When I was a kid, I loved rocks. There were big shiny mica filled boulders on the beach, fossil filled shales in the mountains where we vacationed. Best of all, my Grandmother lived "out west" and knew of my pebble passion and brought me back chunks of rose quartz and petrified wood. Yes, I was an unusual little girl compared to my Barbie loving pals.
At the same time as I was playing rock hound, drawing or painting was an equal passion and a little more acceptable for a young lady at that time. What the loving adults in my world couldn't see was that it was all about color, all about the way light moved and bounced around. It was all about being connected to something bigger than myself, which at the time was most of the world, but that something was Nature.
So when I discovered Daniel Smith had developed a line of watercolor paint made from rocks, minerals and gemstones, I had to check them out. I had actually been one of the test artists for Daniel Smith's Quinacridone colors, which I still use as they are transparent and beautifully strong colors. I expected much from what Daniels smith was calling their Primatek colors and was absolutely enchanted.
They started me on an entirely new series of imagery directed deeply into the magic of nature. Oh and there is magic out there. Just sit with some trees, some boulders, listen with an open heart and you will get the feeling.
So I had a bit of a challenge on my hands. How to develop a new palette with these wonderful primatek colors? It seemed that just buying handful after handful wouldn't get me where I wanted to go. I wasn't sure the old formula of two of each primary would work either. Then I found the Daniel Smith dot cards, which are listed on "My Favorite Things" page.
There are 66 paint dots on these cards...enough paint to do a small test painting or a series of swatches to see what the colors do as far as granulation ( I LOVE granulation), transparency and ability to lift. After playing with these for just a little while, I could make out my list of colors that I would need to start an interesting palette and then a list of colors I would want to add and or play with later...a wish list.
The best part about the dot pages is that they are VERY affordable way to test a this wide range of unique colors at home, in the way you like to use watercolors. I can even see cutting them apart and creating a lightweight travel palette with some of the most unusual paint pigments available.
This is what my palette and palette guide look like. When I get a new tube of paint, I find a well for it to go into, then on my palette guide, I paint a sample. Dry colors can look very similar and this speeds up my selection process as I work. You can see I have written some of the paint names on the edge of the palette for even faster choices where the adjacent colors may look very similar.
I just purchased a much smaller, more portable palette and will give you some infprmation on that in the near future. I am hoping to make "My favorite Things" a regular part of this blog. You can click on the image of the Daniel Smith dot pages on the blog or go to "My Favorite Things" page on this website to purchase.
Kathleen Barnes, Paintdiva
Art is my passport to a limitless journey. When I am not exploring my materials on a technical level, there is visual exploration before me. When that seems a bit thin, there is a deep calling from the realm of my imagination. Sometimes all three come together in a perfect storm. That storm, that combination of the real, the imagined and the very paint and canvas is what calls me daily, and I answer as much as I can.....