Going cheap with Daniel Smith series 1 paint

I bought some watercolour paint recently and was looking at the receipt when I got the idea for this post (and video). I wondered if it's possible to create versatile 12-pan palette using on Series 1 Daniel Smith watercolour paint.

Series represents the price range. Daniel Smith has Series 1 to 5 where 1 represents the lower price range while 5 the more expensive range.

Here's a list of all the colours from Series 1 in Daniel Smith's lineup:

  1. Buff Titanium (PW 6:1)
  2. Nickel Titanate Yellow (PY 53)
  3. Hansa Yellow Light (PY 3) - LF2
  4. Lemon Yellow (PY 175)
  5. Naples Yellow (PW 4, PY 97, PR 101)
  6. Hansa Yellow Deep (PY 65)
  7. New Gamboge (PY 97, PY 110)
  8. Permanent Red (PR 170 F3RK-70) - LF2
  9. Permanent Red (PR 170 F5RK-70) - LF2
  10. Alizarin Crimson (PR 83) - LF4
  11. Opera Pink (PR 122) - LF4
  12. Ultramarine Red (PV 15)
  13. Rose of Ultramarine (PB 29, PV 19)
  14. Ultramarine Violet (PV 15)
  15. Indigo (PB 60, PBk 6) - LF?
  16. Ultramarine Blue (PB 29)
  17. Phthalo Blue (GS) (PB 15:3)
  18. Phthalo Blue (RS) (PB 15:6)
  19. Prussian Blue (PB 27)
  20. Manganese Blue Hue (PB 15) - LF2
  21. Phthalo Turquoise (PB 15:3, PG 36)
  22. Ultramarine Turquoise (PB 29, PG 7)
  23. Phthalo Green (BS) (PG 7)
  24. Cascade Green (PBr 7, PB 15)
  25. Phthalo Yellow Green (PY 3, PG 36) - LF2
  26. Permanent Green (PY 3, PG 7) - LF2
  27. Hooker's Green (PG 36, PY 3, PO 48, PY 150) - LF2
  28. Chromium Green Oxide (PG 17)
  29. Terre Verte (PG 18, PBr 7)
  30. Prussian Green (PB 27, PY 97)
  31. Undersea Green (PB 29, PO 48, PY 150)
  32. Olive Green (PY 97, PB 29, PBr 7)
  33. Verona Gold Ochre (PY 43)
  34. French Ochre (PY 43)
  35. Raw Sienna Light (PY 42)
  36. Burgundy Yellow Ochre (PY 43)
  37. Yellow Ochre (PY 43)
  38. Mars Yellow (PY 42)
  39. Raw Sienna (PBr 7)
  40. Transparent Yellow Oxide (PY 42)
  41. Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr 7)
  42. Goethite-Brown Ochre (PY 43)
  43. Italian Deep Ochre (PY 43)
  44. Luna Earth (PBr 11)
  45. Burnt Yellow Ochre (PR 102)
  46. Indian Red (PR 101)
  47. Venetian Red (PR 101)
  48. Italian Venetian Red (PR 101)
  49. English Red Ochre (PR 101)
  50. Deep Scarlet (PR 175)
  51. Naphthamide Maroon (PR 171)
  52. Lunar Red Rock (RR 101)
  53. German Greenish Raw Umber (PBr 7)
  54. Gray Titanium (PW 6)
  55. Raw Umber Violet (PBr 7, PV 19)
  56. Transparent Brown Oxide (PR 101)
  57. Transparent Red Oxide (PR 101)
  58. Burnt Sienna Light (PR 101, PO 48)
  59. Burnt Sienna (PBr 7)
  60. English Red Ochre (PR 101)
  61. Burnt Umber (PBr 7)
  62. Raw Umber (PBr 7)
  63. Sepia (PBr 7, PBk 9)
  64. Van Dyke Brown (Blend of Pbr 7)
  65. Neutal Tint (PBk 6, PV 19, PB 15)
  66. Graphite Gray (PBk 10)
  67. Payne's Gray (PB 29, PBk 9)
  68. Lamp Black (PBk 6)
  69. Ivory Black (PBk 9)
  70. Lunar Black (PBk 11)
  71. Chinese White (PW 4)
  72. Titanium White (PW 6)

There's quite a good number of colours from Series 1. Since I don't have all the colours, I can only select the colours from the existing supplies that I have and they are these 12 colours below:


Some alternative colours under my main picks are included. I selected the colours using the split primary concept, basically picking a warm and cool version of each primary colour whenever possible.


For the cool yellow, I have to go with Lemon Yellow (PY 175). This is an vibrant, transparent and lightfast.

For warm yellow, there's the option of Hansa Yellow Deep (PY 65) or New Gamboge (PY 97, PY 110). They actually look quite similar. Both are vibrant, transparent and lightfast.

I like to include a neutralised yellow or yellow-earth colour as well. After swatching out Yellow Ochre (PY 43), I found out that I prefer the alternatives listed, namely Raw Sienna (PBr 7), Transparent Yellow Oxide (PY 42) and my favourite Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (PBr 7).


There aren't many reds from Series 1 so picking a good red is difficult. Permanent Red (PR 170) which I picked is, according to handprint.com, only "marginally lightfast". Having the word "permanent" in its name is quite ironic. The other red is Deep Scarlet (PR 175), a rather transparent, warmer red.

Hooker's Green (PG 36, PY 3, PO 48, PY 150) is the alternative to my favourite Sap Green. Hooker's Green is also not extremely lightfast. Actually this colour is not necessary since I can mix Sap Green with Lemon Yellow and Ultramarine Blue.


Phthalo Blue (PB 15:3) is the standard cool blue which is intense, transparent and lightfast.

French Ultramarine is from Series 2 but thankfully Ultramarine Blue (PB 29) is from Series 1. This is a classic colour. Transparent, vibrant and lightfast.

In my current palette, I have Cerulean Blue Chromium (PB 36). The alternative here would be Manganese Blue Hue (PB 15) but that colour isn't extremely lightfast.


Phthalo Green (Blue Shade, PG 7) is a green I always include in my palette. It's a cool green that you can neutralise with a red to produce grays and black.

Burnt Sienna (PBr 7) and Burnt Umber (PBr 7) are pretty classic colours. I use these two for mixing with Ultramarine Blue to produce grays. The alternatives are Transparent Red Oxide (PR 101) and Transparent Brown Oxide (PR 101)

Other colours to consider are Payne's Gray, Sepia and Ultramarine Violet


A vibrant orange can be mixed with Deep Scarlet with either New Gamboge and Hansa Yellow Deep. The neutralised yellows can mix with the reds for skin tones.


A vibrant purple can be mixed with Permament Red and Utlramarine Blue. Not as vibrant compared to using a Rose of course. When Manganese Blue Hue is mixed with red, you get a neutralised purple or violet.


These are the greens from Lemon Yellow and Phthalo Blue (GS)


Phthalo Green (BS) can be neutralised with the red to produce grays, dark grays. You can get more grays with Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna/Burnt Umber.


Lemon Yellow with Ultramarine Blue can produce a colour quite similar to Sap Green. A warm yellow and Ultramarine Blue would produce a very warm muted green.

So after creating the swatches, Below's my final selection. I dropped Hooker's Green.

  1. Lemon Yellow
  2. Hansa Yellow Deep
  3. Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
  4. Permanent Red
  5. Deep Scarlet
  6. Phthalo Blue (GS)
  7. Ultramarine Blue
  8. Manganese Blue Hue
  9. Phthalo Green (BS)
  10. Burnt Sienna
  11. Burnt Umber
  12. Payne's Gray/Sepia

The main limitation here with Series 1 paint is the lack of reds. Lemon Yellow, New Gamboge, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna are dependable and classic choices. So these are the 12 colours I pick. Which colours would you pick?

Tags: 

1 Comment

Add new comment