Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why Use Payne's Gray?

Payne's Gray Color Chart
Every artist struggles to mix vibrant grays, which is an oxymoron, because vibrant and gray aren't exactly sympatico. But if you've ever tried to mix them, and ended up with a pile of mud, that is, muddy gray, you know what I mean.

I decided to explore the quality of Winsor & Newton Payne's Gray oil paint. It's transparent, according to the WN color chart, with blue undertones from the copper phthalocyanine pigment it's made from, along with carbon black. (Color index: PB29, PBk7, PB15)

I made a half tone by mixing 1/2 Payne's Gray and 1/2 Titanium White, then made a similar half tone from every color on my palette, then mixed the Payne's Gray half tone with each of my color palette half tones. The result; a series of muted, yet vibrant grayed colors, as you can see in the third and sixth rows of my color chart.

I imagine that muting these grayed colors with additional white will give me a series of grays that have many uses: sky colors, white fabric colors, shadow colors, etc.

I've added Payne's Gray to my palette in place of black. I think it will be a good addition!

But I still have one question, why did Winsor & Newton name it 'Payne's Gray?'

~ I will keep the brush happy in my hand! ~


Bill Sharp said...

The colour is named after William Payne, who painted watercolours in the late 18th century. (from Wikipedia)

Marion BE said...

Payne's Grey is named after a painter, who recommended a specific mix to his students. W&N's contains PBk19, PBk6, PB29, and PR101. Some don't contain red.

Jim Serrett said...

Sorry Bill, that is one of those internet, art forum inaccurate information pieces that is spread unintentionally. Edgar Payne is certainly deserving of a color named after him.