Daniel Smith Watercolor, a beautiful and inventive American-made watercolor from the fine arts brand Daniel Smith, is one of our most popular watercolor paints at FLAX! Boasting the full line of over 250+ 15mL tubes, you're sure to find unique colors and properties alongside your traditional favorites at both our Oakland and San Francisco Fort Mason Center locations, as well as online.
Every so often, we are lucky to host the Daniel Smith Watercolor Seminar, which offers a unique insight to the brand, their paint making processes, and the pigments and minerals they utilize to bring us such amazing color variety. Pictured here is Scott, our knowledgeable Daniel Smith representative, discussing the milling process used to make the PrimaTek line of natural mineral paints. Note his highly coveted watercolor swatch book! The Oakland store hosted a Seminar recently but don't worry,Scott will be back later in the year for events at both our Fort Mason Center and Oakland locations. Sign up for our weekly newsletter below, and keep an eye on our online event listings for more information closer to the dates!
The Daniel Smith Watercolor line is composed of several paint families with different properties:
Luminescent Watercolors are made to specifically have sheen, shine, shimmer, and reflective glow. Add iridescence to your work, watercolor on black or dark paper, or work entirely in luminescent watercolors for visually stunning artwork.
Quinacridone Watercolors are formulated from quinacridone pigments, originally used and prized by the automotive industry for their brilliance and lightfastness. With lightfast testing, Daniel Smith brings you brilliant quinacridone colors, ranging from yellow to orange, to red, pink, and purple! Daniel Smith was the first company to use these colors in watercolor, and many other companies followed suit.
Cadmium Hues are formulated without the toxic heavy metal to mimic the traditional cadmium hues. Safer for the environment and for you, these paints bring you the colors you've used in the past with none of the risk.
PrimaTek Watercolors are watercolors made from natural mined and milled mineral pigments. The Daniel Smith Watercolor Seminar focuses on these uniquely performing paints, which are truly unlike other watercolors. Daniel Smith sends representatives all over the world to source the most beautiful mineral pigments, and a favorite part of the seminar is seeing examples of these minerals! Comparing the unrefined minerals to their watercolor paint-outs is inspiring and fascinating to see.
Among these we have Burnt Tiger's Eye Genuine, the darker companion to the light yellow-brown Tiger's Eye Genuine:
Green Apatite Genuine, with absolutely stunning granulation that appears as many different shades of green, brown, and almost red:
Rhodonite Genuine, a beautiful warm rose that Scott recommends as a more lightfast alternative to the traditional opera pink:
Sodalite Genuine, another PrimaTek with amazing granulation that brings the night sky to mind:
And last, but not least, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine, with turquoise mined from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona:
After the paintmaking discussion and introduction to the idea behind the PrimaTek colors, seminar attendees were invited to make their own color palettes. Getting to see the colors in action highlighted the granulation, sheening, and shading of many of the shades, and the brand representatives were very generous with the paint!
For the curious, the very top image on this blog post is showcasing a "paint out" of some of the quinacridone shades, which are, from left to right: Q. Burnt Scarlet, Q. Deep Gold, Q. Sienna, Q. Burnt Orange, Q. Gold, Q. Purple, Q. Violet, Q. Fuchsia, Q. Magenta, Q. Rose, Q. Pink, Q. Red, and Q. Coral.
And here's a swatch guide of the seminar colors, for anyone who sees the perfect shade they've long been seeking:
In addition to watercolors, Daniel Smith makes oil colors (online only), water-soluble oils (online only), walnut ink, watercolor grounds in several colors, including gold, black, and transparent (in-store only), and watercolor sticks. We are happy to carry these cult watercolors, used by many hobbyists, professionals, and even FLAX employees, to offer one of the best watercolor options available on the market today!