REVIEW: Da Vinci Trio Sets – 8ml Watercolor Tubes

The number three is a magical number. And this is a story of threes. Three artists chose three of their favorite colors from Da Vinci Paints and turned them into a Da Vinci Trio, three sets of three colors each. These Da Vinci Trios were then used to introduce a new line of 8 ml watercolor tubes.

The three fantastic artists who chose the colors are Charlie O’Shields, Jennifer McLean, and Tonya Lee. I own many colors by Da Vinci Paint Co. I’ve even bought colors that I already own in other brands because I love the strong color and even consistency. They’re wonderful to use right from the tube, but re-wet easily and dry to a nice consistency in a pan – not too wet, not too dry.

Each Da Vinci Trio set comes with a chart of the colors and the mixes you can achieve as well as a little bit about the artist that chose the colors.

The charts are good to have, but I always like to try mixing colors on my own, and I prefer to do this by actually painting something. I call it noodling, because I don’t get serious. I just play with the colors without worrying about technique.

To show you what you can do with these trios, for each one, I made a video of my noodling, a painting with the neutral mixes, and then a full out painting where I tried putting the colors (and myself) through their paces. Even though each artist chose the trios with a specific theme in mind, I wanted to show their flexibility as well.

So, let’s get started…

Charlie’s “Shiny” Da Vinci Trio

The colors in Charlie’s Trio are:

These are all single pigment colors which means you’ll be less likely to get muddy mixes. The surprise for me, in this trio, was Nickel Azo Yellow. Ugly out of the tube, it becomes a beautiful clear yellow when you paint on paper. Who knew that paints came in ugly ducklings?

Noodling Around

The minute I saw that chart, Charlie’s ‘shiny’ colors screamed Steampunk! at me. No. Make that ShinyPunk!

Playing with the Neutrals

Animals are a good way to trot out the neutrals, so I painted this Polish Draft Horse.

Charlie's Shiny Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Really Cutting Loose

For my full painting, I wanted to capture light. This trio gave me a Portal to the Imagination.

Charlie's Shiny Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Jennifer’s “Juicy” Da Vinci Trio

The colors in Jenn’s Trio are:

Another set of single pigment colors, all of which are highly transparent and staining. The surprise for me, in this trio, came from mixing Red Rose Deep and Phthalo Green. I expected brownish grays. Instead I got lovely purple grays.

Noodling Around

Jennifer’s trio brought florals to my mind. A rose is a rose is a rose, so of course that’s what I painted. 

Jennifer's Juicy Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Playing with the Neutrals

Such bright colors, but ah! Those lovely purple-grays. I used this trio to paint a Percheron horse.

Jennifer's Juicy Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Really Cutting Loose

With this full painting I wanted to capture transparency. This trio gave me some Wild Peaches, and an array of yellows, oranges and pinks.  Though I didn’t use them here, it’s equally easy to mix purples, greens and grays.

Jennifer's Juicy Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Tonya’s “Nature” Da Vinci Trio

The colors in Tonya’s Trio are:

This trio is great for deep, rich darks. It’s a convenience set that lets you capture the atmosphere of a scene quickly. The surprise for me with this trio was the way I could capture light.

Noodling Around

When most people see the rich greens you can mix with this trio, they think of landscapes, but me… I’m thinking Raptors, Dragons and Crocodiles!

Tonya's Nature Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Playing with the Neutrals

You can mix some truly dark neutrals with this set, so I painted this handsome black Shire horse.

Tonya's Nature Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Really Cutting Loose

With this full painting I wanted to capture dark and light. This trio gave me a Morning Glory.

Tonya's Nature Da Vinci Trio Example Watercolor by Sandra Strait

Overall

The new 8 ml tubes from Da Vinci are a handy, economical size that come in trio sets and are currently exclusively available on the Da Vinci Paint Co. website. Though each artist chose their favorite colors with specific subjects in mind, the colors are flexible enough to paint a wide range of subjects.

My Tools

Da Vinci Trio 8 ml watercolors Hahnemühle Bamboo Princeton Snap

 Da Vinci 8 ml watercolors / Hahnemühle Mixed Media Bamboo paper, Watercolour Postcards & William Turner Cold-Pressed Watercolour paper (not shown) / Princeton Snap Brush Size 6, Princeton Neptune Quill Size 4 (not shown) and Zebra Pen PM-701 Permanent Marker.

Learn More about this project and these artists by visiting this article: Introducing Da Vinci Watercolor Trios.

Disclaimer

I purchased all three of the Da Vinci trios with my own money. I received no considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews

I’m a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I’m a little bit crazy, but doesn’t that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways three times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

18 Comments
  1. Yvonne Reeder 5 months ago

    Oh my word Sandra – you’re amazing! I love every piece you created throughout the entire process. Naturally, the flowers are my favourite. 😍❤️😍

    Those baby palettes – love!!! Where did you find them, please?

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 5 months ago

      Thank you, Yvonne! Are you asking about the little dishes? They are plastic dishes from a condiment set I picked up for a dollar at BiMart. They’ve come in so handy.

  2. Jennifer McLean 5 months ago

    What a fantastic review Sandra. You made my trio look awesome. That rose and your beautiful horse show just how versatile that paint it. Every single piece is beautiful. Thank you my friend!

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 5 months ago

      My pleasure, Jennifer! Thank you for choosing such lovely colors!

  3. Laura Hale 5 months ago

    Great review and wonderful art. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Sharon Nolfi 5 months ago

    Amazing review, videos, paintings! Thanks for showing us all what these colors can do.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 5 months ago

      Thank you, Sharon! I had a terrific time doing these.

  5. Sandra Gilbert 5 months ago

    Those 3 sets are at the top of my wish list Just beautiful

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 5 months ago

      Thank you! You can do some truly wonderful things with these sets!

  6. Jean Marmo 5 months ago

    Simply wonderful works!! You inspire me every day!

  7. Jill Gustavis 5 months ago

    Your method of testing the color mixes of the paints is marvelous. Thanks for doing such an informative review! I love the horses, and well, the rest of your paintings too! lol

  8. Susan cuss 5 months ago

    Love your review of the Trios! I liked that you created neutrals as well as full-out colourful paintings. Noodling around shows so much. You know I’m a fan of your art-loved all your wonderful paintings!

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 5 months ago

      Thank you, Susan! I’m glad you enjoyed the noodling!

  9. dena770 5 months ago

    Love your review, my favorite the Peaches! Beautiful

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