Mission Gold Watercolors is made by a US company Mijello that was established in 1853. Mijello produces a variety of art products and their line of Mission Gold Watercolors is actually quite a recent addition that was introduced to the US and Korean market in 2012.
Mission Gold Watercolors comes in different box sets. There are sets for 9, 12, 24, 34 and 36 colours.
The tubes are available in 7ml and 15ml tubes. The ones sold in the sets are only 7ml. The 15ml tubes are quite price competitive with other brands such as Daniel Smith, Winsor Newton, etc. A 7ml tube is enough to fill a half pan 3 times.
The colours included in the 9-colour set are as follows:
- Permanent Yellow Light (PY154) - LF5, transparent, semi-staining
- Yellow Orange (PO73 + PY65) - LF4, transparent, semi-staining
- Permanent Red (PR112) - LF5, transparent, non-staining
- Permanent Rose (PV19) - LF5, semi-opaque, semi-staining
- Rose Madder (PR176) - LF4, semi-transparent, semi-staining
- Viridian - (PG7) - LF5, transparent, semi-staining
- Peacock Blue (PB15:3 + PG7) - LF5, semi-transparent, semi-staining
- Burnt Sienna (PBr25 + PR112 + PY150), LF5, semi-transparent, staining
- Vandyke Brown (PBr7) - LF5, semi-transparent, non-staining
LF refers to the lightfast rating with 5 being the best and 1 the worst. Mission Gold currently has a total of 105 colours and most of them have a lightfast rating of 4 and 5, with less than a handful under 3.
In the 9-colour set, we have one yellow, three reds, one green, one blue and two earth.
All the colours are quite intense and vibrant, and comparable to the Daniel Smith paints that I usually use.
I felt that Yellow Orange could be dropped though because you can easily mix orange with the three reds available. A warm blue such as French Ultramarine wasn't included so I felt that the palette is a bit limited in that sense when it comes to mixing greens or purples.
The three reds gives nice subtleties when it comes to mixing flesh or earth colours.
Viridian is a nice colour and in many other brands it would dry to rock solid. Mission Gold's Viridian is different and appears to be malleable and can be easily rewet and activated again.
Peacock Blue is quite similar to Phthalo Blue (Green Shade). It's as intense and needs to be neutralised to be used. It's a 2-pigment paint with PG7 added.
Burnt Sienna is quite peculiar because it's has orange from the inclusion of PR112 and PY150. As a result, it will mix to green with the blue. I tried mixing it with French Ultramarine and it will give a warm green. With other brands of Burnt Sienna, the mix with French Ultramarine will produce a nice grey, but not here with Mission Gold's.
Vandyke Brown is a nice dark earth tone that's good for neutralising other colours. It behaves more like Burnt Umber to me.
The sketches below are all painted with Mission Gold Watercolours. I added a French Ultramarine from Winsor and Newton to expand the palette. You should be able to spot those pieces that I used French Ultramarine because of the granulation. The 9-colour set does not have a lot of, or strong, granulating pigments.
I find Mission Gold Watercolors perform really well. They are intense and vibrant. They dry and rewet nicely, even for the Viridian.
The oddball for me would be Burnt Sienna. And it would have been nice to include French Ultramarine to make the set more versatile.
The 9-colour set is quite worth the money as an introductory set. If you want to get set with more colours, make sure to calculate the cost-per-tube as it does not mean that the more colours you get, the lower the cost for each tube. For example, the 12-colour set has a better selection of colours, but the cost-per-tube is higher than the 9-colour set.
My overall recommendation is to get the 9-tube set to try it out. It represents the best value among all the other sets.