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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 😉
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.
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.