Pros: Lovely, exotic colour.
Cons: None at all.
One of the big steps that Daniel Smith, a paint manufacturer based in Seattle, Washington, made in the 1990's was the introduction of the Quinacridone line to their products. They were a collection that combined strong transparency with a range of intensely warm shades. And once I started to use them, I was hooked. Originally made for the automotive industry, they are composed of synthetic organic compounds, and have a great intensity to them.
I found out about Daniel Smith, a company based in Seattle, Washington while researching colour theory and assembling a palette of colours. They create paints for watercolours, acrylics and oils, along with printmakers inks, grinding their own pigments and creating products that are wonderful to work with.
With watercolours, there are several factors to think about. What is the lightfastness rating -- with I being very strong, to IV, which can becomes weak over time and exposure. Granulation refers to whether or not the pigment is smooth or will have small bits that appear as the paint dries. Staining runs from strong to medium to light -- it refers to how deeply the paint goes into the paper, and whether or not it will be easy to lift or scrub from the paper. Finally, there is transparency, as some pigments will produce very light washes all the way to near opaque shades.
Quinacridone Magenta comes very close to what was called Tyrian purple, one of the valued hues in the ancient and medieval worlds. In ancient Rome, the upper classes had their clothing trimmed with a stripe of this colour, and it was a very rare and costly dye, coming from the shells of the Myrex. It is a lush red-violet in colour, with a deep range from a nearly black violet and all the way to a faint pink in a light wash.
Quinacridone Magenta is rated at being extremely permanent, lightfast rating of I, low staining and completely transparent without any granulation.
A factor that I really do like Daniel Smith for is that they submit their products to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for rating and testing. Many paint companies do not, and trying to figure out just what is in those tubes of paint can be a real challenge. There are products that are quite dangerous if they are ingested, especially those made in the Cobalt or Cadmium ranges. One thing that I always remember to do is never point up a brush by sticking it in my mouth (yes there are artists that do that), and to always wash my hands well after a painting session.
A final question is that of price and quantity. Most watercolours are marketed in 5 ml tubes, about the size of a couple joints of your pinkie finger. Daniel Smith however, markets their watercolour in 15 ml tubes, and has them ranged in price from about nine dollars to twenty five in cost. Quinacridone Magenta costs 11.29 a tube (Apr. 2013), which means that it's a great value. The nice thing about watercolour is that a little bit can go a long way.
This paint gets a five star rating from me. Daniel Smith has managed to keep the costs of their product down by selling directly to the consumer, and in my years of dealing with them, I've never had a problem with obtaining their products. They sell by catalog or by the web.
To contact the Daniel Smith company you can go to their website at www.danielsmith.com or call (800) 426-6740 in the US or for international orders call (206) 812-5877. Their catalogs are free and can be obtained from their website.
Very much recommended.
Other Daniel Smith products that I have reviewed:
Amethyst Genuine, Extra Fine Watercolour
Carbazole Violet, Extra Fine Watercolour
Cascade Green, Extra Fine Watercolour
Cobalt Blue, Extra Fine Watercolour
Cobalt Blue-Violet,Extra Fine Watercolour
Hematite Genuine, Extra Fine Watercolour
Alizarin Crimson, Extra Fine Watercolour
Payne's Gray, Extra Fine Watercolour
Perylene Green, Extra Fine Watercolour
Prussian Blue, Extra Fine Watercolour
Quinacridone Deep Gold, Extra Fine Watercolour
Quinacridone Rose, Extra Fine Watercolour
Quinacridone Sienna, Extra Fine Watercolour
Quinacridone Violet, Extra Fine Watercolour
Rose of Ultramarine, Extra Fine Watercolour
Sap Green, Extra Fine Watercolour
Serpentine Genuine, Extra Fine Watercolour
Ultramarine Blue, Extra Fine Watercolour
Viridian, Extra Fine Watercolour