Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ottawa Art School Fair - Daniel Smith Watercolors

Art School Fair (ASF) was held October 31 to November 1, 2015, in Ottawa.

ASF is eastern Canada's first and only ART MATERIAL TRADE FAIR + ART CLASSES. Organizers brought together the biggest and best names and brands in the industry. Attendees were able to see, buy and try the latest products, take a workshop, demo or lecture.

This is the third of four reports on the demonstrations, lectures and workshops that I attended. On Saturday, October 31st (3:00 pm-4:30 pm), I attended the demonstration: Daniel Smith Watercolours- An intimate conversation with John Cogley (owner). (Website:

The Daniel Smith Watercolour booth at the Art School Fair

The Daniel Smith booth at the Art School Fair
showing pigment with natural source
Owner John Cogley was unexpectedly ill at the last moment so Katherine Taylor gave the presentation in his place. Katherine Taylor travels around the world introducing artists to Daniel Smith product. Her enthusiasm was contagious and she was very gracious with her time at the booth. She said when the demo started at 3:00, that she felt as though she had already spoken to everyone in the room and she had certainly taken the time to speak to the majority of us.

Katherine Taylor explaining the Daniel Smith colour charts
Most of this blog post will be to share the amazing watercolour samples and sources. It was amazing to see the watercolours up close and to also see and learn about the sources for the pigment.

Here are some other interesting points:

  • Daniel Smith was a printmaker
  • Daniel Smith uses ONLY gum arabic
  • Daniel Smith was the first to bring the world Quinacridone Gold -  Everyone's favorite! (Replaces Raw Sienna and adds versatility with its glazing and mixing capabilities)
  • Daniel Smith's 13 Quinacridones are transparent and excellent for glazing and mixing
  • Daniel Smith was the first to use color dots
  • Daniel Smith discontinued all of their cadmiums
  • Daniel Smiths Lunar colours are the most granulating
  • All of Daniel Smith's pigment particles are the same size ("particle size" being the only difference between ultramarine blue and french ultramarine blue)

This was an incredibly brief summary of some interesting points that I took away from Katherine Taylor's excellent presentation yesterday. I am thankful for this opportunity today at the Art School Fair.

My Daniel Smith purchases

I purchased two Daniel Smith items from the Art Fair School 
  • 238 Color Dot sampler
  • Daniel Smith 4 + 1 + 1 Watercolor set (4 select 15 ml tubes of paint + 15 ml tube of Jadeite + Serpentine Genuine watercolor stick)
and we were given three samples:
  • 2 Dot cards: PRIMATEK watercolors sampler and ALVARO CASTAGNET palette sampler
  • Daniel Smith Watercolor ground (30 ml)
  • Daniel Smith extra fine watercolor stick - french ultramarine blue
The Daniel Smith free samples


  1. I was introduced to these products today for the first time at the Art School Fair. I can guarantee you that they have a new customer. I can hardly wait to paint something using some of these amazing paints.

    1. That's great Yabut and exactly how I feel. I have never owned Daniel Smith before but I do now! Have fun painting!