! It made me want to run out of the house and start painting images of vegetation. Believe me I rarely have such urges and if I do have them they are simple to stifle. I’m already filling up a new pan palette which will include this pigment. I also love the way it mixes with blues to get a variety of greens. I didn’t test it yet with yellows, but imagine interesting things will occur.

090625SerpentineGen Left: Close-up of the Serpentine Genuine showing the purple flecks in the green wash. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

When mixed with Rhodonite Genuine a wonderful pinkish brown results. Add Transparent Red Oxide to Serpentine Genuine and a delicious range of brown, beige, and olive green emerges. I also paired it with Transparent Pyrrol Orange (another Daniel Smith paint; swatches not on this page spread) and again achieved a yummy range of brown, beige, and olive green. (I’ve been debating about adding Transparent Pyrrol Orange to my regular palette; no firm decision as of yet.)

Rhodonite is a smoky pink (you can see it compared to my usual “cool red” Quin Pink in the swatches). It does lovely things when mixed with a variety of blues. When mixed with the yellows I like to use (Azo, Indian Yellow, and New Gamboge) the resultant orange variations are muted and skew a bit towards the brown range. I will have to save my Quin Pink to mix the glowing oranges I’m used to, but I’m still looking for a way to slip Rhodonite into my regular palette as well.

Transparent Red Oxide mixed into a lovely range of vibrant neutrals and smoky browns and blues. I’ll be looking at Quin. Sienna and blue mixes to see if I prefer the Transparent Red Oxide results. I encourage you to take a look at it for yourself.

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  1. Reply

    Thanks so much! These are all colors that have intrigued me in the catalog – especially Serpentine. Thrilled to hear that they are as good as they sound!

    • Katy
    • June 27, 2009
    Reply

    I just got back from vacation, and I’m loving all of these great posts I’m catching up on!

    • Roz
    • June 27, 2009
    Reply

    Hope you had a great vacation and got a lot of drawing done!

    • Carol C.
    • June 27, 2009
    Reply

    Hey, Roz–Daniel Smith are my favorite paints, too. Do you mind telling us what you use on your typical palette?–Carol C.

    • Roz
    • June 28, 2009
    Reply

    Carol, I’ve talked about this already on the blog. If you go to Palettes in the category cloud you’ll find info on this.

    http://rozwoundup.typepad.com/roz_wound_up/2009/04/my-schmincke-pan-watercolor-palette.html
    Will get you to my schmincke watercolor palette.

    http://rozwoundup.typepad.com/roz_wound_up/2008/11/project-640-tubes-selecting-a-gouache-palette.html
    Will get you some info on my gouache palette,

    and if you go to http://www.roztest.wpengine.com/LR.html on my website and then look at the list topic “Educational Content?” and click on the title: Adding and Deleting Pigments from my watercolor palette…
    You’ll find out about my Daniel Smith palette which is still very much the same as when I wrote that.

    Other posts in the “palette” and “paints” category talk about my color choice and blending thoughts. If you click on one of them and scroll down until you see swatches as the opening image for a post you’ll find the type of information your after. After a post or two you’ll get enough of an idea of what criteria I use to select and can select based on your own leanings. Have fun!

    • Carol C.
    • July 3, 2009
    Reply

    Thanks, Roz!

    • Roz
    • July 3, 2009
    Reply

    Carol, there won’t be a quiz, but I’d love it if you report back with what you decide to use!

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