Prussian Blue (PB 27) is a cool (green-toned) blue with a classy subtlety. On a scale of Moody Emo Teen (Indanthrone Blue) to Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Phthalo Blue Green Shade), I would put Prussian Blue somewhere in the middle.
Made from PR101, Transparent Brown Oxide is a transparent, lightly granulating brown right down the middle, neither especially red, orange, or gray. A real brown’s brown. Tree bark and other landscape features spring to mind. This is the more brown cousin of Transparent Red Oxide, a burnt sienna/orange shade made from the same pigment.
Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) uses PB15:3, a green-toned variant of phthalocyanine blue PB15. (There is also a more middle blue variant, Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), which uses pigment PB15:1 or PB15:6. See my post, What’s the difference between Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) and Phthalo Blue (Red Shade)?)
Every major manufacturer offers some variant of this pigment, and mostly they share some characteristics, like being bright, bold, and highly staining. Daniel Smith’s version is even more bold than usual/than the rest of its line, so expect LOTS of color from this paint! It’s super-vibrant and actually kind of hard to mix because it has a tendency to overwhelm whatever mix it’s in.
For a person who claims not to like earth tones, I’ve sure been on an earth tone kick, but this one is worth it, I promise.
Phthalo Green (PG7) is a super vivid, deep, cool (blue-toned) green. To me, it feels like a glowing, hidden pond deep in the rainforest. It is incredibly bright; some folks find it “unnatural” so it may be most useful as a mixer than a natural landscape color.
(There’s another Phthalo Green – PG36 – which is more yellow-toned, that I’ll discuss in a future post.)
Like all the Phthalos, this green is extremely strong and staining. Some people don’t like that about it, and it does have a tendency to overwhelm mixes with weaker colors… but I love it! I’m lazy and I love a color that doesn’t make me work. I just have to make sure my palette is full of similarly vivid colors that can hold their own.
PO71 oranges are highly transparent and very vibrant oranges! The Daniel Smith version pictured here is more reddish than some of the others. That said, it should be noted that I bought the DS TPO in 2022, so it’s one of the newer iterations. I am told that the older version was even more red and a bit more muted and earthy.
One thing you’ll always read about Quinacridone Gold is that it used to be a single pigment, PO49, until 2017, when the supply of that pigment ran out altogether. Artists bemoan the loss of this pigment which, in retrospect, they imbue with almost magical properties. I’m too young in watercolor years to have tried it, but personally, I love the mixed Quin Gold hues that you can find now, so I’m happy!
After exploring lots of colors shallowly through Adventures in Daniel Smith Dot Cards, I thought I’d take some time to do deep-dives on selected colors: whether it’s because they’re my favorite, reliable, palette staples, or because they’re colors I want to investigate further and learn more about.
Today, we start with a palette staple and one of my first artist grade paints: Quinacridone Rose! This is the cool red/magenta shade from the Daniel Smith Essentials set (which I totally love and recommend as a starter kit if you’re looking to get started in artist grade paints).