Friday, 12 October 2018

Watercolour Dot Cards

A few years ago Daniel Smith introduced these dot cards. At least I think they were the first. Since then they have proliferated. Winsor & Newton then offered  a few, I think with some special edition sets and also a basic primary colour set with currently a six dot card from Jacksons at 20p. Schmincke now offer the whole range or - like Daniel Smith - a reduced number at a lower price. There may now be some other dot cards from other makers but I have no current details.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith


This is how Jane Blundell paints out the dot cards. I think her method is best.

Prior to this the options were and still are printed colour charts which are usually free or hand painted charts, often hard to find and quite expensive.

Prices of the dot cards vary. With Daniel Smiths huge range the full 238 set costs £21.00 at current jacksons prices. They also do a 66 one for £7.50. The full 140 colour Schmincke costs £14.60 and the 80 one £9.10.

Daler Rowney Hand Painted Chart

Holbein Hand Painted Chart

Maimeri Hand Painted Chart

I also have a Winsor & Newton hand painted chart. What do I think of them? They are undoubtedly useful, especially if you major on one brand. The snag I find is that the paints are applied very evenly. This may seem an odd thing to say but with my - admittedly - less than perfect methods getting a similar result is very difficult and do you actually want them to be this bland? Jacksons also list hand-painted charts from Rembrandt - no current price. Shin Han at £34.00 and - surprisingly - Cotman at £11.20. I  believe Old Holland also do one but no details.

All makers tend to offer printed colour charts for free. My preference would be for these charts followed by the dot cards. You may feel differently.


indianagreg said...

Hi Peter,

Here in the USA I've had success by politely requesting hand-painted cards from WN USA; I told them I appreciate their products and have used them for years (honestly). While I haven't requested the chart often (twice in 20 years), they have kindly sent me a new one when asked.

HanaB said...

Hi Peter! I just took a short workshop with Iain Stewart, and he had Daniel smith cards of just “his” colors...he was able to give them out to the workshop group. He said he likes to use them sometimes as a super lightweight palette....he said his interest in painting in his sketchbooks has increased, and appreciates a super lightweight setup. Of course, his sketchbooks have many frame- and show- worthy results themselves... he said he’s met the person art DS who puts the dots on the cards....(no mechanical means to create them, it’s all hand-dotted, apparently).

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for comments both.