I’ve just launched a brand new Da Vinci Trio that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I do! (please read on for my marble mixes using these colors as well as lots of sample paintings). Da Vinci Trios are those awesome little artist-curated sets with three 8ml watercolor tubes and mixing suggestions that first launched in April 2018.
My new Da Vinci Trio is called the “Vintage” trio because mixing these colors took me back to my childhood during the 70’s with faded blue jeans, greens and golds, along with pops of orange and brown. Yeah, I contemplated calling it “That 70’s Trio,” but vintage works just fine as well, since it’s not really limited to a decade. But, for me at least, it created a trip down memory lane and the start of a wonderful journey to embark upon.
If you did happen to be around during the 70’s, you’ll no doubt remember those shiny kitchen appliances that actually came in a few colors, but two of the most popular colors were Harvest Gold and Avocado Green. These would be nestled into place and surrounded by deep brown wood cabinetry. Yep, even the Tupperware containers were made to match! It was, perhaps, a bit overkill in a single kitchen, but as a palette, I find using Harvest Gold and Avocado green to be really quite lovely. It works just wonderfully for memories of miniature golf or, as it turns out, it’s pretty perfect for painting actual avocados.
If you’d like to learn more about Da Vinci Trios, please be sure to check out the initial launch post here, or if you’d like to learn more about Da Vinci Watercolors, be sure to read Jessica’s full review here! Read on to learn all about my new trio!
Charlie’s “Vintage” Da Vinci Trio
SO, what are these three wonderful colors that created such fun and nostalgia for me in creating my Vintage Trio? A lovely mix of Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo! When I was deciding on what trio to create, I mixed these colors on a whim and was immediately hooked.
This lovely and light yellow is beautiful on its own and creates a nice glow as an underpainting in a light wash. It’s great to add a bit of pop to citrus fruits or to mix with other colors, which is primarily how I use it. Despite its lighter color, there’s a richness and intensity there so a little can go a very long way. With just the tiniest drop of Indigo, you can get a lovely and bright green that almost glows or you can add a bit more to get an earthy shade of green. Similarly, a tiny drop of Vermilion can create a fiery orange glow.
This color is definitely one of my new favorites. In lighter washes, it’s a lovely orange shade, but used with very little water or built up with several washes, you can get a beautiful red that can look even redder based on the colors with which you surround it (check out those tomatoes below!) Though this and Indigo won’t combine to give you purple, you will get a gorgeous chocolatey brown that already has a reddish tint to make those food sketches of chocolate treats look even more appetizing.
As an illustrator, I immediately fell in love with this deep and rich blue. It’s a wonderful way to quickly add dark contrast to my sketches, while doing so with a hue to keep things from looking too dull. It’s become my a new favorite as well and you’ll find it making an appearance in most of my daily sketches. If you follow daily illustrations, you’ll notice that I like things to look extra bright and happy. In order to achieve those effects, it’s actually the darker tones that make the paper white and lighter colors really pop. So this moody blue is totally perfect for elevating the mood a bit and creating that bright level of contrast.
My Marble Mixing Chart
Here’s a few of my marble mixes you can get from this “Vintage” trio. As I mentioned in my first trio post, my inner child doesn’t like to make swatches, so I always make marbles instead. Because of the quick style in which I paint, often without letting every layer dry completely, these marbles are a bit more accurate to how I actually mix color.
Also, as before, this isn’t a triad, so you won’t be able to get a bright purple from this mix, but you can get just about every single color that was popular when I was a little kid in the 70’s, so that’s why I called this one “Vintage,” which yes, also makes me feel old, but thankfully not old enough to qualify for “antique” yet. Though this trio works quite well when painting them.
These are not shy colors, so it often takes only the tiniest drop of another color in this palette to transform them. Or a perfectly balanced combo of two of them to get a specific color for a mix. Here’s an example with Aureolin and Indigo. Note, how just a drop of Indigo in Aureolin creates a very bright, almost acid green, while just a drop more quickly moves it to a calmer, forest green. While an equal blend makes for a faded green that I find rather pretty.
When it comes to Neutrals and this palette, you can actually get a gorgeous grey from a delicately balanced combo of Vermilion and Indigo. Adding extra of either color will bring you to the deep blue blacks and deep rich browns that are quite lovely in this mix. And mixing all three with a lot of water can give you some lovely pastel neutrals like a faded green or even a dusty pink.
To be honest, I tend to splash colors about a bit on my palette and don’t approach color in a horribly scientific way, preferring to go by impulse alone. Sometimes, okay most of the time, I grab for the accidental mixes that occur when my paint blends together on the palette. So it’s not easy for me to explain each and every mix, since some of them happen in the messy moment and I’m still finding them and making them up as I go along!
What I always suggest is a fair amount of playing and splashing when you want to try new mixes. It’s in those more playful and less controlled moments that the unexpected discoveries are made. Below you can see some examples of these neutrals at play in an elephant and her baby that was created with only Vermilion and Indigo, and a pen and ink set that adds just a few pops of Aureolin at the very end, simply to give the illusion of having more colors present.
I adore the range that I can get from these colors and the fond memories that flood back to me, harkening back to a time when many of these colors were are all the rage. A bold, yet still more subdued palette before those bright pastels and neons blasted their way into the 80’s.
Charlie’s “Vintage” Da Vinci Watercolor Trio – Watercolor Marble Mixing Chart
Here’s a full chart of my marble mixes so you can get an idea of the range you can achieve with these colors. I make these marbles by first painting with water, leaving white for the highlights, then I jump in with various colors, pushing colors a bit toward the edges to both create the outline of the marble, but also to quickly see the darkest shades as well. The shadow is dashed in with whatever remains on my brush, which often, depending on the colors is a more neutral shade as the colors have then blended together.
I love this technique, because you can create each marble in a quick single pass, an entire chart like this one in less than 10 minutes, and simply wait for it all to dry at the very end to see the final magical color mixes that are revealed. Plus, it’s just really fun to DO!
My “Vintage” Trio – Even More Painting Examples
I had a blast using this trio and found myself reaching for these colors on a fairly regular basis recently. So here are some more examples of what you can make with this little set. When I first began testing these colors, things stayed very vintage, from camper vans to that 70’s sensation of the Pet Rock.
I quickly discovered that this Vintage Trio can be used to paint just about anything at all, and decided to give animals a try. Yep, these colors will work well for that too, and allow you to paint all sorts of animals, from parrots to alpacas!
And lastly, here are some examples of the rich tomato reds and glowing amber colors you can get with this trio, and, I did mention chocolate, right? Below are those delicious browns that might look a bit dated today on kitchen cabinetry, but can make chocolate desserts look really yummy! And a vintage trio would certainly not be complete without paying homage to the TV dinner.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my overview of mixes in my “Vintage” trio and I do hope I’ve appropriately wooed you into clicking here to purchase this set for yourself or someone you love! Each trio is only $19.95, with three 8ml tubes, a little brochure with info on the artist as well as a mixing chart (or yeah, marbles in my case). This is a wonderfully fun and affordable way to try new colors, so I do hope you’ll give mine a try and share what you make with me!
I love this Da Vinci Trio project as it’s a blast to do and, most of all, really fun to see what the other artists come up with in their trio. You’ll find many Doodlewash featured artists in the mix, so please check out their wonderful trios and support them as well (dare I say, collect them all!): Jane Blundell, Denise Soden, Kate Powell, Jennifer McLean,and Tonya Lee.
Da Vinci Watercolor Trios are available now!
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!