The 6 colors in the DANIEL SMITH Hand Poured Watercolor Half Pan Sketcher Set forms the basis for my expanded palettes – a 12 colour teaching palette and my urban sketching kit of 16 colours. [FYI, The Sketcher Set includes 9 empty half pans in the travel case so that you can expand your set by filling with DANIEL SMITH tube watercolors]. My expanded palettes contain some more favourite colours and some convenient mixes, but the six colours in the Sketchers Set are the ones I can’t possibly do without:
1) Hansa Yellow Medium is a mid-yellow which makes realistic greens when mixed with Ultramarine Blue and a lively orange when mixed to Quinacridone Rose.
2) Quinacridone Rose is a transparent pink which creates both a vibrant orange when mixed with yellow and a rich purple with Ultramarine Blue.
3) Ultramarine Blue is a granulating transparent warm blue. As well making purples and greens, it is also great for mixing greys and blacks with Transparent Red Oxide.
4) Monte Amiata Natural Sienna is a transparent earth yellow, useful for adding warmth to cloudy skies and shadow areas. It also makes a lovely earth green with Ultramarine Blue
5) Transparent Red Oxide is a granulating pigment which creates lots of fun textures when used with a lot of water. It’s great for making a huge range of browns and greys (when mixed with blue).
6) Cerulean Blue, Chromium is granulating semi-opaque cool blue which is great for blue skies and it creates gorgeous soft greys when combined with Transparent Red Oxide or a mixed orange.
This Set or kit contains a primary triad for mixing bright colours and an earth triad which makes the creation of browns and muted colours quicker and easier. Limiting your palette to only six colours helps you master colour mixing and also allows for expansion down the track to suit your own colour preferences and favourite subjects.
While I can mix many colours from only 3 paints, I prefer having two triads so that I can get more interesting pigment interaction and don’t have to do as much mixing. Too much mixing when I’m out on location takes up valuable time and means that my water gets dirty too quickly.
My favourite combinations in this set include:
– Mixing greens from Hansa Yellow Medium with Ultramarine Blue
– Creating a range of gorgeous vibrant earth colours with a combination of Monte Amiata Natural Sienna, Transparent Red Oxide and a touch of Ultramarine.
But perhaps my favourite mix is a colour I call Soft Grey, which is made from Cerulean Blue Chromium with a touch of Hansa Yellow Medium and Quinacridone Rose. The pigments in this mix separate on the page to create the most incredible varied glowing grey.
This six colour palette was something I developed after years of experimentation (buying many different colours from different brands) and discussions with friends (such as Jane Blundell and Paul Wang). This is before I had any personal contact with Daniel Smith, so they are my own personal favourites.
I’m excited that they have decided to make these sets and honoured that they choose to use my selections for one of them. An affordable artist quality starter set has been needed in the marketplace, and I hope that these kits will fill that gap.
“Creating fast loose and vibrant watercolour sketches on location is what I am all about.
I love DANIEL SMITH watercolours for their exceptional quality, the intensity of color and the wonderful range of granulating pigments. They are perfect for my style of painting – taking risks and letting the pigments do unexpected things on the page. As an Urban Sketcher who mainly works from a field kit, it is very important that the paints I use re-wet well and DANIEL SMITH paints certainly do that.” -Liz Steel
Liz is an Australian artist who left her architectural career in 2012 to pursue her passion for sketching her life and sharing the experience. She is constantly posting sketches of daily life and overseas trips on her blog and other social media platforms, along with lots of tips and tricks. She also provides in-depth instruction through her popular SketchingNow online courses and urban sketching workshops around the world.
She is an active Urban Sketcher, founder of USK Australia and a regular instructor at that annual Urban Sketchers International Symposiums. Her work has been published in numerous sketching books and recently wrote her first book “Five Minute Sketching: Architecture”
The Sketcher Half Pan Set is one of six New DANIEL SMITH Hand Poured Watercolor Half Pan Sets, find out about them all by clicking HERE.
For more articles by artists about our Half Pan sets, please scroll down to the bottom of the page about all our Half Pan Sets HERE.