It’s time for a Swatch With Me video featuring Daniel Smith watercolor Phthalo Turquoise. Thank you kindly for the overwhelmingly positive feedback on my Daniel Smith Swatch Book Series.
All details of mixing and swatching Daniel Smith Phthalo Turquoise watercolor are in this video tutorial. The Daniel Smith swatches bring the Zentangle art journal page we created in the Draw With Me video to life. Watch here or in HD on YouTube. While you’re there I’d love it if you like, subscribe, and share it with friends.
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Keep reading to learn how I set up my Daniel Smith watercolor palette. This info didn’t make it into the video. There’s just too much to share!
Draw With Me | Zentangle
Did you miss Part 1 of this series where I drew the Zentangle journal page?
Learn seven easy Zentangle® patterns here.
Setting Up A Daniel Smith Watercolor Palette
Watercolor is one of my favorite mediums and over the last year I’ve definitely seen improvement in my skill and efficiency. As a result, I decided to invest in high-quality Daniel Smith watercolor paints four months ago.
As you would expect, I did a lot of research before investing in colors. I knew I wanted to fill a Pocket Palette with 28 mini pans. Thus, I needed, ok wanted, 28 colors.
Now mini pans may not work for you, but I wanted them for a few reasons.
- I paint small scale images, mainly handmade cards, so I don’t need full-size pans to accommodate large brushes.
- As a YouTuber, I prefer to have the whole palette in the frame for easy reference without it taking up my whole workspace.
- At the time of purchase, I didn’t know much about mixing colors. I mostly used colors straight from the pan, so I wanted a wide range of colors.
- I have three daughters in sports and wanted a palette that was quick and easy to take on the go.
How To Choose Daniel Smith Watercolors
Now I can’t tell you what colors are best for you because I have no idea what you paint nor your preferences. But, I can tell you how and why I chose my colors.
Fortunately, because I used other brands of watercolor for a year or more before investing in Daniel Smith watercolor, I had an idea of what was important to me. I knew what I liked and what were deal breakers. Here’s a quick rundown.
Watercolor Must-Haves & Deal Breakers
These are the specific key elements I was looking for in my Daniel Smith Watercolor paints.
Pigmentation & Ease Of Rewetting
First, I don’t want to spend a lot of time rewetting and working at the paint to get enough pigmentation. I want the instant gratification of binge-watching in watercolor form. Give me the color now!
That means highly pigmented and easy to rewet colors. I removed Daniel Smith Cobalt Violet from my palette because it’s difficult to rewet and I couldn’t get enough color payoff for my needs. All of my other Daniel Smith paints rewet like a dream.
If you follow me then you know vibrant colors are my jam. I’m more open minded to subtle and neutralized colors now that I’ve started mixing and swatching watercolor. But, painting flowers is definitely my jam so no matter what, I’ll always lean towards vibrant colors.
You’ll notice I have several Quinacridone colors in my palette. Here’s what the Daniel Smith website says about quinacridone watercolor.
Quinacridones combine the power of the staining pigments with the luminosity of the transparents. They flow beautifully for extremely smooth washes, have incredible depth of color and can be lifted easily while still wet.Daniel Smith Website
Understandably, they’ve been very popular colors since their introduction. People just love them. No other colors have both the intensity and transparency of the quinacridone family.
Transparency is one of the most beautiful aspects of watercolor. So yeah, it’s important to me. But, I’ll be honest, I’m still heavy-handed at times and working to capitalize on transparency more.
Transparency is gorgeous, but I was not opposed to a few semi-opaque colors to round out my palette. Such as Buff Titanium, Naples Yellow, and Yellow Ochre. Pyrrol Scarlet is too opaque for me, so I may replace it with a transparent warm red. We shall see.
Now as a card maker, caring about lightfastness may seem silly. After all most people aren’t going to keep my card or frame it forever. So if the colors aren’t lightfast, fade with extended exposure to light, it’s no big deal.
But, who knows maybe I’ll branch out and start framing and selling art. At that point I don’t want to worry about which colors will last and which won’t. Know what I mean?
Single Pigment Colors
As I was doing research, single pigment colors kept coming up. Single pigment watercolor is a paint made from one individual pigment. Single pigment colors are pure colors if you will. The majority of paints in my palette are single pigment.
A convenience color is one that’s made from several pigments. Sap green is a convenience color made from three pigments: PB 27, PY 3, and PO 48. If you had Prussian Blue, Hansa Yellow, and Quinacridone Burnt Orange (the three pigments listed above) you could mix Sap Green yourself.
But, let’s say you’re painting a large image and you need a lot of Sap Green. It’s more convenient and consistent to use a pre-mixed version.
So why did I choose single pigment colors? Well in my mind, and I could totally be off base, I thought it would be easier to produce clean colors by mixing single pigment colors.
In other words, I thought I would be more likely to make mud by mixing multi-pigment colors.
Daniel Smith watercolor is known for its granulation properties. Granulation is when the watercolor pigment settles unevenly on the paper creating texture.
Typically watercolor with large particles exhibit granulation. The Daniel Smith Primateck line is a good example as the paint is made from ground stones. Finely milled watercolor, such as Quinacridone and Phthalo paints, do not granulate.
In my eyes, granulation is special and I love the organic texture it creates without any effort on my part.
Daniel Smith Dot Cards
So that’s how I picked my colors. I figured out what was important to me and sat down with the Daniel Smith Watercolor brochure and picked the colors that appealed to me and met my requirements.
I did a pretty good job of choosing colors but there are a few I could have done without. Such as Cobalt Violet, Raw Umber, and Quinacridone Pink. Don’t get me wrong, Quinacridone Pink is beautiful, but it’s too close to Quinacridone Rose which I prefer. I replaced Raw Umber with Raw Umber Violet and Transparent Red Oxide.
So what I’d recommend you do is purchase the full set of Daniel Smith Dot Cards. You get a sample of every Daniel Smith watercolor paint. There is more than enough to paint images, it’s not just for swatching. This way you can test how the paint rewets and performs before purchase.
It’s totally worth the $22 investment upfront to ensure you don’t waste money on watercolor that doesn’t work for you.
Paint With Me | Balloon Flower
Part 3 of this series is up next. In the last episode featuring Daniel Smith Phthalo Turquoise I show you how to sketch a balloon flower and paint it with the watercolors we mixed today.
I’m new to sketching flowers and learned a few things with this exercise. So make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss the next video.
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