My 2017 watercolour palette

December 28, 2016 | 10 Comments

As I am going overseas for a sketching trip in a few days time, I thought it was time to (finally) share my updated palette. I have teased you a number of times about what the changes where, but I am now finally able to confirmed the locked-in selection.

Note 1: DS = Daniel Smith, WN = Winsor Newton, SCH = Schmincke
Note 2: I am listing them as I think of them – right column first and then left column (as I am a leftie) – so please excuse that this list doesn’t relate to the way you are probably reading the above image!

DS Hansa Yellow Medium PY97
DS Transparent Pyrrol Orange PO71
DS Quinacridone Rose PV19
DS Ultramarine Blue (not French!) PB29
DS Cerulean Blue Chromium PB36
DS Indanthrone Blue PB60
WN Cobalt Turquoise Light PG50
Soft Grey (a premix of DS Cerulean Blue Chromium, Hansa Yellow Medium and a touch of Quinacridone Rose)

DS Buff Titanium PW6
WN Potters Pink PR233
DS Quinacridone Gold PO49
DS Sap Green PO48 PG7 PY150
DS Monte Amiata Natural Sienna PBr7
DS Transparent Red Oxide  PR101
DS Van Dyke Brown PBr7
Steels Grey III (a pre mix of WN Cobalt Deep Blue with a little DS Quin Burnt Orange and a touch of DS Quin Rose)

My previous palette can be found here.
For my first notification of changes click here
Details of my new Soft Grey is here.

Other articles to check out:
My watercolour section – with lots of things to consider when choosing your colours
Recommended minimum palette of 6 colours
A basic 12 colour palette
Putting together my palette for a big trip

Brenda Swenson on filling a palette
Jane Blundell on filling half pans
Jane Blundell on ramp filling pans 

So are you making any changes to your sketching kit for the start of the new year?




  • Gabrielle - December 28, 2016 reply

    ooohhhh new palette selection! I love that! I recently bought potter's pink and i find it's really not pigmented, how do you use it? And why not the french ultramarine? :) thank you for sharing as always!

    • Liz Steel - December 28, 2016 reply

      Hi Gabrielle,potters pink is somewhat muted (and not a pigment for everyone) but I use it for granulation and to reduce the intensity of colours without adding more water. French is series 2 (more expensive) and more red shade - so ultramarine blue mixed better greens.

    • Gabrielle - December 29, 2016 reply

      Thank you! :)

  • Madge Bloom - December 29, 2016 reply

    I work with two palettes. One of Daniel Smith traditional watercolors and one of Daniel Smith Primatek Colors. My regular/traditional palette is: Quin. Rose, Pyr.Red, Pyr. Orange, H. Yellow Lt., New Gamboge, Quin. Gold and Quin. Gold Deep, Sap Green, Ph. Green BS & YS, Ph. Blue, Ph. Turquoise, Cerulean, Fr. Ult. Marine Blue, Shadow Violet Sepia, Brnt. Umber, Quin. Sienna, Indigo and Sodalite. In my Primatek palette I have: Gen. Garnet, Rhodalite, Minn. Pipestone, Sedona Gen., Indian Red, Mon. Sienna, Gold Ochre, M. Bauxite, Yavapai, Boh. Green Earth, Tiger Eye Gen., Apatite Green, Serpentine, Zoisite, Diopside Green, Green Turquoise, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Malachite, Blue Apatite, Azurite, Amazonite, Gen. Lapis, Vivianite, Mayan Blue, Amethyst, Sodalite, Kyanite, and Sugilite. I enjoy working with both palettes and rarely cross over with paint from one to the other. The semi-precious stones and mineral pigments are all so gorgeous together, it is challenging to paint with just that range of colors. The one thing I miss when painting with those is a true red. Garnet is as close as you get. I follow you on IG and enjoy your posts! Thanks for encouraging us all.

  • Fi - March 17, 2017 reply

    Love this colour palette!

  • Tami Jacques - March 31, 2017 reply

    Want to understand how to use DS Buff Titanium color? Do you usually mix it with something else, or do you use it as a stand alone color. What would be an example of what subject to use it on? Thanks!

  • My Daniel Smith dot card : Liz Steel - May 16, 2017 reply

    […] with me every day. For more details of my current kit (which includes two mixed greys) please click here or the image on the sidebar. Note: this is the palette I will be taking to Italy in a few days […]

  • Mary Mann - December 8, 2017 reply

    Liz - Please please give me your recommendations for replacing the 12 pots in the Cotman travel kit - I am a little tied to my white (I replaced with white gouache, making all colours gouache-y if I choose). So I guess I'm asking for the 11 best and most essential colours for my travel journal... Thanks! Mary

    • Liz Steel - December 8, 2017 reply

      Hi Mary please check out my 12 colour palette - you should see it on the home page- scroll down.

  • Most popular articles in 2017 - Liz Steel : Liz Steel - January 2, 2018 reply

    […] My 2017 watercolour palette […]

Leave a comment