Da Vinci Complete Dot Cards Part 1: Yellows & Oranges

When I originally swatched Da Vinci, the only dot card they offered was a tiny one with just 24 of their 100+ colors. They finally released a full dot card set of all their colors, so naturally I jumped on it, as Da Vinci is one of my favorite lines!

The 110 colors come in a set of five 24-well clamshell boxes.

Da Vinci dot card set

Just like the 24-color set, the dots are very generous – you could do a whole painting with one, and I did multiple swatches instead of the barely-one I could do with the DS and WN dot cards. 

Da Vinci yellow, orange, and red dot card

I ended up going a bit deeper in this dot card exploration than in previous dot card posts – because I have a pretty solid paint library already, I was able to compare several of the colors in the same light to colors I already have in order to make comparisons on-the-fly. So, I’ll be breaking this out into several posts to be able to give each one more attention.

First up: Yellows and oranges!


Da Vinci Dot Card – Yellows

Top Row:

  1. Nickel Titanate Yellow (PY53)
  2. Cadmium Yellow Lemon (PY35)
  3. Hansa Yellow Light (PY3)
  4. Aureolin – (PY40, PY3)
  5. Da Vinci Yellow (PY154)

Bottom Row:

  1. Arylide Yellow (PY97)
  2. Cadmium Yellow Light (PY35)
  3. Hansa Yellow Medium (PY74)
  4. Cadmium Yellow Medium (PY35)
  5. Gamboge (PY3, PY42)

Cool Yellows

The boldest cool yellows are Cadmium Yellow Lemon and Hansa Yellow Light; I think they look equally bright, with the Hansa being perhaps slightly even more bright! The Hansa Yellow Light is already part of my regular library.

Middle Yellows

Da Vinci Yellow and Arylide Yellow both made good middle, primary yellows. They are very similar. DV Yellow is maybe a skosh cooler. Arylide Yellow is the equivalent of DS Hansa Yellow Medium, and Da Vinci Yellow is the equivalent of WN Winsor Yellow or SH Pure Yellow. In fact, I compared it against those other two PY154s:

PY154 comparison: Da Vinci Yellow, Winsor Yellow, SH Pure Yellow

They look pretty similar to me. Winsor Yellow was harder to rewet and to get smooth, and the SH Pure Yellow moved too quickly (and gives me trouble with cauliflowering sometimes), so I think the DV Yellow would be my pick for PY154.

Deep Yellows

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but I found Hansa Yellow Medium (PY74) to be noticeably warmer and bolder than Arylide Yellow; more of a dandelion yellow than a primary yellow. It is sort of in between a primary and an orangey-yellow.

The Gamboge is also interesting; it’s a mix of Hansa Yellow Light and Yellow Ochre, and ends up in a nice middle yellow/orange type of color, brighter than I would think from an ochre-based paint. It is still less orangey than the Hansa Yellow Deeps I’ll explore on the Orange page, and is a bit less bold than the Cadmium Yellow Medium.

I chose to compare both of these colors against some other deep yellows I had in my collection.

Comparison of DV Hansa Yellow Medium (PY74); DV Gamboge (PY3/PY42); Letter Sparrow Sunflower (PY74); Holbein Permanent Yellow Deep (PY74/83)

Under the Hansa Yellow Medium is another PY74 – Letter Sparrow’s Sunflower. I found this one noticeably bolder and deeper-ranged, and it was also easier to rewet.

Under Gamboge on the left is Holbein’s Permanent Yellow Deep (PY74, PY83). This one is quite a bit oranger, though still less orange than a Hansa Yellow Deep.

Out of these, I think the Holbein is my favorite. I like its more orangey hue and boldness. Letter Sparrow Sunflower remains my favorite single pigment PY74. DV Hansa Yellow Medium is fine, but if I want a more primary yellow I will probably go with DV Yellow and if I want a more orangey, “Indian yellow” type yellow I will probably go with the Holbein or something even orangey.

Speaking of orange…


Da Vinci Dot Card – Oranges

Top row:

  1. Hansa Yellow Deep (PY65)
  2. Arylide Yellow Deep (PY65)
  3. Cadmium Yellow Deep (PY35, PO20)
  4. Soulshine (PO62, PY97)
  5. Benzimida Orange (PO62)

Bottom row:

  1. Cadmium Orange (PO20)
  2. Da Vinci Orange (PO73)
  3. Benzimida Orange Deep (PO36)
  4. Vermilion (PR188, PO62)
  5. Bright Red (PR188, PY65)

Deep Yellows

I’m gonna be honest with you: the top row pretty much looks the same. Okay, Benzimida Orange is different – a more “middle orange” – but the first four are extremely similar yellow-oranges. They are all noticeably more orange than Gamboge from the previous page, but hard to tell apart from each other.

Hansa Yellow Deep and Arylide Yellow Deep are even made from the same single pigment, PY65, so I have no idea what’s supposed to be different about them. I made larger swatches and compared them to the DS Hansa Yellow Deep from my library, and I’m still unsure.

PY65 comparison: DV Hansa Yellow Deep vs DV Arylide Yellow Deep vs DS Hansa Yellow Deep

They’re… remarkably similar. The DS is maybe a bit deeper with more range (or easier to rewet, which amounts to the same thing in practical terms). The DS also seems slightly yellower. But this is grasping at straws. The differences are almost imperceptible.

Benzimida Orange

I compared the Benzimida Orange with the PO62 in my library, Winsor Orange.

PO62 comparison: DV Benzimida Orange vs Winsor Orange

They looks about the same; possibly DV Orange is slightly more orangey (less yellow) and a little darker. For that reason I would slightly give DV the edge here, but again, it’s a miniscule difference.


DV Orange is the same pigment as Winsor Orange (Red Shade).

PO73 comparison: Da Vinci Orange vs Winsor Orange Red Shade

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but I found the WORS to be a bit redder,toned, and the DV Orange to be a bit more of a middle orange. But they’re exceedingly similar.

I’ve never tried another PO36, but I’m not really tempted as I didn’t find it a nice paintout.

The scarlet/vermilion hues here are mixes with PR188, which I think is a more versatile paint; I’ll showcase that one with the reds, in my next post!

Shopping List

Already in my library:

  • Hansa Yellow Light


  • Da Vinci Yellow (undecided if I want a ‘cool/warm yellow split’ palette or a ‘primary yellow’ palette, this would be for the latter)
  • Hansa Yellow Deep (undecided if I want to switch from PY110)
  • Benzimida Orange and DV Orange (both nice versions of their respective paints, but I’m not convinced these are colors I need)

Next time I’ll check out the reds!

3 thoughts on “Da Vinci Complete Dot Cards Part 1: Yellows & Oranges”

  1. I had been thinking about picking up their dot card set but seeing how generous they are has convinced me. Also laughing about that untouched buff titanium dot

  2. This is great! I love detailed swatching with comparisons to put it in context.
    Amused by how you ignore the Cadmiums, but I guess that’s your non-toxic preference speaking.

    No surprises in the yellows (although in my swatches the Schmincke PY154 was the most intense) but, hmm, PO62, what an unattractive (to me) color. While PO36 looks attractively weird.

    One small note: I believe that PY83 (as seen in the Holbein) is noticeably fugitive, sigh. Kim Crick has a lot of examples of it fading in different mixes.

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