The DANIEL SMITH PrimaTeks are gorgeous watercolours on their own, and they mix beautifully with other colours. Artists worldwide have been thrilled to paint with these unique mineral watercolours ever since they were introduced, and you will too!
What are PrimaTek Watercolours?
DANIEL SMITH PrimaTek watercolours are unique paints made with mineral pigments, many are semi-precious minerals, mined from the earth, ground finely and made into the beautiful PrimaTek watercolours for artists everywhere!
There are 37 exclusive DANIEL SMITH PrimaTek Watercolours which are made into paints from minerals, such as Amethyst, Bloodstone and Jadeite. The raw mineral specimens DANIEL SMITH finds all over the world are ground into pigments, mixed with gum arabic and milled to make those gorgeous watercolour paints! Nearly all PrimaTeks have granulating properties which gives those watercolours wonderful texture and depth, which some artists have described as being “magical”.
For thousands of years people have been making paints with earth mineral pigments like ochre in yellows, reds and browns. While many natural pigments run to the “earthy” colours like the ochres we all know, some are unique to DANIEL SMITH, like Hematite Genuine, Bloodstone Genuine and Tiger’s Eye Genuine, the “Genuine” after the mineral name for the watercolour usually means that the paint colour is made only from that particular mineral pigment. Nearly all of these minerals when made into paints, have beautiful granulation giving artists extra painting effects. A few, have a hint of a sparkle or sheen to them from the crushed crystals, such as Amethyst, Kyanite, Red Fuchsite, Sugilite, and both Bronzite and Burnt Bronzite Genuine watercolours.
Many of the DANIEL SMITH PrimaTek Watercolours are made from minerals that produce vibrant, luminous colours, like Amethyst Genuine, Serpentine Genuine and Rhodonite Genuine. Most artists are surprised that “rocks” can become such brilliant colours in watercolours!
DANIEL SMITH has a mineralogist who, like Indiana Jones, searches the world, sometimes to remote locations, to find minerals with the potential to become DANIEL SMITH PrimaTek Watercolours. Once he finds the raw mineral, the DANIEL SMITH chemist rigorously tests it for colour capacity and reliability, how the mineral performs as a paint, it’s lightfastness and more. Once a mineral proves itself to meet DANIEL SMITH's high standards, and what artists expect, it is made into a watercolour that will delight artists everywhere.
To make the minerals into the watercolours, DANIEL SMITH breaks them down from large rocks called “massives” into smaller rocks, then continues breaking them down and removing impurities until the minerals eventually are ground down into pigments. Once the pigments are ready, the DANIEL SMITH manufacturing team mixes them with gum arabic, the mixture is then put on a 3-roll mill, and after a period of time and tests, is made into DANIEL SMITH PrimaTek watercolours. The milling process for each watercolor is specific for that particular mineral pigment, mill (or grind) the minerals too small, and the color becomes dull. The key is to ensure the particle size of each mineral pigment is large enough to refract the most light for best colour, and small enough to paint as watercolour. Every batch of watercolour is tested to meet DANIEL SMITH’s standards for that particular watercolour, and the tests are kept to ensure the colour consistency artists expect.