Da Vinci Complete Dot Cards Part 2: Reds & Purples

I’ve been going through the complete, 110-color range of Da Vinci from their dot cards.

Da Vinci Dot Cards – pinks and purples

Last time I looked at yellow and orange; this time, I’ll look at reds, including warm scarlet reds and cool magentas.

Warm Red/Scarlet

Da Vinci Dot Cards: Scarlet Reds

Top Row:

  1. Cadmium Scarlet (PR108)
  2. Cadmium Red Light (PR108)
  3. Permanent Red (PR188)
  4. Cadmium Red Medium (PR108)
  5. Cadmium Red Deep (PR108)

Bottom Row:

  1. Da Vinci Red (PR254)
  2. Rose Dore (PV19, PR188)
  3. Naphthol Red (PR170)
  4. Quinacridone Red (PR209)
  5. Alizarin Gold (PR177, PY42)


Most of these are variations on Cadmium Red (PR108), which I have never tried extensively. I’ve just never really been interested in cadmium colors. They’re bright, which I like, but they’re opaque, which has never really appealed, and I guess I didn’t see the point of getting attached to toxic pigments that seemed like they were on their way out (I suppose only Daniel Smith seems to have really sworn off them, but that’s the brand I started with). I don’t have a consistent stand on paint toxicity, though, since I use cobalt colors.

Permanent Red (PR188) intrigued me, especially since it is used in so many of Da Vinci’s commercial mixes here. Here’s a side-by-side comparison to the same pigment in Winsor & Newton’s line, Scarlet Lake.

PR188 comparison: Da Vinci Permanent Red vs Winsor & Newton Scarlet Lake

The DV color is slightly more warm/orangey.

I still had some paint left over, and I was interested in how the paint mixed, so I made a full paintout.

Da Vinci – Permanent Red (PR188)

I was especially interested in the mixes with blue. By comparison, Scarlet Lake tends to make dull purples (and Quin Coral vibrant purples), while Pyrrol Scarlet tends to mute blues. Permanent Red seems to split the difference, making muted purples with warm blues like Ultramarine and Cobalt, but muting green-blues like Phthalo Blue.


Let’s take a quick detour to the bottom row to pull in Quin Red (PR209), the equivalent of DS Quin Coral. This is a favorite color of mine.

PR209 comparison: DV Quin Red; DS Quin Coral; Holbein Quin Scarlet

DV and Holbein are on the cooler/pinker side, compared to DS, which is a bit warmer/oranger than the other brands. This color can tend to be streaky – both DS and Holbein had problems with that- but the DV Quin Red grades very smoothly.

Middle Red

Middle red in general is not my favorite palette color since I think scarlet and magenta mix more nicely on the orange and purple sides of the spectrum, respectively; really “reddy” reds don’t make vivid purples or vivid oranges, so what’s the point of them? But some people really like the more muted mixes they make, and they are good for you know painting red things.

I’m not too interested in Rose Dore or Alizarin Gold, both of which seem easy to mix on my own. Alizarin Gold uses PR177 which is not lightfast but any other red would do fine.

Naphthol Red is a nice hue but looks a lot like Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone (which we’ll see coming up), but is worse in every way (more opaque, less lightfast).

Da Vinci Red is a standout – a nice, bold version of the Pyrrol Red pigment PR254. I would go for this one if I wanted a middle red. I previously compared the DV to other brands’ PR254 in an Oto Kano Patron dot card, and I think it fared well against the competition.

Pyrrol Red (PR254) dot card paintout

Cool Red/Magenta

Da Vinci Dot Cards – Magenta

Top Row:

  1. Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone (PV19)
  2. Carmine (PV19)
  3. Perylene Maroon (PR179)
  4. Red Rose Deep (PV19)
  5. Permanent Rose (PV19)

Bottom Row:

  1. Rose Madder (PV19, PR188)
  2. Opus (PR122, red dye)
  3. Quinacridone Fuchsia (PR202)
  4. Thoindigo Violet (PR188, PV19)
  5. Quinacridone Violet (PV19)


We start with Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone (PV19). This is one I have in my library and am quite familiar with. It’s close to a middle red, with pinky undertones. This could arguably have been in the previous category, but I do think it behaves differently from a middle red, mixing more like a slightly muted rose. I like this color because it mixes in a way I can predict and also reads like red in context, but it’s so close to the quin rose category that I don’t find it absolutely necessary.

Carmine hue is usually made nowadays with PR176; considering this is the same pigment as most of the other paints here and it’s a similar hue to ACQ but worse to paint out, this is one I can miss.

I tried to like Perylene Maroon but find the drying shift killer. I love how it looks wet, but dry it’s just so blah.

Quin Rose

Red Rose Deep is my favorite Quin Rose! I use this one in almost all my palettes.

Permanent Rose is very similar, but slightly cooler, and constrained in range to just to middle pinks; it feels like Red Rose Deep with one hand behind its back.

Rose Madder is also nearly identical to RRD, just slightly warmer (due to the mix of PR188, which honestly doesn’t seem to make a big difference).

Here’s a combination of three DV PV19’s – Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone, Red Rose Deep, and Permanent Rose – with a DS, Quinacridone Rose.

PV19 comparison: DV Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone; DV Red Rose Deep; DV Permanent Rose. Bottom: DS Quin Rose.

DS Quin Rose is more blue-toned than all of them. I also found the DS Quin Rose oddly streaky, something I don’t remember from previous times I’ve painted with it, but it’s been awhile. The Da Vinci paints were all a bit better behaved.


Like all Opera Pinks, Da Vinci Opus is really bright compared to other colors, though on the scale of Opera Pinks it’s somewhat muted. For example, look at it compared to the brightest one I know, which is Mission Gold’s Brilliant Opera.

Opera comparison: Da Vinci Opus vs Mission Gold Brilliant Opera

I initially dismissed this, saying, “if you don’t want it max bright, there’s no point in having Opera.” But actually since using this in my Spring Palette I have found it very nice and more usable than other Opera Pinks. It still gives a bright boost to florals but without looking totally out of place with other colors. Plus, somewhat unusually for an Opera Pink, it doesn’t have a toxicity warning. Still, like all opera pinks, it’s fugitive, so don’t use it in artworks you want to last the ages.

Quin Fuchsia

Quin Fuchsia is a significantly muted magenta. It has a similar palette role to Quin Violet, but mixes more like a magenta. I don’t find this to be an especially useful pigment.

PR202 comparison: Da Vinci Quin Fuchsia vs Daniel Smith Quin Magenta

Compared to my Daniel Smith PR202 (one of two they offer), I found the DV Quin Fuchsia to be a bit rosier and weaker, and it has a fair amount of texture (not quite granulation) that I wasn’t wild about.

Quin Violet

The label of the dot card says that Thoindigo Violet says it’s made from a combination of PV19 and PR188, but the website says PR88 – which is the pigment known as Thoindigo Violet. It’s unclear if they moved from PR88 to PR188 or if this is a typo on the dot card label (it wouldn’t be the first one I’ve encountered). At any rate, it seems to be mostly PV19, since it’s nearly identical to Quin Violet (PV19).

Here’s a comparison with similar colors from Daniel Smith:

PV19 violet comparison. Top row: Da Vinci Quin Violet; Da Vinci Thoindigo Violet. Bottom row: Daniel Smith Quin Violet; Daniel Smith Bordeaux (PV32).

The DS Quin Violet is much warmer/more magenta than the more purpley shade from Da Vinci. In both cases, the same-brand colors are more similar than their cross-brand counterparts. If I recall correctly the DV hue is pretty similar to the Winsor & Newton Permanent Magenta. I find these ones a bit more blue-y than I would like for mixing.


As I will need to give blues my full attention next time, I decided to quickly dispense with purple. This is not my favorite palette category. Although I like purple as a color, I find them easy to mix and don’t like most of the single pigment ones.

Da Vinci Dot Cards – Purple

Top Row:

  1. Cobalt Violet (PV15)
  2. Cobalt Violet Deep (PV15, PB28)
  3. Lilac (PV19, PB29, PW6)
  4. Lavender (PV15, PW6)
  5. Joyce’s Mother Violet (PB33, PB15, PV19)

Bottom Row:

  1. Permanent Magenta (PV19, PB29)
  2. Mauve (PB29, PV19)
  3. Ultramarine Violet (PV15)
  4. Da Vinci Violet (PV23)
  5. Artemis (PG18, PB29, PR177)

Light Purples

The first four colors here would be a lovely bouquet. I don’t find any of them essential. Cobalt Violet is an unusual pigment and nothing quite looks like this lovely pink, but it’s so weak that it doesn’t go with my other paints. The Deep version adds Cobalt Blue and only slightly deepens the hue and strength. Lilac and Lavender are easy mixes with white.

Dropping down to the bottom row, both Permanent Magenta and Mauve are easy mixes with a Quin Rose and an Ultramarine Blue, both of which I always have on my palette.

Ultramarine Violet (PV15) is worthwhile in Da Vinci’s line, but it’s another super-weak pigment that doesn’t really go with my others.

Dark Purples

Joyce’s Mother Violet is an interesting mix involving Manganese Blue (PB33). I like it, though I think it’s pretty easy to get a similar mix Ultramarine and Quin Magenta so it doesn’t really tempt me.

Da Vinci Violet is a pretty standard dioxazine violet. (The dot card mislabels this as PV15 but it is clearly PV23; the website has it correct.) I have tried this one before and found it kind of sticky, but I like the hue.

PV23 comparison: Da Vinci Violet vs Winsor Violet

It’s very similar to Winsor Violet. I found the DV maybe a bit easier to control in terms of strength and value.

Artemis is DV’s answer to DS Moonglow, and it’s made from the exact same mix, down to the marginally lightfast PR177. This is a contender for a self-mix with Viridian, Ultramarine, and any middle red.

Shopping List

I already have (and love);

  • Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone
  • Red Rose Deep

I’m considering:

  • Permanent Red (PR188) is a reasonable alternative to WN Scarlet Lake or DS Pyrrol Scarlet
  • Da Vinci Red (PR254) is a good example of the pigment but not sure I need this slot
  • Quinacridone Red (PR209) is a reasonable alternative to Quin Coral

Next time, blues!