Reply To: "Mayan" watercolors: Daniel Smith / Greenleaf & Blueberry

Lisa Spangler

Hi and happy Saturday! This is my first post here on Doodlewash and the timing couldn’t be better because I just started working with Mayan colors! 🙂

I have Mayan red, blue and yellow by Daniel Smith and the monarch butterfly dot sampler from Greenleaf & Blueberry.

Here’s the G&B dot sampler painted out on the big global arts materials sketchbook for size (the 8 1/4″ square one)

Greenleaf & Blueberry Monarch dot sampler

Here are the G&B dot card colors painted out on the warm up exercise in the G&B Monarch digital file:

The Mayan yellow is a very light lemon yellow and was hard to get variations. It has this glow, tho! The Mayan red IS kinda streaky — here’s a closeup of the wing so you can see it better

BUT then! I painted out some swatches on Fabriano paper and the streakyness goes away!

Then, here are Daniel Smith Mayan swatches for comparison in my Canson XL sketchbook — I have Mayan yellow, red and blue and mixed the others:

That DS Mayan red is such a pretty, warm red. I don’t really have anything else to compare it to. I thought this would make a great mini travel palette so made some full pans and whoa they really shrunk…

I’ve found that adding a drop or 2 of water to the pans a few minutes before I start painting really helps them. Next time I think I’ll try mixing in some glycerin.

Anyhow…here are my findings in no particular order! 🙂

  • G&B Mayan rewets better than DS — even from the dot card! There was no cracking or shrinking and the dots were really generous
  • DS shrinks a ton in pans, but I still like this little mini palette!
  • In both cases I like to mix the color with water on a palette to get the color even instead of using it straight from the pan
  • I’ve found that there’s less streaking in the G&B Mayan red when using fabriano artistico paper in comparison to the Canson XL
  • I’ve also found that wetting the area to be painted first helps with the streaking too
  • The DS Mayan colors that I have are less streaky/easier to control on lower quality paper
  • The Mayan colors in general are growing on me — I like the earthiness of them and the colors are so rich

Also wanted to share this mini Greenleaf & Blueberry sketch palette for comparison that I scored back in spring — even tho they’re not Mayan colors they are really opaque. I’ve taken it on a few trips and love it! It has graphite and magnetite full pans and it’s great for quick sketches with a brush instead of a pencil. They are really generous with filling the pans too and after about 6 months of Texas heat they haven’t cracked yet

Okay sorry for the long post but I had a ton to share! Hope you all have a great weekend with time to watercolor!

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