American Journey paints are an inexpensive artist-grade line exclusive to Cheap Joe’s Art Supplies. My research indicates this line is made by Da Vinci, and there do so seem to be a lot of similarities, though the lines do have some different colors. As I’ve mentioned, I love Da Vinci paints, so this was good news!
I tried American Journey’s 24-dot sampler:
This is nowhere near American Journey’s complete line, but it does contain a bunch of interesting colors. My notes:
- Several colors look just like Da Vinci’s, understandably. This includes a lot of the single pigment basics like Ultramarine, Cobalt, Permanent Rose, and many others. Alizarin Crimson (Quin) should be the same, although I sort of felt it didn’t look as nice? Probably it’s just me. Some like Joe’s Red are just renamed (Da Vinci Red, aka Pyrrol Red PR254).
- Some of the colors seemed to have weirdly low tinting strength, including Burnt Umber and Cadmium Red.
- I was really disappointed with Quin Gold, which is a dull light brown that didn’t handle nicely. It’s a mix between Quin Burnt Scarlet (PR206) and Yellow Oxide (PY42), and lacks the glow of PY150 Quin Golds I’m used to (including Da Vinci’s Quin Gold).
- Quin Burnt Orange is also different from Da Vinci’s; instead of Da Vinci’s tradition PO48, AJ’s is a mix of Quin Burnt Scarlet (PR206) and PR101. It looks similar, but a bit duller.
- AJ’s Chromium Oxide Green, which is not only the typical PG17 but a mix with PBr7 earth brown, was much darker and more opaque than I expected. I kind of like it!
- Coastal Fog is a mix of PBr7 earth tone and PW6 white, so it’s a semi-opaque light gray-tan. Somewhat similar to DS Buff Titanium, but I found it a bit more dull and putty-colored.
I also tried AJ’s Quinacridone Colors sampler. Here are the ones that weren’t also on the 24-dot card.
- Again, several of these look similar to Da Vinci’s counterparts of the same pigment, though they are sometimes named differently. Coral Red is Da Vinci’s Quin Red. AJ’s Quin Red may be Da Vinci’s Red Rose Deep or similar.
- Permanent Magenta is a pretty mix of Perm Rose and Ultramarine, similar to DS Rose of Ultramarine.
- Interesting that there are two separate colors called Brown Madder and Quin Burnt Scarlet; traditionally, these are both names for PR206. In this case, Quin Burnt Scarlet is the PR206 (same as Daniel Smith naming), and Brown Madder is a mix between a PV19 red and a PR101 red oxide.
- Quin Gold Deep appears to be Da Vinci’s Quin Gold – a mix of PY150 and PR206. Much nicer than the color AJ calls Quin Gold from above.
Like Da Vinci’s colors, the AJ colors tend to be vibrant and easy to rewet. I’m happy to include them in my rotation for places to look when I need to refill colors, especially the typical single pigment colors. So far I haven’t found any unique mixes I’m in love with, but there are also many I haven’t tried so I’m open to suggestions.