Daniel Smith, Watercolour

Unlock Your Palette with Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Cards

Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Cards are your passport to a world of colour. These sheets dotted with paint let you explore the extensive collection of Daniel Smith colours, getting hands on with hue in a way that a printed colour chart wouldn’t allow. We’re taking a look at Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Cards to see what they can bring to your practice and how you can maximise their potential.

Assorted Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour Dot Cards with painted swatches

Look at the Daniel Smith Watercolour collection of over 200 colours and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by choice! However, if you’re struggling to settle on a palette of colours, Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Cards could be just what you need. These cards offer you the opportunity to test out colours from their watercolour range, at only the fraction of the price of buying tubes or pans. Each sheet is dotted with small blobs of dried paint that will unleash vibrant pigments with the touch of a wet brush. They’re a great opportunity to sample colours from a range, and give you an idea of how the paints and colours will behave with your painting technique.

What are Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour Paints?

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour Paints in tubes, half pans and sticks with painted dot cards

Daniel Smith have been making the very finest artists materials since 1976. Over the decades, they have established themselves as a brand that consistently delivers exceptional performance and unrivalled quality. In 1993 they introduced their Extra Fine Watercolour range, in a limited palette of just 15 colours. Since then their watercolour offering has expanded to include over 200 colours and they’ve become a beacon of quality and innovation in the watercolour world. Earning the trust of artists all over the globe, their watercolour paints have become a staple for creatives who demand the very best. Their paints are currently available in tubes and half pans, as well as selected colours in watercolour sticks.

What is a Watercolour Dot Card?

A Watercolour Dot Card is essentially a sheet of watercolour paper onto which small blobs of watercolour paint have been squeezed. Like pans and colour that has dried on your palette, these dry droplets of colour can be reactivated with a wet brush. Dot Cards offer an affordable way to sample a wide selection of colours – often for less than the price of a few tubes of paint!

Assorted Quinacridone Colours and More on a Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour 66 Dot Try It Card 001900501 743162030132

Dot Cards also offer artists a more tactile experience than referencing either a printed or hand painted colour chart, because they let you to feel the texture and behaviour of the colour. They give you a much better idea of how a colour would work in your palette, allowing you to test out the exact colour and avoid any potentially expensive paint purchasing mistakes.

Iridescent Duochrome Interference and Shimmer Colours on a Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour 66 Dot Try It Card 001900501 743162030132

Daniel Smith also include all the properties of their paints right there on the dot card. So at a glance you’ll be able to find the colour name, staining and granulating status, as well as information on both transparency and lightfastness.

The Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Card Range

66 Dot Try It Card

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour 66 Dot Try It Card with painted swatches 001900501 743162030132

The Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour 66 Dot Try It Card includes sixty six dots of colour from the range – that’s around a quarter of the total colours available. This card includes some of the more unusual colours in the range, as well as some palette staples. In the sixty six dots you’ll find a selection of PrimaTek hues, Quinacridone shades as well as Interference, Iridescent and Duochrome colours. For less than the cost of two 5ml tubes of colour you’ll get to dip your brush into sixty six exciting colours!

266 Watercolour + 22 Gouache Dot Try It Card

Daniel Smith 266 Watercolour + 22 Gouache Dot Try it Card 001900485 743162036134

The Daniel Smith 266 Watercolour + 22 Gouache Dot Try It Card is perfect for artists looking to explore the Daniel Smith watercolour range in its entirety. This dot card includes a total of 288 samples of colour spread across 5 sheets of paper. That’s one of each of all the watercolours, plus twenty two Gouache colours as well. You’ll be able to sample every single colour – whether you’re a fan of Quinacridones, want to try out Cadmium Hues, explore unique PrimaTek colours or experiment with shimmering pearlescent shades. And all for the cost of 4 tubes of 5ml colour!

Mineral Marvel and Watercolour Confetti Dot Cards

Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Card Sets Watercolour Confetti and Mineral Marvels 285900101 743162034925 285900105 743162035106

The Mineral Marvel Dot Card and Watercolour Confetti Dot Card sets are small, curated collections that include larger dots than Daniel Smith’s standard dot cards. There’s a total of 36 dots per set, and each set features a themed group of colours. Mineral Marvel includes one of each of all the PrimaTek colours. The Watercolour Confetti set includes a broader selection including PrimaTeks, granulating colours, Duochromes, Iridescent shades, as well as standard palette essentials.

How Do I Use a Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Card?

Using a Daniel Smith Dot Card couldn’t be simpler! Much like pan colours, the dot of dried watercolour paint can be reactivated with a wet brush. All you’ll need to do is sweep a wet brush over the dot a few times to release brilliant watercolour paint.

Activating a Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour Dot Card with a Wet Brush

What you do with your dots is completely up to you! Some artists like to use dot cards to build up their own colour reference library. An easy way to do this is just to swatch every single colour directly there on the card. That way, the colour name and its properties will always be there for quick reference whether you’re painting or thinking of buying a new colour.

Artist Painting a Tree using a Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Card

You can also lift colour from the dot and paint it on a fresh piece of paper to create a small watercolour painting. The dots of Daniel Smith watercolour may look small, but because their paints are crammed full of pigment you’ll get an astonishing amount of colour from each dot. You may not have enough colour for a large scale painting, but there’s more than enough for small studies.

Colour swatch library using Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolour Dot Cards

If you’re keen to experiment with colour mixing using the dots on your card just lift the colour from the dot and deposit it onto a palette. You’ll be able to mix and match colours to your heart’s content, discovering new combinations along the way.

Experience a Palette of Colours at Your Fingertips

Artist creating a primary colour wheel using a Daniel Smith Watercolour Dot Card

Daniel Smith Dot Cards are more than just tools, they’re your gateway into a world of beautiful colours. Give one a try and you’re bound to discover loads of wonderful new shades to introduce to your palette. They offer endless opportunities for experimentation and discovery, and are a great resource for beginners and professionals alike. For students looking to upgrade their paints, dot cards offer a great way to trial run colours before committing to full size tubes. While professionals are sure to revel in the opportunity to experiment with new and unusual hues.

Keen to learn more about Daniel Smith watercolours? Check out our other Daniel Smith blog posts:

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Tanith is a Fine Art Graduate with a passion for drawing and watercolour. Her love of art extends beyond her own practice, as she regularly researches and tests new materials for the Bromleys blog. Through collaboration with suppliers, she gains the technical know-how to help troubleshoot artistic challenges, aiding fellow artists in refining their craft. While she specializes in watercolour, her articles span various topics, inspiring artists of every skill level to explore the world of art.
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