Purple Watercolors

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  • I need purples… I am looking at Da Vinci and am put of by the name Mauve, and wonder if anyone has used that color?  If it is closer to its name (which is a color I am so not fond of) then I need to pass.  I have permanent magenta, and may buy Ultramarine Violet…. but I want a great TRANSPARENT purple.

    In Daniel Smith I use Imperial Purple, which has an unusual pinky effect when I use it, which I’ve come to love.  But I figured we needed a thread on PURPLES peeps love.

    Below are the purples I have… I have stared a paint note book.


    Well, this must be serendipity because I just got a tube of DV Mauve last week.  I  haven’t had a chance to really use it yet but I like what I see with this swatch.  I don’t think it granulates as much as it does in this photo – it was done on mixed media paper with quite a bit of texture, but I do see hints that you get seperation into both blue violet and red violet.  I’ll let you know what I find out when I really sit down and use it.

    Here are the purples I’m using now:  the colours are a little redder than shown


    That looks amazing and not at all what I think of when I hear the word “mauve”.  I think of that grey-pink-purple of the 80’s.

    Susan the image disappeared before my eyes!  I’d love to see your purples again!

    Here, Kate:  The colours are a bit redder than they look here.

    I have a lousy Mineral Violet from somebody… Dioxine Purple is good — is it transparent?

    American Journey has a dioxine purple they call Amethyst.  It’s a staining purple but is a beautiful rich purple.  Here’s a test sheet I was trying out different textures and put the Amethyst purple on it for you to see.  The lower right hand corner shows how the stain remains after lifting color off.Test sheet of colors and textures

    Nice color Linda!  Thank you!

    My favorite violets (of the brands I’ve tried) are Red Violet by Sennelier, Quinacridone Purple and Imperial Purple by Daniel Smith, and Winsor Violet and Ultramarine Violet by Winsor & Newton. I prefer them for their superior transparency, vibrancy, and lightfastness compared to the same pigments by other manufacturers.

    preferred violets

    Below are swatches of other violets I’ve tried (the Amethyst is a beautiful muted violet, but it has tiny sparkles, which I’m not a fan of):

    Other violets

    I love the Windsor Violet — might have to try that one!

    I keep DS Carbazole Violet, Quin Violet and Shadow Violet on my palette.  I own Moonglow, Cobalt Violet, Amethyst Genuine, and Rose of Ultramarine, but I find them a bit twee for my style (although I will pull them out to play every so often). I just got Lunar Violet and Burnt Hematite Violet but haven’t played with them much. They are crazy granulators.

    Ooh! Burnt Hematite Violet sounds interesting.  I love Hematite Burnt Scarlet, but it’s the only Burnt Hematite I’ve used yet.  I didn’t realize there were others.


    It is a similar neutralized gray violet like Shadow Violet, but it granulates like Bloodstone or the Lunar colors.

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