Are Daniel Smith Luminescent Watercolors all that?

If you’ve been doing watercolors for awhile, you’ve come across Daniel Smith paints. Although I’m not a brand stickler, both Daniel Smith and Windsor and Newton watercolors are generally pretty good. I’ve also reviewed M Graham gouache earlier, and enjoy that one too. I’ve even bought Blick store brand watercolors as they were on an insane sale that I couldn’t pass up.

So, what about the Daniel Smith Luminescent watercolors series? Any good?

So far? Depends on which one.

Iridescent Electric Blue

This one is da bomb! I absolutely love this color.

Roxy belly dancer
Roxy modeling as Alicia

The blue on Roxy’s dress is Daniel Smith’s Iridescent Electric Blue. If you look closely, you could see sparkles in the paint. Unfortunately, pictures don’t do it justice. You actually have to see this in person.

It’s the same thing when you see an electric guitar that has been painted well. In real life, it’s the coolest thing in the world. And you take a picture of it and show everyone and it’s just not the same.

It’s really hard to capture just how good this one is. But if you read other reviews, the reviewers will also tell you the same thing. They’ll mention that pictures don’t do it justice. You have to see it in real life.

When you actually move the painting, or if you look at the painting and move, then you really can see how cool this color is!

Iridescent Ruby

On the flip side, this was the absolute worst tube of watercolor paint I ever bought. It’s terrible. It’s weak. Way too light.

Roxy doing a belly dance

If you look at her bra top, you could see the Daniel Smith Iridescent Ruby. Whereas, that doesn’t look too bad, there’s a reason for it. I literally had to mix it with another red paint in order for it to look like anything. And, that’s with the Iridescent Ruby caked on.

I love Daniel Smith. I think their paints are great. But, even Michael Jordan misses shots. This is like Michael Jordan missing the backboard entirely and hitting the cameraman and breaking his camera.

They dropped the ball entirely with this one. I sincerely hope either DS discontinues this particular paint or changes the formula.

Iridescent Goldstone

Roxy modeling for Speaker Girl

The necklace? Daniel Smith Iridescent Goldstone. It’s gold. I don’t think it’s necessarily better than any other gold I’ve seen. It’s definitely a worthy gold. Not bad. Just not the best.

It’s what I’ll be using for gold until I run out of it. I like it. But I’m not entirely awed by it.


I just bought Iridescent Scarab Red. I’ve fooled around with it in my watercolor journal and so far, it’s looking promising. After I finish a painting using it, I’ll show you.

I haven’t fooled around with any of the other colors. But I can tell you of the four, one is absolutely outstanding, one is good, one is the worst paint I’ve ever bought, and one I don’t have enough experience to judge just yet.

I’ll write a sequel to this article after I buy a few more of these.

Categorized as Watercolor

By Roman

Pinup Artist. Composer. Writer.

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