Review: Mission Gold Watercolors (9-tube set)

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.

Highly recommended.

Video review


Find more reviews at Dick Blick Art Materials (US) | Jackson's Art (UK)



I know this review is a few

I know this review is a few years old so I'm not sure if you'll see this comment...but I'll try to ask anyway: Do you find that there is any mold on your paints after storing them? I know from other people's reviews that the paints stay sticky and I saw one person's review say that their pans grew mold after storing the palette. I only ask since I live in Hawaii, which has high humidity, much like you in Singapore. Thank you very much. I love your reviews and advice on YouTube :)

Hi there, looking at your

Hi there, looking at your review I recently started to be interested in Mijello mission gold watercolors, but for what I understood Mijello is a Korean brand, distributed in US by Weber.
I live in Japan and here EU or US brands such as Sonnelier or Daniel Smith are way too expensive, and I was looking to refresh my palette with something other than Holbein watercolors (which I also love).
According to your review Mijello might seems a great alternative and in Japan are more affordable via then other foreign brands!

Thanks, Is it straight out of

Thanks, Is it straight out of the tube? Or did you mix with something else? I can’t tell from the color swatch.

I note you mentioned that this was more like a Phthalo Blue but the Colour on your painting doesn’t look like a Phthalo Blue.

I am just getting into

I am just getting into watercolors from a previously preferred practice in drawing and sketching. I am moving on to color now. I am starting with the Cotman variety of Winsor Newton palettes but when I move up to artist-grade pigments I have been considering Mission Gold as the way to go. Daniel Smith or Winsor Newton are secondary possibilities.

If I go with the Mission Gold, it seems that I would need to add not only French Ultramarine but also a better Burnt Sienna, as you did not seem to like these offerings in the set you reviewed. Maybe I should think about adding the Winsor Newton offerings for these two pigments to my palette?

Also, there are a variety of sets offered under the Mission Gold label. I have heard a recommendation of sticking with their "pure" pigments as the others contain dyes that may inhibit their lightfastness property. Not sure, though.

I am becoming a faithful fan of your videos. They have been very informative to me. Cheers!

I recently took up

I recently took up watercolors. I have painted in acrylics for years and have dabbled in oils. The first paints I bought to try watercolors were these. Got a good deal on Amazon.
I hated them. I found them difficult to control, the colors looked 'plastic' rather then natural and were hard to spread.
It was with these that I decided to stay with tried and true brands and got a few W & N, Sennelier and from Jackson's got some Schmincke.
Much better.

I find that using distilled

I find that using distilled water only and leaving my palette open to dry prevents moldy paints. I lay the palette flat in a letter tray and have some silica packets in the trays as well. Since using this method, I haven't problems with any brand I've used.

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