QoR vs Daniel Smith: Comparing Q. Magenta, Phthalo Blue and Nickel Azo Yellow

I received a private message asking me about QoR watercolours. It mentioned at QoR inferior versions of Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Magenta and Phthalo Blue (Green Shade).

I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. Unfortunately, I don't have the Nickel Azo Yellow of Daniel Smith and had to use Lemon Yellow instead.


These are the three QoR colours:

  • Nickel Azo Yellow (PY150) - LF 1, transparent, staining
  • Quinacridone Magenta (PR122), LF NA, transparent, staining
  • Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) (PB15:3), LF 2, semi-transparent, staining


These are the three Daniel Smith colours:

All the six colours were squeezed out and dried in pans before I rewet them again to use. I don't usually use them from tubes as I use the colours mostly outdoors and having them in pan form is more convenient for me.

The first thing to note is QoR paints are not as intense when used from the pans. QoR hardened paints are slightly more difficult to rewet with water as compared to Daniel Smith. QoR uses a polymer binder called Aquazol and perhaps that affects how the pigment reacts with water. Overall, I would say Daniel Smith is easily to dissolve.

When used from tubes, QoR paints are equally as intense as Daniel Smith. Seeing how much paler the colours were from the pan, I squeeze the paints from tubes to test again and you can see that from the additional Quinacridone Magenta and Phthalo Blue swatches for QoR.

Personally, I prefer Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Magenta because it has a deeper shade. QoR's Quinacridone Magenta is more rosy. QoR used PR122 while Daniel Smith used PR202.

Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) are somewhat similar but I prefer Daniel Smith's version as well.

QoR's Nickel Azo Yellow is slightly warm but it's very nice. I like that. It's almost like Hansa Yellow Medium.

Daniel Smith's Phthalo Blue and Quinacridone Magenta can mix to a very dark shade of purple. Add Lemon Yellow and you have a very nice grey neutral (pictured beside orange in the scan).

Overall, the three Daniel Smith colours seem to be more versatile. They work well from dry and from the tube. To get the best performance from QoR, you have to use them from the tube, or spend more time making sure that you rewet the dry pans properly.

I won't say that one is better than the other. It's more like one is more different than the other. Colours are subjective. Colours that I like may not be the colours that you like. It's always better to test them for yourself. But for this case, I would recommend Daniel Smith more.

You can read more about Daniel Smith and QoR in these reviews:
https://www.parkablogs.com/content/my-10-colour-palette-of-daniel-smith-...
https://www.parkablogs.com/picture/review-qor-modern-watercolor-introduc...

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