Daniel Smith Is Breaking My Heart: The First Time

I’ve long been a huge fan of Daniel Smith paints – so many reasons to love: made in the USA, ultra-fine quality, superb colors… I’ve really been in love since the beginning of my professional art career with my first big order in 2002 of watercolors and acrylics.  I’ve even written several blog posts describing my love, including this post titled “I Heart Daniel Smith” here.

Well, I guess with any such love affair lasting over a decade, there’s bound to be some heartache.  And lately, Daniel Smith is just plain breaking my heart!

Daniel Smith Silver Metallic Watercolor Pigment... now "vintage".
Daniel Smith Silver Metallic Watercolor Pigment… now “vintage”.

I recently discovered that Daniel Smith discontinued one of my favorite products — metallic watercolor dry pigments.  And I’m completely devastated.  Dramatic?  Sure, but I use a variety of metallic paints in most of my paintings – almost all exclusively Daniel Smith products.

I’ve stocked all of the metallic watercolor pigment colors (silver, pale gold, Egyptian gold, copper…) in my studio and have actually been using them rather sparingly over the past several years.  So, now that I’ve started a new Metallic Squares series which requires heavy use of the Daniel Smith metallic watercolor pigments, I went to http://www.danielsmith.com to order up a bunch, only to discover they aren’t anywhere to be found.  But, oh joy, in an email exchange with one of their Sales people, I was told I could special order the metallic watercolor pigments by the pound, and would I like a price quote?  After putting my heart back in my chest, I replied “absolutely”!

Metallic Squares for my latest watercolor painting series.
Metallic Squares for my latest watercolor painting series.

The next email from Daniel Smith was the first “Dear John” from them.  Apparently after checking with their production team, the Sales person informed me that they had been discontinued “a long time ago” and were no longer available.

Now heartbroken, I’m not sure if I should pursue my love any further with Daniel Smith?  Or should I put my heart back out there with a Canadian lead I have for a new love?


5 thoughts on “Daniel Smith Is Breaking My Heart: The First Time

  1. lizamyers June 12, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Did you find them? Something that has the same weight and properties. I am so sad too!

    • davidcastleart June 21, 2016 / 8:07 am

      Hi Liza – Well, I continue to be sad because I’ve not found any place with old stock of the Daniel Smith metallic watercolors.
      So, after searching around for a replacement, I’ve found a few new products that have actually worked out really well. The key seems to be that the DS metallic watercolors contained a watercolor binder and I’ve not found a direct replacement for that. So, I’ve been experimenting lots with:

      Kama Pigments (kamapigment.com) – “Metallic Dry Pigment”. I use the silver extensively, also the gold and copper. I’ve had to experiment lots and have found Schmincke Watercolor Binder works as a binder (I spray a diluted solution for my application).
      Kama Pigments – “Mica Dry Pigment”. I’ve used these some… need to experiment more!
      Gold Leaf and Metallic Powders (GLandMP.com) – I’ve experimented some with their Metallic Powders, but they don’t contain a binder, so need to experiment more.

      So, there just may be life after Daniel Smith… hope this helps some!


  2. Orsi July 8, 2016 / 3:22 am

    Hello, old post but maybe you’ll see this. Have you tried the Schmincke dry pigments? I’m looking for a red copper color, but most brands offer yellow unfortunately, but theirs looks promising on the site.

    • davidcastleart July 12, 2016 / 4:58 am

      Hi Orsi – Thanks for your comment! Yes, I’ve tried the Schmincke dry pigments, but have had much better success (for what I do!) with the Kama pigments or the GLandMP.com powders (which I know has a good red copper color). Hope that helps!

      • Orsi July 14, 2016 / 2:53 am

        Thank you for the answer! 🙂
        Since then I saw some demos and looks like the Schmincke pigments sit on top of the water, creating a layer, rather than mixing into it and that’s not what I’m looking for (at least I don’t think so :D). It’s hard with metallic colors since everyone is swatching them on white and black paper but hardly on colors. I wish samples would be easier to obtain.
        But anyway, good luck with the pigments and painting, I absolutely love your work!

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