Review of Expensive Watercolors {Daniel Smith}

Hello my name is Lindsay I am a watercolor floozy. I can’t resist having a fling with a new set of beautiful watercolors, especially if I find some on sale which I did. I got this 6 watercolor essential set from Daniel Smith for $22 from Amazon Warehouse Deals, I snagged it because there was only one, I think it was shopworn or a return, I did not care as long as the paint was good. The paint was great but unfortunately there were 2 ultramarines in the set in place of a pthalo blue but Daniel Smith send me out a replacement tube so all was good.


I had dozens of people ask me to review Daniel Smith paint and even more recommend it. The price however gave me pause but I am really glad I tried these! Unfortunately it makes me want more. Oh, and a warning, if you go to the Daniel Smith website you can see beautiful swatches of colors and descriptions that sound like you are reading the back of a wine label or a romance novel, I had to step away from the computer before I spent a paycheck on romantic sounding names like Moonglow and Undersea Green. They have a fantastic copywriter! Enough talking, lets see what these paints are all about in today’s review and demo:

The colors included in the 6 color watercolor essentials set are:
Hansa Yellow Light (col yellow)
New Gamboge (Warm Yellow)
Quinacridone Rose (Cool Red)
Pyrrol Scarlet (Warm REd)
Pthalo Blue GS (Cool “greeny” blue)
French Ultramarine (Warm “purply” blue)

If you want more info on basic split primary color mixing check out my free video here but if you want a more in depth course using the Daniel Smith colors try the class Luminous Watercolor Mixing at Craftsy.  Last I checked it was 33% off and I did enroll in it myself to be sure it was a good color mixing class.

You can find a good deal on Daniel Smith tubes on Blitsy. They also have the set I used at Simon Says Stamp (but honestly, you can get the 6 tube set for half the price on Amazon.)

I really like these paints and this set is perfect for clean bright mixes, perfect workhorse colors to start off with. The only negative I can think of on Daniel Smith paints is they are expensive but luckily they often have sales so you can keep a list and stock up when you find a deal. They sell dot sample cards if you want to try colors before comitting to buying a tube or stick of paint which might be smart, or dumb if it just makes you want more. #WatercolorFloozyProblems. I also love the descriptions they put of each color on their website, although warning, you might get talked into buying:)

This 6 color set is wonderful for beginners or experienced artists wanting to try and compare with basic colors. I’ll say that the quality is excellent so advanced painters might want to try some of their more exotic pigments to round out their collections especially if you seek granulating colors.

I will be using these paints in a video tomorrow as well (as if I could waste ANY of the paint on that palette!) if you want to see it in action some more. Also today I wanted to announce the winner of the ArtNeko stamps from last week (sorry to cram so much in to one post) Virginia Michelini enjoy your prize! You will get an email from me with instructions on claiming your stamps, congrats! Let me know what you think of these paints in the comments below, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Screamin’ Deal of False Economy?

Hi friends! The packages have arrived from my birthday money-flu induced-watercolor shopping spree a couple of weeks ago. The set I am going to review tonight I have never heard of before but I really liked the look of the pallet it came in. It also came with a waterbrush, ceramic dish and sponge. I have been looking around for a good deal on half pans to fill from my watercolor tubes and they are crazy expensive, even on ebay, for basically tiny plastic square cups. When you figure in shipping they are easily $1 a piece empty. If you know anything about student quality watercolors you know that you can often pop the watercolor cakes right out of the pans. This palette had 18 filled removable pans included. The price of the whole shebang was $12.99. How could I loose?


But when push came to shove I couldn’t just throw away the paint, it goes against my staunch Yankee upbringing. So I played with the paint and it just proves my point that you can make art out of anything if you are an artist. Now, I am not recommending these paints per say but I think the palette is a great value and the paint is certainly bright and fun. For the full review watch the video!


This is the set I ordered, I just double checked my order, the name fluctuates between Jerry Q Arts and Grace Arts and the price I paid for the Jerry Q was $12.99 and the Grace is $11.99, I did not have issues with the latch on mine but one reviewer said her’s did not stay latched. I reckon both sets are the same, they are according to my order history. This is not an affiliate link:)

This kit is best for:

  • The palette pans and brush which would cost $20 if purchased separately.
  • Brush lettering: the paint consistency is ideal for that and I wonder if that is what the set is really intended for and it lost something in the translation when it came over in the boat LOL!
  • Or washes on casual pen and ink work like in the photo above. I had a grand old time playing with this paint. That said the paint contains a lot of filler so care must be taken not to make mud when mixing. Using colors straight from the pan will overcome that.
  • Unbridled play, with paints this economical you can experiment with colors, sketching and patterns and not worry about wasting paint. I was testing colors on a paper plate for goodness sake and due to the fillers the paint rests on the surface of the paper so you can use cheap drawing paper to play with these and the paint won’t feather.

These paints are not good for:

  • Serious works of fine art you want to keep for a long time (if you make something awesome scan it:)
  • Watercolor techniques where flowing colors is important (like wet-in-wet washes or open drip technique) the fillers make the paint heavier and more still, they are much like poster paint or tempera.
  • Pretentious artists…wait, it would give them something to complain about and they seem to like that LOL!

This is a $12 paint set and you are painting for the palette in my opinion which I gladly did and found it to be a great value. If what you want to spend your $12 on is paints you are much better off to pick up a few tubes of Winsor & Newton Cotman or Grumbacher Academy paints or the $12 LUKAS Studio pocket box set of 12 half pans because those paints are more lightfast and will give you nice colors and better flow. It just depends on what your needs are. What do you think? Would you pick this set up or pass? Let me know in the comments below. Just so you know I was not asked to review these, nor was I compensated to and I bought them with my own money. I ALWAYS declare if an item was free or when I am sponsored. I want you to be able to place more or less weight on what I say based on that information however you like but rest assured, you always get my honest opinion. I hope you found this review helpful and til next time happy crafting!

First I Liked it, then I LOVED it! {Qor Watercolors}

Hi friends! I was asked by a few people to check out the new Qor watercolors from Golden. Golden is known for superior acrylic paints and mediums and quite frankly I really didn’t think they had any business making watercolor paints, I mean, there are so many fabulous watercolor paint makers out there, do we really need to reinvent the wheel? Also I find often when a company is known for one stellar medium their other offerings are lackluster. I had to make a large order for class supplies at Jerry’s Artarama a couple of weeks ago so I decided to try a tin of 6 colors that were on sale for $24.50, not bad for artist quality paint, I chose the High Chroma set because I like bright colors. I shot this video as I opened the paint and experimented with them for the first time:

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the paints. They were vibrant and it only took a tiny amount for bright results. I have to admit I preferred working from them dry on the palette like I did in the Orchid Painting I posted on YouTube today and out of the drop I squeezed out for this video I still have tons of paint left. These paints use a new binder called Aquazol instead of traditional gum arabic and they dried quick and held fast to the lid of the palette so I did not waste a bit. I was worried that it would flake off and make a mess when I closed it but that was not the case. I really think I will order the other two sets of 6 colors (the 12 intro set has some colors from all of the sets of 6 so that is why I am not going for that one, but it might be a better value if you start with that.) I was mistaken in the video when I said that the tubes in the sets were the same size as open stock, if you but the colors individually they are 11ml tubes and the ones in the sets are only 5ml but seeing how far these paints go I think I will get the other intro sets and then invest of the larger tubes of the colors I use up. Please note that there are other colors available open stock than in the sets so you will not have ll the colors by buying the sets. I really do not think you need all the colors of any line of paint, try to get single pigment colors and mixing your own. Paints (unlike pencils) will mix completely for an infinite variety so a limited palette is just fine.

Oh, please note, the big stores are selling the sets of 6 for $24.50 but I found a small shop called MerriArtist that has them for $20.99 and when I mentioned them on a video I uploaded today they gave me a coupon code to share for $10 off on orders over $100: 10off and they give free shipping in the lower 48 on orders over $90. They have not sponsored this post, and I have never ordered from them before, I’m just sharing a deal. If you have ordered from them please let me know what you think (I currently have a shopping card going LOL!) Sorry this post is so long. I had been asked by several viewers if I would review these so I wanted to share all of my thoughts. I hope you found it helpful. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!