I'm absolutely thrilled to announce exciting news regarding Da Vinci Paint Company! In addition to Da Vinci's 15ml and 37ml watercolor tube sizes, Da Vinci plans to offer convenience-sized 8ml tubes that are useful for sampling, testing, and painting.
But that's not all... To celebrate the upcoming launch of DV's 8ml tubes, Charlie O'Shields of Doodlewash partnered with Da Vinci to create a truly unique project. Charlie invited two artists to join him in putting together a three-color Da Vinci palette, and I'm extremely honored to announce that one of the Trio palettes was designed by yours truly!
If you've been at SJ for a while, you already know that I'm a HUGE fan of Da Vinci's watercolors. I have loved these paints from the first moment I tried them and they have completely taken over my palette.
I had a blast trying out Da Vinci's 8ml colors, but limiting myself to only three was hard. However, I'm very happy with the colors I've chosen, and every painting in this post was completed using only the colors in my Trio.
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Trio Project Q&A
If you're new to SJ, I want to welcome you and introduce myself. My name is Tonya and I began this website a little more than two years ago to chronicle my stumbling, fumbling artistic journey.
My goal is to encourage and inspire others to pursue their own creative journey and to have a blast along the way. Below, you can learn more about me and Da Vinci paints.
What do you like about Da Vinci watercolors?
If I could pick one word to describe Da Vinci watercolors, it would be compliant. I mentioned this in my review, but these paints read my mind. They flow, move, and stay exactly where I want them and behave beautifully on all types of papers. The colors are brilliantly saturated yet soft. The color range is exquisite. Yeah, I love these paints.
I also like that Da Vinci is a small, independently owned company. The founder's grandson still makes all of their paints at their headquarters here in the U.S.
Why do you paint?
I began painting to escape. My family and I were going through a very difficult trial, and I thought that tackling an insane feat was a good distraction. However, soon painting became just the opposite. The more I studied the world around me and tried to capture it on paper, the more emotionally and physically involved I became in it.
Painting opened my eyes, so to speak, and through art I began to recognize the true beauty of this world. Instead of an escape, painting became an avenue to discovery that greatly aided my progress and healing.
What do you enjoy doing besides painting?
Oh my, I have a ridiculous number of hobbies. My husband and I have been married for more than 20 years and we have two teenagers, so my favorite activity is to have fun with my family. We enjoy traveling, exploring, scouting out good food, and planning popcorn and movie nights.
But if it involves nature, I'm all in! I'm a layman field biologist, mycologist, and ornithologist. (Yes, I'm a total nerd and own binoculars, several magnifying glasses, and a microscope.) I love to hike, garden, and search for salamanders under logs and in creeks. I like nearly any outdoor activity except sports. Please don't make me run unless it's from bears.
Favorite Things Trio
Banana popsicles on a hot summer's day, waking up to snow in the winter, and walking in the woods any day of the year.
Bucket List Trio
I've always wanted to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and see the aurora borealis. But in all honesty, just being able to watch my children and future grandchildren grow to adulthood would be the greatest gift!
Tonya's Nature Trio Palette
When I was graciously invited to participate in the Da Vinci Trio project, I really viewed it as a trio challenge—albeit a fun one! The most limited palette I have ever developed is a 4-color palette, and though I was excited by the idea of developing a 3-color palette, I also knew that I needed colors with serious mixing capabilities that could also mimic the natural scenes and subjects that I love to paint.
My final choices for my Tonya's Trio fulfilled all my wishes. Like any highly limited palette, there's no way to have every color under the sun, but I was extremely pleased with each color's performance and how they worked together.
Alizarin Crimson (PV19)
I've painted with Alizarin Crimson in the past, but never one like Da Vinci's! Their version is made from PV19, one of my favorite pigments, and this transparent color is a joy to use. Not only is it a gorgeous standalone color but it's also an excellent mixer—a wonderfully rare combo.
It has a warm strength that never feels heavy, yet regardless of its warmth, it mixes a startling range of purples and violets. It also produces beautiful darks and neutrals when combined with green, which is a huge plus in any palette.
Hooker's Green Light (PG7/PY42)
I first discovered Hooker's Green Light when I tried out Da Vinci's sample set and I was hooked! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) When painting objects and scenes in nature, having a convenience green in my palette saves loads of time.
HGL is a gorgeous stand-alone green yet it's also an excellent mixer, and it even showcases a slight bit of granulation. HGL easily switches from a warm to a cool green when hit with a touch of blue or creates a beautiful earth when combined with Alizarin Crimson. This turned out to be a dependable, solid choice for my Trio.
Ultramarine Green Shade (PB29)
A long time ago, a dear friend gave me a dot of Da Vinci's Ultramarine Green Shade (one of her favorite colors that we lovingly dubbed UGS) but I filed it away for a later date. When I was invited to put together a trio palette and saw that UGS was one of the colors that Da Vinci was producing in the 8ml size, I pulled out the sample and painted so much with it that it was gone in one night!
I find UGS softer and more natural than the normal, red-based Ultramarine Blue. It disperses beautifully on the page and adds loads of interest and texture to a painting. This unique blue combines with my other two picks to create a perfect trinity, and I can't believe it took me so long to discover this fantastic color!
A Trio of Artists
As I mentioned earlier, there are two more awesome artists that have put together some pretty fantastic and unique Da Vinci Watercolor Trios. I'm honored to be included in their company and can't wait to try out their suggestions. Click on the links below to learn about the other Trio artists and explore their Da Vinci picks.
Charlie's "Shiny" Trio Palette at Doodlewash
Charlie's generous nature and whimsical talent are well known in the artist community, and his Trio palette is very congruous to his fun personality. If you're familiar with Charlie's fun artwork, his "shiny" palette fits! I can't wait to try out Charlie's Trio.
Jennifer's "Juicy" Trio Palette at Just Add Water Silly
Jennifer's palette is clean, clear, and bright and includes three of DV's colors that are in my permanent palette! (Jenn, how did you read my mind!?) Her beautiful artwork is always inspirational, so I can't wait to play with Jenn's Trio.
Currently, the only way to get your hands on Da Vinci's 8ml tubes are through the special edition Trio sets. Click below to shop the Trios & create your own #DaVinciMoment!
Continue reading to learn all about my Nature Trio palette and for a chance to win a Nature Trio watercolor set!
Tonya's Nature Trio Mixes
Not only can this Trio palette handle misty mountain landscapes and vast woodland scenes, but you can see from the examples at this post that these colors can also be used to paint everything from ocean scenes to flowers. And like all Da Vinci watercolors, each color performs flawlessly on its own.
The beautiful neutrals, natural greens, and deep earths depicted in the Trio mixing wheel are what captivated me with this palette. Check out that violet red, bark brown, olive green, and deep teal! All of these are great nature and shadow colors.
The color in the center of the wheel is a perfect blend of all three colors that mix to produce a perfect gray, or when more saturated, a deep black.
In the chart below, you can see more of the range of colors and neutrals that are possible when mixing my Trio Palette colors.
Printable Resource: Tonya's Trio Palette Guide
If you're interested in learning more about the colors and pigments in my Nature Trio palette, I've created a 10-page downloadable reference guide that shares additional color information, extra swatches, printable mixing charts, and more.
- Bonus swatches for all of my Trio colors
- Information on each Trio color & pigment
- Tips for testing colors for a palette
- Instructions for creating a color wheel
- High resolution printable page of Trio mixes
- Turning the Trio into an 8-color palette with suggested additions
- And more!
This PDF guide is formatted to be easily printed on letter-sized (8.5x11-inch) paper & all of the proceeds help support my work at this site, so thanks!
Video: Nature Trio Palette Overview
Because it's hard to accurately portray colors on a computer screen, especially highly vibrant colors like many watercolors, I've also created a short video so you can view my Trio and their mixes in "real life," so to speak. I hope this helps showcase the beauty of these three amazing colors!
Tonya's Nature Trio Giveaway!
I'm giving one lucky reader a chance to win my Da Vinci Trio along with more amazing goodies! This awesome prize package includes:
- Tonya's Nature Trio set, of course!
- A generous 9x12-inch block of Hahnemühle Cezanne Matte (cold-pressed) watercolor paper, my chosen paper for the paintings in this post
- An awesome set of Wild Plein travel brushes
- A beautiful pen & brush rest handcrafted by my friend Aneta at Nature Sketches
- A nifty Scratchmade Journal bag so you can carry it all
How to enter:
This giveaway is open to legal residents of the U.S. age 18+ with a valid U.S. shipping address. Enter only once from April 16-30, 2018, using the Rafflecopter entry below. Just follow the prompts for each entry. (Complete giveaway rules & policies are located here.)
How to know if you've won:
A winner will be randomly chosen and notified via entry email within 24 hours after the giveaway ends. Winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.
I'm honored to have participated in the Trio project, and big thanks to Da Vinci, Hahnemühle, Wild Plein, and Nature Sketches for providing the giveaway items. I'm proud to support these folks simply because they make fantastic tools for artists to use. Scratchmade Journal is not sponsored or endorsed by any company. This website along with all opinions, viewpoints, and recommendations belong solely to me and are honest and true.