Last week during the livestream as part of my Watercolour course, I was asked about using Payne’s Gray to achieve darker versions of colours. So I thought I would do some mixing with Winsor and Newton Payne’s Gray, Daniel Smith Payne’s Gray and Daniel Smith Neutral Tint. This last colour is supposed to be a neutral grey so that when you mix it with other colours the result does not involve a shift in hue.
Whilst I understand the appeal of using these grey paints for easy mixing when you are a beginner, you’ll always get more lively results when mixing colours that don’t include black pigments. In Watercolour Lesson 3 (Theory 2 and Demo 1) I explain how to create darker colours by mixing complementary, or adjacent darker colours.
But as I haven’t used Payne’s Gray at all for many years I thought it was a good opportunity to do a colour chart. (Hmm, I’ve been doing so many mixing swatches lately, haven’t I?)
On this page, I used the three paint colours listed above – both layering and mixing with various colours in my palette. I also added my normal way of getting darker versions of these colours. I did this page late at night and in the morning I realised that some of these swatches should have been juicer.
I really liked the granulation of the DS Payne’s Gray on its own and I loved the greens mixed with the WN version when they were wet. Sadly they dried lighter and duller… but I was expecting that due to the black pigments. Doing a bit of research on the Handprint site… PBk9 (Ivory Black) has less of a drying shift than PBk6 (Carbon Black) but is a lighter black to start with.
Three uses of Payne’s Gray that I know of are:
1. for stormy skies
2. for dark muted greens
3. for value studies/ monochrome paintings.
Hmm, I want to do more green tests and compare with Perylene Green.
But right now, I’d love to hear from any of you who use it – why and what for?
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