Have you been looking for a small travel set you can use to paint almost any subject, mix hundreds of colors, and that utilizes all the characteristics of watercolor pigments?
As soon as I heard about the six new half-pan sets from Daniel Smith, I was eager to try them. They sent me the Ultimate Mixing Set for review, but I have also bought three of the other sets.
Daniel Smith’s Ultimate Mixing half-pan set has fifteen colors chosen by Jane Blundell to create a universal watercolor set that you can carry in your pocket!
So, you can paint vibrant art with bold colors…
… or subjects in muted earth tones.
And what about the characteristics of watercolor? They are represented with pigments that range between transparent, and opaque, granulating and non-granulating, staining and non-staining, a range of tinting strengths. There are colors that are high-key, low-key, high-intensity, low-intensity, bright, earth, modern and Old Master. All of the pigments have a lightfast rating of excellent.
What do all those terms mean? In essence, you can paint bright works that glow with light, or paintings that are dark and muted to suit the subject. You can get that pebbly look that comes from granulation, or use the wild movement of , or control your work with colors that strictly behave. In short, you can paint almost anything using these 15 colors.
The range of colors that can be mixed with these pigments is staggering. Jane Blundell has even written a book with 49 charts showing the mixed colors.
Each color was chosen, not just for its hue, but for its flexibility in mixing with other colors. If you’re interested in learning to mix colors, this would be a perfect set for you. After weeks of playing with it, I’m still discovering more colors that I can mix.
There might be colors in this set that you don’t care for, but may find to be a wonder for mixing other colors.
As an added bonus, you also get an extra container with 15 empty half-pans with this set. You can keep it aside, in case you damage your filled set, or you can fill it with other paints.
The half-pans in both boxes are removable, so you have the option of moving the pans around or moving into another palette. .
There is a bit of a trick to opening the plastic case. <You need to put your thumb in the indent …
… and then hold at the corners while pulling the lid up.
So, here’s the question you are probably asking yourself. Is this set for every one? Of course not!
Half-pans are too small for larger brushes, so if you use them on a regular basis you won’t want to use half-pans, period.
I’ve stressed that this set has a mix of characteristics. Some people have a style that relies on specific characteristics, such as transparency or granulation. A set with a little bit of everything won’t be their cup of tea (or paint, as the case may be). If you don’t know what you like in the way of paint – this is a good set to help you explore and find out.
Some people won’t like the plastic case. Partly because it is plastic, and partly because the lid does not lie flat. Some people want a larger mixing space. It is easy enough to move the half-pans into another palette.
I tend to mix visually through glazing, or by letting colors run together on the paper, so mixing space isn’t as important to me as to some. Personally, I like the case. It’s neat and compact. I can fit all four of mine into my travel bag. When my mother was in the hospital recently, and I only had a folding type chair to sit in, I could hold this palette in one hand and the sketchbook on my lap, and paint with little trouble. Definitely not a set up I’d want to use often, but completely doable.
If you buy the set, keep in mind that you are buying for the paints, and may or may not end up using the case.
The colors and characteristics of the set are:
- Buff Titanium – PW6: 1 Semi-transparent; non-staining; granulating
- Hansa Yellow Medium – PY97 Semi-transparent; low-staining
- Quin Gold – P048/PY150 Transparent; low-staining; granulating
- Pyrrol Scarlet – PR255 Semi-transparent; medium-staining
- Perm Alizarin Crimson – PR177/PV19/PR149 Transparent
- Quinacridone Rose – PV19 Transparent; medium-staining
- Ultramarine Blue – PB29 Transparent; medium-staining
- Cerulean Blue Chromium – PB36 Semi-opaque; low-staining
- Phthalo Blue GS – PB15 Transparent; high-staining
- Phthalo Green BS – PG7 Transparent; high-staining
- Goethite (Brown Ochre) – PY43 Semi-transparent; low-staining; granulating
- Burnt Sienna – PBr7 Semi-transparent, non-staining, granulating
- Indian Red – PR101 Opaque; medium-staining, granulating
- Raw Umber – PBr7 Semi-transparent; low-staining; granulating
- Jane’s Grey – PB29/PBr7 Semi-transparent; low-staining; granulating
Jane’s Grey is a brand-new color, a convenience mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. Currently, it is only available in this set.
Daniel Smith’s Ultimate Mixing set is a flexible, compact set suitable for both beginner and advanced artist.
Daniel Smith Artists Materials was founded in 1976. They are known for their unique range of colors, including the mineral-based Primatek line, and for being the first to manufacture Quinacridone pigments into paints. They currently offer over 250 colors.
- Daniel Smith Ultimate Mixing Half-pan Set,
- Hahnemühle Cézanne cold press watercolor paper
- Hahnemühle cold press watercolor postcards
- Princeton Neptune Quill Size 6
- Princeton Velvetouch Long Round Size 6
- Zebra Zensations Technical Pens
Daniel Smith Artist Material sent me an Ultimate Mixing Half-pan set for the purpose of this review. I received no other considerations, though this post contains affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in