Daniel Smith Half Pan Kits

November 8, 2018 | 13 Comments

A little over a week ago I got some of the new Daniel Smith half pan sets (delivered to me direct from DS). Amongst the new sets is this one – the Sketchers kit which includes my base 6 colours, plus 9 empty half pans in a compact box. I’m  unbelievably honored and excited about this.

The idea is for this to be a perfect set for beginners when starting to sketch. They can then expand the palette over time to suit their personal preference.

I will be writing a series of articles about using this palette in a few weeks time – when I’m back home. But I’m so excited about this that I had to share it now.

The colours in this set are:

  • Hansa Yellow Medium
  • Quinacridone Rose
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Monte Amiata Natural Sienna,
  • Transparent Red Oxide
  • Cerulean Blue Chromium

These colours are the minimal set which I explain in more detail here and use as my watercolour palette for my online course – SketchingNow Foundations. The 12 colour palette which I use for the SketchingNow Watercolour course have these six colours as the base. You can read more about my 12 colour palette here.

There are a number of other 6 colour sets available including one from Brenda Swenson. And there is the “Ultimate Mixing Set’ containing Jane Blundell’s colours plus an additional box.

The box is nice and compact with a DS logo on the front, however the lid does not open flat. I haven’t started using mine yet, but when I do I will either hold it in my hand so that the mixing area is level, or I will use my paper napkins to prop the paint side so that the lid is flat on the table as shown above.

The kits are shipping to retailers over the next month or so but are now available online at Blicks. From the comments below it now seems that they are available other retailers too!

In case you are wondering…

This six colour palette was something I developed after years of experimentation (buying many different colours from different brands) and discussions with friends (such as Jane Blundell and Paul Wang). This is before I had any personal contact with Daniel Smith, so they are my own personal favourites.

I received a sample of these half pan sets for free, but do not receive any payment from Daniel Smith (royalties, affiliate sales etc) from these kits. I am not a DS brand ambassador and love using other brands of paint as well! I’m simply excited that they have decided to make these sets and honoured that they choose to use my selections for one of them.

An affordable artist quality starter set has been needed in the marketplace, and I hope that these kits will fill that gap. I’m looking forward to testing them out fully when I get home.



  • Sasala says:

    These palettes are amazing! I tried to order from Blicks but they won’t let me order to the UK and haven;t got back to me about shipping costs. Do you know if these will be available from other retailers soon?

  • Stephanie Alexander says:

    I got my sketchers kit and while your colors are awesome, I was very disappointed it doesn’t open flat too. I will probably transfer the pans

  • Laura Herman says:

    Dear Friends,

    I notice that they are also available through Cheap Joe’s, https://www.cheapjoes.com/daniel-smith-extra-fine-watercolor-half-pan-sets.html and Amazon. I haven’t received mine yet, but am looking forward to checking them out.

  • Kristine Heilman says:

    I believe it is noteworthy that the packaging doesn’t refer to a palette, rather it uses the term “travel case”. It really is a travel case and designed to do that well. I imagine to keep costs down their goal was to protect the paints and not try to be a palette. Daniel Smith is best at making paint and got out of the accessory business years ago. (Although I hear the palette they did have was legendary!) Since I already have almost all of your/my favorites in tubes I opted to get the “Inspiration” set and then add the colors I already have. I ordered a small folding Yasutomo palette to pair with this for less than $10 USD from Amazon. It is an awesome palette with lots of mixing space. I’m happy with DS focused on making FABULOUS paints 🙂

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks Kristine – that is an excellent point!!! I didn’t notice the term ‘travel case’ and certainly worth noting.

  • Malik de Kok says:

    I received my set here in the Netherlands through a local retailer today. The colors are splendid! I cannot wait for the ‘series of articles’ (no less!) about using them that you announced.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Have fun. I will start those articles once I finish the CA18 trip ones! Very keen to share more about those colours – using a minimal set

  • Lauren R Parajecki says:

    Any idea on the size of the individual half pans?

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