Wednesday 30 March 2016

Daniel Smith : Yellow

A selection of my favourite Daniel Smith yellow shades in watercolour

I have received a few questions from artists interested in the range of yellow watercolour shades I use. Especially connected to my recent blog posts of daffodil paintings.

So to reply to everyone I thought I would share this information on my blog as I'm sure it could be useful to other artists too.

Firstly I have many yellow shades that I love but when travelling I like to carry as few colours as possible. So for my tours I only take one yellow shade with me and it has to do the work of a million! Which is why on my workshops you will see me with my favourite yellow shade by Daniel Smith which is Cadmium Yellow 

Right now I am using Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue for my daffodil paintings.

Why Cadmium Yellow? Well I can heavily dilute it for painting delicate petals but even more importantly, heavily diluted it is the perfect shade for adding warmth or instant sunshine in the form of a glaze over sections of paintings that I feel need livening up. I can use it almost neat as to add drama in tiny sections of a painting too.  Just a dot on the cap of a jockey for example is really effective for adding impact in a tiny spot of a composition.

But when in my studio and not hindered by carrying too much weight whilst travelling I use other yellows too.

Above you can see my favourites.

1) Azo Yellow. This is vibrant,light and refreshing to use. Seen in all my daffodil paintings recently.

2) Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue. Perfect for glazing, adding instant sunshine and working with diluted for daffodil petals

3) Lemon Yellow ( One I don't use as often but it is a "helpful" yellow to own )

4) Hansa Yellow Light which I love when I am painting primroses or Spring flowers. A strong favourite of mine!

I hope this helps. There are many yellow shades out there.  I own just a few that do a great job for me in achieving great vibrancy to my work. Yellow is a superb colour for lifting your spirits when painting too, as my new book " Paint Yourself Calm" describes! Available to pre order now on


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