"Mayan" watercolors: Daniel Smith / Greenleaf & Blueberry

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
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    Glad to have helped!

    Sandra Strait

    I think one of the Greenleaf & Blueberry team has been very ill so they haven’t been able to make up their paints of late.  I’ve never tried them, but always wondered what they were like.

    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!

    Sandra Strait

    Thank you, Lisa, for the great information on the Mayans.  Did you see that there is also a thread on DIY Palettes? I know I won’t be alone in wondering what tin you are using for the palette in your post.


    Thanks for that review!  I didn’t cotton to them, but am always interested to see how people use them.  I think good paper is essential —

    And I LOVE my Greenleaf and Blueberry charcoal-y colors — I have three. note to everyone who may try to check them out, rumor has it that they are dealing with family/medical issues and so not making paints well.

    Tom Cunliffe

    Great review Lisa – I love your Daniel Smith Mayan swatches – a work of art in itself.  So useful to see the transparency too.

    I love the mayan red colour.  My go-to earth red is Winsor and Newton Light Red but I also have M Graham Terra Rosa – a very powerful colour I find but so useful.  Also W&N Perylene Maroon and Indian Red.  Its nice to have these variations isn’t it.



    Lisa Spangler

    Hi Sandra! Ooooo off to check out the thread on DIY palettes! I have been working on palettes to take lightweight backpacking for a while now but still haven’t settled on one!

    Lisa Spangler

    Hi Kate — yes I think you’re so right on the paper and it’s always interesting to me to see how other people think about supplies!

    I heard the same thing about medial issues a while back, hoping for the best for them.

    Sandra Strait

    Jennifer and I kind of hi-jacked that thread about half-way through, but there is a lot of good information down towards the bottom.  I wish there was a way we could delete the discussion we got into, because we wandered far afield of the subject.

    Lisa Spangler

    Hi Tom — thank you! I haven’t tried the Winsor & Newton light red yet or MG terra rosa. I have DS perylene maroon and find it really useful. I also have W&N Indian Red and it’s another one that dries super hard in the pans but it’s such a lovely color. I mostly use it at home at my desk. We’re all so lucky to have all these colors to play with!

    Lisa Sandboge

    This thread is very helpful! I’m looking into getting some of the DS mayans, but still not sure I will like them. I have some Greenleaf and Blueberry mayans, and they are nice but a bit weird and streaky on some paper.

    Lisa Sandboge

    Oh by the way! I have some Matteo Grilli paints, and they are the very best handmade paints I’ve tried. Very very bright, smooth, and overall lovely. I would recommend these any day.


    I adore Matteo’s paints also!  You should post this under the handmade paints category — He says he won’t ship to Canada but I’d go ahead and beg — his paints really are wonderful!

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