DANIEL SMITH Extra Fine Watercolors made their debut in 1993 announcing:
“DANIEL SMITH Finest Watercolors – A classic watercolor of unsurpassed purity and permanence.” The vision in the formulation of a new line of watercolors was twofold;
* First and foremost, to produce watercolors that are the best in lightfastness and permanence.
* Second, to offer a selection of truly unique colors.”
Today as in 1993, the DANIEL SMITH Watercolors are “formulated to meet and exceed the highest industry standards for the manufacture of artist’s paints”, and every batch made is tested and analyzed for its performance qualities:
– Color value
– Tinting strength
– Particle size
DANIEL SMITH is truly the worldwide leader of watercolors for artists with 250+ beautiful colors in the 15ml watercolor tubes, the most of any manufacturer, and 88 of the most popular colors in 5ml watercolor tubes. Many are traditional colors relied upon by all artists, and there are many “truly unique” colors made only by DANIEL SMITH that have become so important to watercolor artists.
Quinacridone Watercolors, DANIEL SMITH was the first manufacturer to use the high-performance Quinacridone pigments for artists paints. Quinacridone pigments were developed for the automotive industry which requires extremely lightfast and durable paints. The Quins are known for their brilliant color and for their luminous transparency which make them wonderful for watercolors.
PrimaTek Watercolors are made from minerals, often semi precious minerals, that have been ground into pigments, mixed with gum arabic (the binder) and milled into PrimaTek Watercolors. The first was Lapis Lazuli Genuine in 1998, since then, many more have been added such as Amethyst Genuine, Piemontite Genuine and Serpentine Genuine. Most of these colors have wonderful granulating effects that some artists have called “magical”.
Luminescent Watercolors have special optical effects perfect for subjects that have a sparkle, sheen, or reflective glow like the iridescence of hummingbird feathers or the sheen of metals.
Cadmium Hues, DANIEL SMITH has developed safe and vibrant Cadmium Hues with the density and richness of cadmium colors without the cadmium pigment. Virtually identical in color to their namesakes, they are cleaner in mixtures and much stronger in tints. The working properties – staining power, semi-transparency and excellent lightfastness – are nearly identical to those of the low-soluble cadmium colors DANIEL SMITH previously manufactured.
Some unique colors are created exclusively by DANIEL SMITH such as Cascade Green, Green Gold and Moonglow. DANIEL SMITH also finds unusual pigments to make colors like Mayan Red, Lunar Blue, and Enviro-Friendly Red Iron Oxide to provide more choices for artists.
DANIEL SMITH Watercolors are a favorite of artists all over the world, from professional artists to the beginning watercolorists because of the beautiful colors, consistent performance and lightfastness.
DANIEL SMITH Watercolors are packed with high quality pigments using pure gum arabic as the binder – no fillers. For each color, DANIEL SMITH selects the perfect grind to yield particle sizes that maximize the qualities inherent in the pigment, balancing maximum pigment load with minimum vehicle content.
DANIEL SMITH offers many ways to experience their Watercolors as well as providing extra creative means for artists with their Watercolor Grounds and Masking Fluid.
15ml Watercolors, 250+ colors, the most of any manufacturer.
5ml Watercolors – 88 of the most popular colors DANIEL SMITH makes.
Watercolor Sets – 5 sets filled with 5ml tubes giving artists a great introduction into DANIEL SMITH Watercolors; Essential Set, PrimaTek Set and the Alvaro Castagnet Master Watercolor Set. Plus, the 15ml, 3 tube Primary and Secondary Sets.
Watercolor Sticks – 51 popular DANIEL SMITH Watercolors shaped into stick form to draw and paint with, a new way to expressively use watercolors.
Watercolor Dot Cards – a great way to try DANIEL SMITH Watercolors without buying whole tubes of paint. These are dots of pure DANIEL SMITH Watercolors that reactivate into paint with the touch of a wet brush, allowing artists to easily and cost effectively, try many colors. Two sizes: 238 Dot Card to try nearly the entire line of DANIEL SMITH Watercolors and the 66 Dot Card to try many DANIEL SMITH Watercolors.
PrimaTek Watercolors – 35 PrimaTek Watercolors, made from minerals, many semi-precious, that are ground into pigments and made into unique watercolors.
Luminescent Watercolors – 48 Luminescent Watercolors with optical effects.
Watercolor Ground – Paint watercolors on any surface when prepared with DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground, available in 6 colors; Titanium White, Buff Titanium, Mars Black, Transparent, Pearlescent White and Iridescent Gold. Watercolor Ground can help “rescue” a watercolor painting when applied over a mistake, giving an artist a second chance with a new surface to paint on.
Masking Fluid – DANIEL SMITH Masking Fluid to preserve your white areas, comes with 5 applicator tips to customize line thickness when applying.
Made in the USA, in Seattle, WA – Each batch of color is made, start to finish, by the DANIEL SMITH manufacturing crew and tested by the full time chemist throughout the manufacturing process to ensure the highest quality for every tube, stick and dot of DANIEL SMITH watercolor.
DANIEL SMITH Watercolors
When you buy DANIEL SMITH professional quality Watercolors, you get exceptionally strong pigmentation, color clarity and excellent value. For over 20 years, DANIEL SMITH has been an innovator in pigment selection and formulation, and still makes and packages each batch by hand, with the utmost integrity and attention to detail.
DANIEL SMITH Watercolors introduced in 1993, showed the results of years of development. The intent was to offer a game-changing paint with remarkable color strength, reliable lightfastness and introduce unique colors. DANIEL SMITH starts with the finest pigments, both traditional and cutting edge – they were the first to offer many of the brilliant, modern synthetic pigments, like the quinacridones for the the artists’ market and in 1998 began their PrimaTek Watercolors made from minerals such as Lapis Lazuli Genuine, Jadeite Genuine and Bloodstone Genuine.
DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Sticks were introduced In 2009 to offer artists a new, expressive way to create using watercolors. They are made with the same pigments as their watercolor namesakes only instead to filling a tube, they are extruded in long cylinders, cut into lengths, baked and hand labeled.
DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Dot Cards introduced in 2010, the Dot Cards give artists a way to try out nearly all of the DANIEL SMITH watercolors on the 238 Dot Card and many of them on the 66 Dot Card.
Small Batch Production
The DANIEL SMITH manufacturing crew makes the Watercolors in a department right next to the DANIEL SMITH headquarters and Store in Seattle. Visitors are often surprised to see just how simple and traditional the process is, and how closely involved the paintmakers are with every step of production. Batches are small, allowing close control of every factor involved.
Great paint starts with great ingredients. DANIEL SMITH buys pure pigments from sources around the globe, and has it’s own mineralogist out searching for minerals that have the potential for becoming a PrimaTek Watercolor.
Color strength and lightfastness are hallmarks of DANIEL SMITH paints. Each color was carefully formulated by DANIEL SMITH’s long time chemist and tested against similar colors in competitors’ lines. For each color, DANIEL SMITH selects the perfect grind to yield particle sizes that maximize the qualities inherent in the pigment, and balances maximum pigment load with minimum vehicle content.
DANIEL SMITH tests their paints by placing samples in a Xenon Fadeometer which exposes paint to the equivalent of 100 years of sunlight in ten days. Artists can rely on 244 DANIEL SMITH Watercolors to remain virtually unchanged for a century or longer.
Every tube of DANIEL SMITH Watercolors is filled and labeled by hand. Labels give complete information including the common pigment names, color index names and numbers, and ASTM lightfastness ratings, keeping artists informed when they choose DANIEL SMITH Watercolors.
If you haven’t tried DANIEL SMITH Watercolors or other Watercolor Products yet, we know you’ll be impressed when you do. And if you’re already using them, we want to say thank you for choosing these top quality American- made paints.