Doodle Journal Makes Friends With Daniel Smith Shadow Violet


My Stillman & Birn Epsilon Series Sketchbook is always looking for new friends. It is the paper version of a social butterfly. Yesterday, it spied me with a tube of a hitherto unexplored watercolor, and insisted on being the first to have a go with the new kid. The daVinci Cosmotop Spin #5 round brush volunteered to play along so how could I refuse?

Daniel Smith Shadow Violet

Daniel Smith Shadow Violet is gray with a hint of color. The gray isn’t yellow, but it isn’t blue either. It is more red biased, hence the name is violet rather than purple. It does work well for shadows and allows any underlying color, whether the paper or another watercolor, to show through. Or it could be used to mute a bright color. In my journal with natural while paper, it shows a lovely translucent quality.

The darkest strokes were made with paint straight from the tube, but that isn’t its strength. The range of dark to light in a single stroke is what makes Shadow Violet exciting to use for doodles. Simply vary pressure on the brush and expressive line work is assured.

Daniel Smith Shadow Violet

No fountain pen ink in my inventory is an equivalent color. If none exists in inkdom, someone should release a violet-gray. The subtlety is reduced on colored paper, but on shades of white, it is intriguing enough to warrant a second look. Isn’t that a good thing when it comes to getting your words read!


  1. From the pigment list it looks like a blend of Pyrrol orange, ultramarine, and viridian. Like a conventional neutral tint with the strange addition of green.

    It might be fun to use it for French lining mats, a change from my current favorite, a very light wash of Perylene Green.

    The only fountain pen inks I’m reminded of are the late lamented Caran d’Ache Storm and the late lamented old formula Herbin Poussière de Lune, though one might be able to violetify Herbin Gris Nuage.


    • Storm and Poussière de Lune are more colorful than Shadow Violet, but adding Poussière de Lune to Gris Nuage might achieve an excellent ink corollary to Shadow Violet.

      Yes, Perylene Green. I must explore that one further. Holiday cards, perhaps?


      • Perylene Green is pretty dark (in fact, its pigment number is PBk31), sort of like Noodler’s Zhivago in a tube. Good for pine needles on a very gray December day.


  2. Closest I think I own is Diamine Vivaldi or Noodler’s Nightshade



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