Mijello is the Korean manufacturer of Mission Gold Class watercolors and they are distributed in North America by Martin F. Weber Company.  This line came out in 2012, their slogan- “colors found in nature.” These are artist grade paints, tubes come in 105 colors, and all have good lightfast to extremely lightfast ratings. The site states, Mission Watercolor paints are the first ever to be manufactured without thickening agents.” They claim little color shift from wet to dry.

Mission Gold packaging, brochure, tubes of watercolor paint and palette
Mission Gold 36 Tube Palette Set

The color swatch brochure that came with the paints is high quality and the packaging is beautifully done.  Mission Gold is manufactured in Korean, the paint names are in English, but the rest of the brochure is in Korean. All info on the tubes are printed in English.

I seriously wanted their Perfect Pan Watercolor set that comes with 24 half pans in their Bulletproof Glass palette, which I believe to be a non-staining impact resistant plastic. But that set goes for $115 and up, plus shipping. It is not listed on the US Mijello site at the time of this writing. Paint practicality won over, which differs from regular ol’ practicality. If I was regular practical, I wouldn’t have bought this set at all.  So now I have the- more paint for less money 36 set with palette.  Prices can fluctuate on Amazon- keep your eye out. Mission Gold 36 set- I bought it for $67.70. The week prior- it was about $100 more. Various sets and individual tubes are also sold through other on-line retailers.

Mission gold 36 tube set in 4 boxes - watercolor paint

“When Mijello™ introduced Mission Gold Watercolors to the Korean and U.S. markets in 2012, Martin F. Weber Co. and Martin Universal Design were very proud to become exclusive distributors for the entire Mijello™ product line in North America. Mission Gold Watercolors perform beyond expectations! These handmade, richly pigmented colors are combined with a special dispersant and aged in Korean pots to achieve maximum brilliance without artificial thickening agents. This aggregate of elements gives superior brilliance, coverage and consistency of flow to Mission Gold Watercolors over any other watercolor available on the market today.”

If you like to watch color swatches being painted check out this video, it’s a whole 15 minutes’ worth of them. It is also a comparison with other brands. I recommend turning the sound down though, the same music loops through the presentation.

hand-painted Swatch of Mission Gold 36 set of tube watercolors
Mission Gold 36 Tube Set Color Swatches

The swatch was done on Starthmore 400 Series, 140lb watercolor paper. The black lines in the swatches are to show transparency. One line under the paint and one over the paint for comparison. This set of 36 colors include: W521 Lemon Yellow, W522 Permanent Yellow Light, W523 Permanent Yellow Deep, W518 Yellow Orange, W517 Orange, W516 Vermilion, W511 Permanent Red, W512 Permanent Rose, W513 Rose Madder, W514 Crimson Lake, W551 Opera, W552 Red Violet, W553 Bright Clear Violet, W541 Cerulean Blue, W542 Cobalt Blue NO.1, W543 Peacock Blue, W545 Ultramarine Deep, W544 Prussian Blue, W546 Indigo, W537 Van Dyke Green, W536 Viridian, W535 Hooker’s Green, W534 Sap Green, W533 Olive Green, W532 Yellow Green, W531Greenish Yellow, W561 Yellow Ochre NO.1, W563 Raw Umber, W564 Burnt Sienna, W562 Light Red, W565 Red Brown, W570 Burnt Umber, W566 Vandyke Brown, W567 Sepia, W502 Ivory Black, W501 Chinese White.

Filled Mission Gold plastic palette with paint brushes and watercolor paint

When I finally got down to it, after squeezing to fill the palette and making the swatches- the paint was really nice to paint with. Also intense, a little bit went a long way. The palette is one of their Silver Nano palettes and claims to be antibacterial and keep paints fresh for months. This is a plastic palette that snaps shut, does not seal, and will stain.  You can see some of that staining in the picture.  Most of the paint had a nice consistency and spread out into the well perfectly. I only had to use a palette knife to smooth out a couple of them. This is a big variety of paint!  I haven’t done a swatch for the actual palette yet, just the large one for this post. While I was painting, I was mildly frustrated by trying to figure out which paint was in which well. I typically paint small. If you paint large, or use large brushes, you might not like this palette because of the small, close wells.

Top of Mission Gold dark blue silver nano 36 palette
Top View of Palette
Bottom of Mission Gold dark blue silver nano 36 palette
Bottom View of Palette

Some things to note. The tubes in this set are 7ml, the ounces are mislabeled at .5 fl oz.  7ml is about .24 fl oz. The Permanent Red had a strong and sharp chemical smell.  I have a sample tube of Permanent Red Deep, but that one smells fine and all the other tubes were fine.  I called the distributor to ask them about it. They were appreciative for the call and said that most likely, there was not enough preservative in that particular one. I will be sending the offending tube back to them and getting a replacement.

Tube of Mission Gold watercolor showing 7ml and .5oz

Mijello has some seriously nice watercolor palettes. Even though this is a watercolor review, if you are into acrylics- check out those palettes! Here, I’ve been using a paper plate for acrylics. I might upgrade. I have a couple of their Fusion 33 watercolor palettes. I like them and each one came with a 7ml. sample tube of Mission Gold paint and a paint swatch brochure in English.

My tip for this post- get your free two tube sample to try these out (USA/Canada).

This is a swatch comparison that I did with a few different brands that I had available to compare with. Mission Gold is brighter and more pigmented than any in the comparison. With the exception of Opera- that goes to Holbein. Depending on your style, this high pigmentation might be preferable, or might not. To me, the Daniel Smith pigments look more natural. None of the Mission Gold paints in this set, look to have granulating qualities.

Comparison watercolor swatches of Mission Gold, Daniel Smith, Holbein, Maimeri Blue, M. Graham
Swatch Comparison of Mission Gold, Daniel Smith, Holbein, Maimeri Blue, M. Graham

For the folks that like to get into the pigments- some of the Mission Gold pigments used differ from what you might traditionally expect. Not all of the colors follow the traditional naming of paints for the pigments used. As an example- their color called Cerulean Blue, is really the Phthalo Blue pigment, and their Burnt Sienna looks like a version of Quinacridone Gold. There are some other differences as well. Indigo looked more like Payne’s Gray to me. If you look at their color chart, and squint, you can see what pigments they are using. Guest Doodlewasher Jane Blundell has a post reviewing a handful of Mission Gold. Her entire blog is comprehensive when it comes to paint swatches and mixing, especially for Daniel Smith. There is a lot of education to be had from her blog and website. Handprint also has paint comprehensive comparisons and pigment information, but not for this brand.

One of my favorite things to paint are nebulae, and I will say this brand was fantastic for this! The colors really pop and the way the paint moved on the paper was wonderful.  And yes, I did love watching Star Trek growing up 😉

Nebula watercolor painting by Jessica Seacrest using Mission Gold watercolors

I’ve included a couple of simple painting examples to show the paint. I’ve taken to looking for tutorials for the painting samples that I do.  I want something that I can complete in 15 minutes or less, that I don’t have to think much about, and because you might enjoy trying the tutorial too.

Trees reflected over water watercolor, aquarelle painting with Mission Gold Watercolors by Jessica Seacrest
Trees Reflected on Water
Tree and figures on hill painted with Mission Gold watercolors by Jessica Seacrest
Tree with Figures

I see Doodlewash as a community of wonderful artists, out there exploring themselves, the world, and sharing what they discover. I think Charlie is brilliant for creating this blog and I have so much appreciation for it. I saw this post from Austin Kleon giving three reasons why you should show your work, perhaps it might speak to you.

I hope that this information is useful to you. This is an ongoing series of watercolor and art supply reviews. We always value and appreciate your comments! Happy painting!

Addendum to this post: my experience with the customer service of this company has been outstanding, both Mijello and the US distributor Weber Art.  In my interactions with them, they have been very responsive and generous.

Posted by:Jessica Seacrest

Hi I'm the Doodlewash Supply Blogger and offer reviews of various types of art supplies, watercolors, and helpful tips. I approach artistic expression with a light-hearted point of view. I love to see, and support others opening up to, and embracing their creative process with any medium or creative expression.

50 replies on “DOODLEWASH REVIEW: POW! Mission Gold Watercolors

  1. Thank you Jessica for taking the time to write this review. I’m very appreciative. There are so many choices when it comes to art supplies and your reviews will help us wade through the possibilities. Happy Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Superbly useful, Jessica! Thank you! This brand wasn’t on my radar but I’ll give it a try. 👍🏽 Also, funny enough, I was raised by Star Trek myself…and I have a picture book manuscript about nebulae that I’ve been querying agents with! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Teresa, I’m glad this was useful for you! Star Trek aired on Wednesday nights when I was growing up…and I might still watch an episode now and then on Netflix. I had a roommate once that had all kinds of Star Trek stuff- a chess set, a phone that looked like the Enterprise and a huge VHS collection. I was always amused by this. Live long and prosper 😉


  4. Awesome review Jessica! You covered everything I could possibly have asked about. I never even heard of these paints and now I have to get those free samples. 😄
    Not only are you great at these reviews, you are the nebulae queen!
    Thank you for this wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Teri, I appreciate your feedback! Let me know what you think about the samples. …Nebulae queen, I kinda like the sound of that 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed your review, The colors seem more vibrant. The palettes are intriguing.

    A Treky…I’m sensing a triuble with tribbke psinting. How did you get thst neon green?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Rob. The green is the yellow green color. It’s super bright. My paint water looked like it was glowing after I rinsed my brush.


    1. Thanks Cathe, I’m glad it was helpful. I’m starting to see more people use this brand. I found a couple of other reviews done right around with I wrote this, the words out 🙂


  7. I have one tube of Mission Gold in Crimson Red that came free with my order to Blicks. I haven’t tried it yet, though. I wonder if these paints are like Shinhan in that they also use use non-standard names for their paints. Lately, I tend to look for the pigment color rather than the name. I really do love your painted nebulae! Perhaps you can do a tutorial someday for those of us wanting to learn! Thanks, Jessica!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kari! I’ve wanted to try Shinhan. Do you like them? The price is so good on those! I would like to do a nebulae tutorial. I feel like the process is so random though, and sometimes they take me a long time. One day I’ll figure out how to do one of those speed videos. I’ll leave you with the link to this one. I almost fell on the floor with my mouth open- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Y8D4Wpulw

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like the Shinhan. Since most of my art is for my journal, I’m not particular about lightfastness, which I think is the issue with them. The colors are very rich and they are very affordable. The only issue I have with them is that most box sets come with mixed pigments, rather than pure pigments which I prefer. I will take a look at the video!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ohhh ! I’ve been eyeing these since I got a sample tube in the pallette I bought! Thanks for showing what the pallette looks like after a bit of use, good to know. I had issues with the sample I got remaining sticky where it was painted on really thickly, I’ll be curious to know how your set dries, or if it does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! I’m going to feel something I painted last night right now! I laid on paint thick in one area on some Tomoe River paper (Hobonichi) but it doesn’t feel sticky. What color was your sample? I figured the paints in the palette would have dried out by now, but they haven’t. It’s great to be able to share this different supply info with each other!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This might sound like a silly question, but I did some research on the Mijello watercolors already and was so eager to find out what they were like that I ordered a sample right away! Was I supposed to type in what colors I wanted to receive?! Oops. I just said “Mission Gold Watercolors” for the specifications, and although I did get a confirmation email, I’m wondering if anything will actually happen? Though I would be excited for any color I got regardless; I didn’t know the sample was in such a large size!

    By the way, this is a lovely, in-depth review. Thanks for the advice about price fluctuations on Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Crystal, I’m not sure what colors are given out. I didn’t find anywhere that specified. I’ve been asking people to let me know what colors they get so I can see if the samples are all the same, or random. Let me know what you get. I’ll report back on a future post once I get some responses. I got a sample color in each of the 2 Fusion palettes that I purchased. One Permanent Red Deep and the other was Burnt Sienna. Thanks for your comment! 🙂


    1. Hi Sacha, thanks for your comment! I just took a peek at your blog and all those questions you answered for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Good job! Some of them were tough to answer :). You paint beautifully!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jessica, thank you for your review and the samples tip! I also bought this set when it was $67.70 on Amazon. .. Could not resist, and I’m glad I didn’t! Now I need to decide on a more portable palette so I can take my favorite colors out and about. : )


    1. Hi Lynne, I’m glad you got the good deal too! I hope that my next few reviews help you decide on a portable palette that works for you 🙂


  11. Love your review Jessica, just what I needed! I was very curious about these Mijello watercolors. Your color swatches and info about the pigments is what I was looking for. They look very vibrant and appealing but more than half are convenient mixtures and I do prefer single pigment paints.
    Not tempted anymore to buy them 😉 at least for now…
    I love space, nebulas, galaxies, stars, the moon…and Star Trek too, I still do. Live long and prosper 🖖🏼


  12. I have been looking at the 36 set with the palette. But reading a couple of reviews on Amazon has me a little concerned. One reviewer said they contacted Mijello and that the set they bought from Amazon was counterfeit as it didn’t have the Mijello mark/writing on the back. Another said that the set they got had dried up tubes of paint. I really don’t want to pay what Blick’s, Jerry’s, etc has them for as I can’t really afford it. So, is it worth taking a chance on Amazon? Advice? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stephanie, I appreciate your question! I order from Amazon all of the time and have never had an issue. And if there is, you can always return it- for free, to Amazon, which is all very low risk. This set is a really good deal. Makes me think- why would anyone go to the trouble of manufacturing and selling counterfeit paint and a palette, and in that brand? Seems like a lot of trouble to go through. I have a photo up top of the bottom of the palette- there is no mark, but there is embossing on the top of the palette. I appreciate the reviews on Amazon that people take the time to leave, but I also use my own discernment above all. To be honest, I think some people look for stuff to go wrong, or be wrong. Much easier to expect it all to be right, and that’s, more times than not, what shows up. As far as dried up goes- that can be the same story no matter where you order from- Amazon, Jerry’s or Blick or with any paint. Chances are you will receive a product that works perfectly. I have lots of tubes of paint, I’ve never received one that has been dried up. There were a couple in this set that had a thicker consistency over the others, but far from being dried up. Good luck! I think if this is something that you would really like to try, you should go for it! Happy painting 🙂


  13. Looks like the Mission Gold Watercolors beat the pants off the others in your comparison. I’m just now arriving at your blog after literally spending 10 hours or so sitting in a chair shopping for art supplies off Amazon and Dick Blick, haha.


    1. Hi Thomas, thanks for taking the time to comment! Mission Gold are very vibrant indeed. Some people don’t like this about them and prefer more traditional colors. I enjoy all kinds! I hope the reviews have been helpful to you in making your purchasing decisions. Happy painting! 🙂


  14. Thank you for this review and for the tip on getting samples. I’ve been curious about this brand, but I’m feeling cautious about spending on a paint that might not be quite what I like, after some missteps after following different recommendations (for example, I discovered I adore Sennelier, but Schmincke and Old Holland kinda sorta scare me). And of course there are as many different recommendations for brands as there are artists 🙂 I think I have quirky tastes, so we’ll see how it goes with Mission Gold….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Klio, I’m glad that you found the review helpful. As far as samples, I’m not sure anyone that put in for them received them. I never received any. Good luck with your painting adventure. I also enjoy Sennelier! 🙂


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