Color Spotlight: Lavender

Daniel Smith – Lavender (PV15, PB29, PW6)

Like most commercial Lavender mixes, Daniel Smith’s Lavender is a mix of Titanium White (PW6), Ultramarine Violet (PV15), and Ultramarine Blue (PB29). This is a convenience mix; you can mix it yourself if you have the components, although my personal mix didn’t granulate as much as DS’s premixed one.

Lavender can be used as a sky color on its own or as a component in a bright/light sky blue (for example, with Phthalo Blue or Phthalo Turquoise). I can also imagine it being a convenient mix for hazy, distant mountains, flowers, snow, and shadows.

Experiment Results

  • Light, pastel violet-blue hue
  • Granulating
  • Opaque

Color Mix observations:

  • Nice lilacs with Quin Red and Quin Rose
  • Granulating cerulean hues when mixed with blues such as Phthalo Blue
  • Not too shabby Cobalt Turquoise hue with Phthalo Green (PG7)
  • Kind of a Potter’s Pink hue with Deep Scarlet

What Others Say

I haven’t found many good quotes explaining the use of lavender, but I’ve noticed several artists who have it in their palette.

  • While I can’t find a good quote, Jay Nathan must like this color, because of the Holbein version is one of nine colors in his palette.
  • Liz Steel temporarily added DS Lavender to her palette in 2019, but in the only reference I found, she was asking the commenters how to use it. I have observed that she currently uses lavender for shadows in her watercolor marker set, but not in watercolors.
  • Said to be used by Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castegnet.
  • Nikki Frumkin had it in an eight-color Daniel Smith palette through Art Toolkit.


I was pleasantly surprised by this color. I was gifted a pan in a trade with another artist; I’d never gotten around to buying it myself because I’ve been disappointed before by pastel mixes with white (“I could mix this myself” and “its so chalky and opaque…”) But this mix has a level of granulation that is hard to match with DIY mixes. It also mixes nicely with my other colors, especially the transparent smooth colors I tend to favor; it is a nice shortcut to granulating hues, particularly handy for making bright, pretty Cerulean and Cobalt Turquoise hues without any toxic cobalt pigments. In high concentrations or with dark colors, it can appear chalky, but looks nicely clear and bright when you use a light touch or mix with lighter/brighter colors.

This would be a nice convenience entry for a pastel/spring palette.