5 - Purple Watercolour Swatches
There are literally hundreds of artist quality watercolours available from many brands. I have tested many of them and created swatches as seen on the right. The square box is painted into a damp wash at the top to show the colour mixed in water, with more pigment added towards the bottom. The rectangle is painted in a juicy wash to show the mass-tone. The small squares at the bottom of the swatch have the pigment number and characteristics - staining, lightfast rating, granulation and transparency.
See the Purple pigment database information here.
See the very comprehensive Handprint Magenta pigment page here, and Violet pigment page here. (But note that these tests were completed in 2004)
Single pigment Purple Watercolours
Violet and purple pigments are denoted as 'PV' (Pigment Violet) followed by a number. See also the PR red watercolours for magenta and fuchsia colours. See also the Primatek watercolours tab.
Violet -White Nights watercolour (not a recommended pigment)
Purples made with PV14 (see also PV49)
This gentle granulating pigment is often used in traditional English landscape palettes. Easily overpowered, but lovey with other quite pigments such as PY53 yellows and PG18 (Viridian)
- Cobalt Violet - American Journey; Cobalt Violet - Blockx; Cobalt Violet Deep - Daniel Smith; Cobalt Violet - Da Vinci; Cobalt Violet - M.Graham
- Cobalt Violet - Rembrandt; Cobalt Violet - Winsor & Newton
Purple watercolours with PV15
- Ultramarine Violet - A Gallo; Ultramarine Violet - American Journey; Ultramarine Violet - American Journey; Ultramarine Violet - Daniel Smith; Ultramarine Red - Daniel Smith
- Ultramarine Violet - Da Vinci; Mineral Violet - Holbein; Ultramarine Violet Reddish - Kremer; Ultramarine Violet - M.Graham; Ultramarine violet Deep - M.Graham
- Ultramarine Violet - QoR; Blue Violet - Sennelier; Ultramarine Violet - Stephen Quiller; Ultramarine Violet - Winsor & Newton; Smalt Blue - Winsor & Newton
Purples made with PV16
- Mineral Violet - A Gallo; Flinders Blue Violet - Art Spectrum; Manganese Violet - Blockx; Manganese Violet - Rembrandt; Red Violet - Sennelier;
- Permanent Mauve - Winsor & Newton
Purple watercolours made with PV19
PV19 is a multi personality pigment that is used for a range of colours from a rose pink through crimsons to violets. You can see more PV19 paints in the Reds section.
- Quinacridone Violet - American Journey; Magenta - Blockx; Permanent Magenta - Daler Rowney; Quinacridone Violet - Daniel Smith; Quinacridone Violet - Da Vinci;
- Magenta - Holbein; Permanent Magenta - Jackson's; Primary Red Magenta - Maimeri Blu; Quinacridone Violet - M.Graham; Quinacridone Violet - QoR;
- Permanent Red Violet - Rembrandt; Permanent Magenta - ShinHan; Magenta - Stephen Quiller; Permanent Magenta - Winsor & Newton
Purple watercolours with PV23
- Royal Amethyst - American Journey; Royal Amethyst (Dioxazine) - American Journey; Dioxazine Mauve - Blockx; Carbazole Violet - Daniel Smith; Permanent Violet Bluish - Maimeri Blu;
- Dioxazine Purple - M.Graham; Dioxazine Purple - QoR; Dioxazine Violet - Permanent Pigments; Blue Violet - Rembrandt; Dioxazine Purple - Sennelier;
- Winsor Violet - Winsor & Newton;
Purple Watercolours made with PV29
Perylene Violet - Daniel Smith; Violet Lake - Mission Gold; Perylene Violet -Schmincke; Perylene Violet - Winsor & Newton
Bordeaux - Daniel Smith; Benzimiazolone Violet -Rembrandt
Dioxide Violet - A Gallo
Magenta - Schmincke
PV49 (see also PV14)
Cobalt Violet -Daniel Smith; Cobalt Violet - QoR; Cobalt Violet - QoR
Quinacridone Purple Watercolours made with PV55
Quinacridone Violet - A Gallo; Quinacridone Purple - Daniel Smith; Quinacridone Purple - Schmincke; Quinacridone Purple Bluish - Rembrandt
Mayan Violet - Daniel Smith
Mineral Violet - Renesans half pan
Purple, magenta and violet watercolours made with PR88
Permanent Violet - Daniel Smith
Purple, magenta and violet watercolours made with PR122
There are a number of lovely magenta watercolours made with PR122 - some are here, if they are named something violet/purple etc, all are in the reds section.
- Rose Violet - Holbein; Quinacridone Purple - Jackson's; Verzino Violet - Maimeri Blu; Permanent Magent - Mission Gold; Magenta Lake - Renesans half pan;
- Helios Purple - Sennelier; Purple Magenta - Schmincke
Geranium Lake - Renesans half pan watercolour. This is a very unusual version of PR177 - not the normal crimson red.
Ultramarine Pink - M.Graham. Two samples as one was from a very small dot.
Single pigment purple, magenta and violet watercolours
Brilliant Red Violet - Schmincke
Primatek and Apatite purples
- Purpurite Genuine - Daniel Smith; Hematite Violet Genuine - Daniel Smith; Amethyst Genuine - Daniel Smith; Sugilite Genuine - Daniel Smith; Cote d'Azur Violet - Daniel Smith (Discontinued);
- Cobalt Violet Hue - Schmincke
Mixed Pigment Violet and Purple Watercolours
The following will be mixed purples and violets. These can be convenient. For example if you use ultramarine (PB29) and quinacridone rose (PV19) in your palette, the convenience mix Imperial Purple by Daniel Smith could be a good choice if you want a convenience colour. If you want a single pigment purple in a similar hue you would probably look at PV23 above.
Mixed Pigment red-purples
- Passionate Purple - American Journey; Janet's Violet Rose - American Journey; Orchid - American Journey; Permanent Magenta (Quin) - American Journey; Wisteria - Daniel Smith
- Rose of Ultramarine - Daniel Smith; Quinacridone Magenta (Jane's custom mix DS) Cobalt Violet Deep - Da Vinci; Thioindigo Violet - Da Vinci; Mineral Violet - Holbein
- Cobalt Violet Light Hue - Jackson's; Cobalt Violet Deep Hue - Jackson's; Permanent Violet Reddish - Maimeri Blu (discontinued); Bright Violet - Mission Gold; Red Violet - Mission Gold;
- Bright Violet - Old Holland; Mauve - Rembrandt; Alizarine Lake - Renesans half pan; Cobalt Violet Deep Hue - Sennelier; Cobalt Violet Hue - Sennelier
- Brilliant Purple - Schmincke; Cobalt Viole - SoHo
Mixed pigment mid purple watercolours
- Tyrian Purple - A Gallo; Imperial Purple - Daniel Smith; Mauve - Da Vinci; Bright Clear Violet - Mission Gold; Compose Violet - Mission Gold;
- Compose Violet Deep - Mission Gold; Ultramarine Violet - Mission Gold; Blue Violet - Mission Gold PB29 + PR122; Ultramarine Violet - Schmincke PV15 + PB29
Blueish (cool) mixed pigment purple watercolours including Lavender.
- Periwinkle - A Gallo Watercolour PB15:1 + PW6 + PB29 + PR122; Periwinckle - American Journey PV15 + PW6; Cobalt Blue Violet - Daniel Smith PV19 + PB28; Lavender - Daniel Smith PW6+ PV15 + PB29; Lavender - Rembrandt PB29 + PV15 + PW6;
- Cobalt Violet MaimeriBlu (pre 2018); Brilliant Blue Violet - Schmincke; Lavender - ShinHan PWC;
Mixed Pigment Dark watercolours
- Notturno - A Gallo watercolour PB29 + PR179; Przybysz's Grey - Aquarius PB29 + PR177 + PG26; Shadow - American Journey PB15 + PR209 + PO48; Moonglow - American Journey PG7 + PB29 + PR177; Moonglow - Daniel Smith PB29 + PR177 + PG18;
- Shadow Violet - Daniel Smith PO73 + PG18 + PB29; Lunar Violet - Daniel Smith PV15 + PBk11; Shadow Violet - Mission Gold PG7 + PR122; Dusk Pink - Rembrandt PR122 + PBk11.
Mixed pigment brown-purples
Raw Umber Violet - Daniel Smith; Raw Umber Violet - American Journey; Caput Mortuum - Renesans half pan; Claret (previously Monaco Bordeaux) - Renesans half pan
These swatches are painted and added as a guide. The intention is show the characteristics of each colour when painted. The colour reproduction is not perfect but hopefully will still be helpful used in conjunction with the manufacturer's website. Thank you to those of you, from Canada, Sweden, Australia and the USA, who have helped me with this section by sharing your favourite colours. If you notice errors please let me know so I can correct them. If you have artist quality watercolour that are not shown here and want to help me build up this resource, also please let me know :-)
This pages was last updates November 2022.