18 June 2010

new deck of cards

Early in March, Nina Johansson showed a cool idea on her blog. I really liked her idea using scraps of watercolor paper to make blocks to mix and match to find new color combinations.

But making the blocks is a bit time-consuming, as well as needing to find a storage spot. So I made a small deck of cards, about half the size of standard cards, one for each of the paints I currently have. Some are using the very last of half-pans of colors I no longer use; good to keep a record of so I'll remember why I didn't like it.

In the past I have bought some color I liked, then forgot what brand it was after the last of it was squeezed into a pan. So the company's name is added to the top. I like keeping track of the pigments and qualities of what I like, so I added that info on the bottom of each card. Any notes can be added to the back.

I can already see how useful these will be. I've been putting 2 cool reds in most palettes --- it's hard to get a good pink with alizarin crimson quinacridone, so I added permanent rose. But I can see that Daniel Smith's quin. red can cover for both. The Naples yellow that came in my Schmincke set was horrible! But I tried one made by Winsor & Newton and LOVED it. The 2 brands of indigo I tried were too heavy, but I love substituting Lunar Blue.

The 3 greens Daler Rowney sells under Terry Harrison's name are great but too highly priced for tiny tubes. Also, they give NO information on the pigments used or permanence, so I'm trying to find substitutes. I like the first two greens, but am still not sure for the third one.

Anyway, these are fun to play with, comparing and making new combinations. Thanks for the idea, Nina!


  1. Really love this idea - I thought the cubes was too much work - but I love the idea of space for notes - brilliant!!! If I didn't have a mammoth holiday to organise, guess what I would be doing today!

  2. Wonderful idea!!! Thanks for sharing how you are using the cards, so helpful. :)

  3. What a great idea! Thank you for showing your examples and including things to put on the cards. Really, really love it!!!

  4. Great idea, Vicki, thanks for sharing. By the way, had no idea you switched over to blogspot. I'll have to poke around.

  5. Thanks for commenting, everyone! I loved Nina's cubes but don't really have the time or patience right now. These are becoming handy tools for me.

    Krista, I'm liking Blogspot much better than LiveJournal. I'd like to add that widget-thingy for my Flickr page and a banner of my own design --- I just don't know how to do any of that yet.

  6. Vicky, you can create a Flickr widget from Flickr at
    and for a Blogger header, go to Design, Page Elements, Edit your Header, and you'll see info there to load an image. Hope this helps.

  7. Saw your cards on flickr and had to come over and read about them, love the idea of making cards to flick through as a reminder and to make different combinations. Fun!

  8. Hello, Hanna --- Glad you dropped by and left a comment!
    The cards have already been very useful in comparing brands and remembering which I preferred.
    They also helped me "whittle down" all those I've tried to a smaller selection as my basic palette, as I posted about yesterday.


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