View Full Version : POST HERE for jsimmonds/tchris "Grays" challenge

11-15-2005, 02:43 PM
ok, i'm presuming others will want to try the challenge... if not, i stand alone:

Misty Nawlins Mornin'..... 9X12 Rembrandt softies on Bienfang w/c paper....

Susan Borgas
11-15-2005, 05:35 PM
Kordelia we can’t have you standing on your own. You have lovely lights showing through your painting. Here is my contribution. This scene was magic when I saw it with the fog cloud rolling in over the hills. The layer of cloud above it was very dark which ended up making the fog “pop” out against the background. The fog looks white in this photo but there is no actual white used.

48 x 34 cms
Assortment of softies.

Paula Ford
11-15-2005, 06:51 PM
For all of you who are lurking, here is where the original challenge came from...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=306800 this will explain what is happening here.


11-15-2005, 07:26 PM

Should't the paintings be based on grey tones only ?
Or having grey as the dominant colour is enough ?
I think I'll give it a shot ! POW! POW!



11-15-2005, 07:33 PM
Well - I couldn't resist...although I used mainly greys and browns...somehow it got brighter!
Based on a ref from the library...mist over avondale.

11-16-2005, 03:55 AM
paula the link keeps taking me to 'around the bend'

11-16-2005, 04:01 AM
paula the link keeps taking me to 'around the bend'

Maddy, scroll down thro that thread and you will find my post, and my challenge to Chris.

11-16-2005, 12:31 PM
ha I'm such a twit! I had read it already and then found it again and the penny dropped. Thanks Jackie, I blame my brain on night shifts!

11-16-2005, 01:55 PM
a rainy November day above Fortuna California
x posted in plein air, 18 x 24" canson

John B
11-16-2005, 02:21 PM

Tall Ship in Whitby Harbour on a cold, gray and windy morning.


Pastel pencil on Mi-Teintes 11"x15"

Dont know if this one counts but.....


'Kiss of the Rose' monotone apart from the rose


11-16-2005, 04:19 PM

Fine works everyone. My favourite 'till now it's from DFGray



P.S. should be DFGrey :-)

11-16-2005, 05:15 PM
I totally agree with Jackie about the beauty of greys and subtle neutrals and the effect they have of making other colour - or each other - sing quietly.

I also love expressive vivid colour - but you still need the quiet bits to set off the colours.

These are some I've trawled out of my past work, I don't know if they are 'grey' enough but they were done on those grey subtle soft light days.

a misty morning on the beach, oil

rainy day, mixed media

sorry it's tiny but I haven't got a larger version stored on the computer

cold grey afternoon, watercolour, mixed media - this photo makes it look a bit pinker than it really is

Tom Christopher
11-16-2005, 08:54 PM
Well I tried to leave just grays browns but I had to add some color so I painted the house blue --may be it doesn't work--I my try this again as a larger piece...comments welcome.. thank you tom


K Taylor-Green
11-16-2005, 10:15 PM
Wow! The challenge has been answered indeed! What a collection of beautiful work!

I have had the Oil Pastels forum express interest in joining in on this, so I am going to move this to Pastel Talk, and sticky it at the top.

11-17-2005, 12:13 PM
Thanks, Kate! :)
Monday morning around 8 a.m. it was pouring rain but I felt like doing a plein air, so I went down by the river and did one from the car! It was very misty and gray, with the rain varying from light drizzle to downpour.
This is oil pastel on a piece of gray-green matboard, 5x7. I was wishing I had something larger. A brown pencil provided the foreground branches, with a peach oil pencil added when I got home.
After I got home I discovered this thread, but it was in the softies forum. :(
Hope you softies don't mind! It's applicable to both kinds of pastels, and we're getting more landscape painters and plein air painters in there these days.
I snapped some photos on location so plan to use them and this to paint a larger studio version, probably mixed o.p.s and softies.

Now, I want to comment on the beautiful work in this thread already! You've all proved Jackie's point admirably! There are too many to mention them all individually, all such different styles, and they all work so well.

The difficulty I find with grey days is with the dark, gloomy ones. I end up with dark, gloomy paintings that I don't like. Any suggestions? A splash of bright color, maybe, or lighten some of the values?

11-17-2005, 12:43 PM
very nice

the trick is to work with complimentaries - mauvey greys glowing against yellowy greys and pinky greys against greeny greys etc

There is a brilliant book on colour by an American author/artist Jeanne Dobie 'Making Color Sing' which is out of print over here but I recommend it to my students - they have tracked it down on Ebay and Amazon second hand. It goes into the greys and soft beigey browns and what she calls 'mouse' colours - and her work has a wonderful glow using them.

11-17-2005, 01:05 PM
wendy, m'friend.... that you would go out in the pouring rain to sit in a steamy car and paint... my hat's off to you.... and the product of this madness is WONderful!!!

about dark, gloomy days.... i think that's where that ONE spark of color makes the difference... i dont know that this qualifies, but i did this from inside my house, looking out the door on a rainy dark gloomy day.... yet nobody believes it!!! (hit the wrong button.... searching for pic.......)

11-18-2005, 01:41 PM
These are all so great!
Often when I see grey paintings they are very drab.
However, these are toned down colors and yet still have a vibrance to them.
You ALMOST have me thinking of giving it a try!

11-19-2005, 04:16 PM
Hope this qualifies as a grey painting. Borrowed for Cori's paintout this morning. Just a quick sketch working primarily with darks.


Kathryn Wilson
11-20-2005, 05:38 PM
Wow, what an exciting challenge! With winter approaching (for most of us), let's keep this thread humming with activity. This reminds me of Marc's winter painting he did as an Article - let me go see if I can find it.

Here 'tis:


I've been meaning to find this Article as I want to try his method - good excuse to try a grey day painting! But, I gotta get caught up on a few "projects" - then I can use some of the photos my hubby took at Kate's house - :)

11-20-2005, 09:59 PM
a foggy day today
started another but was defeated by the fog and boats arriving and leaving
so painted this
x posted in PA
18 x 24" hemp canson(I like the bad colours), darks but grays

11-21-2005, 01:07 AM
What an exciting array of gray! Makes me want to try a new one soon. Here is an older piece of mine painted on a very gray stormy day on the coast of central Oregon. I love going here during "bad" weather because they have a motel that sits almost directly over the water. The rooms facing the ocean have big windows so you can sit inside all cozy warm and paint to your heart's content. Furthermore, they have a fantastic restraurant that serves the move yummy gingerbread pancakes with homemade applesauce and sour cream - and their dinners are good too...

This 10 X 13 painting on Ersta paper (told you it was a long time ago!) was in several international competitions and won a couple awards. I used mostly Unison pastels as well as some Schmincke.


11-21-2005, 02:22 PM
This was x-posted in the weekly sketch thread. Straightened the lighthouse a little, & tried to adjust the scan to look like the original.


Cape May Lighthouse
9x12 Art Spectrum

Pat Isaac
11-21-2005, 04:01 PM
These are all such beautiful grey apaintings. Very tempted to try one.


11-23-2005, 02:50 PM
I love this thread. I admit I'm a color freak, and mostly prefer the bright colors, but this challenge looked like fun. I'm down in North Carolina for the week, and while today is sunny and bright the weather has been mostly stormy and gray and blustery.

So I thought I could post this "quickie" here, from the beach at Fort Macon, NC the other day, just 30 minutes, had no time for longer than that, but it is mostly grays so figured I could post it here. :)

11-23-2005, 04:07 PM
Debbie... i hope you're enjoying the beautiful day i ordered for you special!!
the sun is going down over my right shoulder... i could weep... i missed it so!!
your gray is charming... is that dad?? and how brave: plein aire!!!

i found one in the reflib that i just had to try: from Malope, Breaking Day... i dont know how to do links....

this is 8X10, all kinds of softies, on Daler Rowney pastel med taupe color.... i didnt want to smooth it in with the finger, but the paper just wouldnt cooperate... had too many ..not even 'holes'... just didnt carry it well.. was surprised.... the blue in front is not that dark... scanned darker all over than it is... i'm pleased.... i have an offwhite rustic frame all waiting.....

11-23-2005, 04:54 PM
Warning: let me tell you all something to not EVER NOT NEVER do... (tho i'm sure you're all that much smarter than i am, that you wouldnt do it anyway)

as i said, very pleased with this... much paler and subtler than in the scan. took the frame apart, matted the pic, cleaned the glass, etc... realized i hadnt signed it, so, matted pic in left hand went out to the kitchen to sharpen the pencil that i used to put in the branches.... picked up the cat's dish and dumped it in the sink, left hand still UP and behind me.... and a drop of milk flew over me and landed kerplop! just to the left of the right tree.......
................................. i dabbed it up, i'm not framing til i KNOW it's dry... can you tell??? it was thumbprint size! i think i got it......... oi!!

Pat Isaac
11-23-2005, 05:05 PM
Can't see it. Looks fine to me. Don't you hate it when that happens?? :eek:


11-23-2005, 08:16 PM
Aw, sorry about your picture. :( But I can't see anything! A week or two ago I had a picture I'd done that I liked, so I taped it to my bedroom door to look at it. I figured it was safe as I never brush up against that door. Well the next day I got to work and someone pointed out that it looked like I had green *paint* all over one sleeve of my light green top. Sure enough, it was covered with pastels! I could not figure from where, but when I got home I saw the entire top left of my painting (some trees) was all smudged out and gone. I was devastated, had no recollection of even coming close to that door. I spent a while trying to recreate it, and I think it finally is okay, but still don't like it as well as the original. It's enough to make me think of switching to acrylic! :D

Anyway, the figure in my picture is a total stranger, just some woman who was walking along collecting shells, but I could not resist her.

11-23-2005, 10:34 PM
wash out yr mouth with gesso!!! "switch"... never... (remember that ad: fight or switch??).... today's been the day for it... had a self portrait on a clipboard... my little guy made a beeline for it... "Nonnnnnyyyyy" and poked the whole eye off before i could catch him; GD knocked over a whole 8 oz glass of soda just before dinner.......... i'm going to bed early tonite.... call it a day.... the pastel seems to have survived... looks good, i'm framing..... it is SOOO pale by comparison to the scan! wish you could see it............ Who's next??

Paula Ford
11-23-2005, 11:00 PM
kordelia...LOL...sorry to laugh, but, well, you made it sound so funny!

Your painting is absolutely lovely!! I can't see it. It will probably be just fine.


Paula Ford
11-24-2005, 01:57 PM
Hello Everyone,
This is my contribution to the challenge (X-posted in the Studio).
Thanks Jackie!!

11-26-2005, 01:09 PM
Paula, your submission to the gray challenge has changed my perception of the November landscape. Your painting is very appealing. :clap:

11-26-2005, 02:17 PM
Paula, your submission to the gray challenge has changed my perception of the November landscape. Your painting is very appealing. :clap:

Yes, you turned drab into beautiful!

Paula Ford
11-26-2005, 09:10 PM
Thank you so much Lisa and Wendy!


11-27-2005, 04:13 AM
Tchris, I have to say that while I love the colours you have used for the distance, and the undergrowth, that house just SHRIEKS at me, like a spoiled kid, "look at ME, look at ME!"

Why not try to get us to look at the house, so that it is saying, quietly and with dignity, "look at me", but is more in harmony with the other colours you have used.

DFGrey - brilliant.

12-04-2005, 07:57 AM
Perhaps this one will qualify...mainly greys!:wink2:

Paula Ford
12-04-2005, 10:52 AM
Wonderful sky Deirdre!!

12-13-2005, 01:24 PM

I couldn't resist the challenge.
This is my first post to the forum (I finally plucked up the courage) Any feedback will be gratefully received.:wave:

12-13-2005, 06:37 PM
someone posted earlier about making the grays: pinks/purples/greens as gray and putting life into them.... YOU were listening, werent you??!!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: Welcome..... Do MORE!!! Kordelia

Paula Ford
12-13-2005, 09:51 PM

I LOVE your painting!! WELCOME!


12-14-2005, 04:10 AM
Gosh! Thank you! I didn't expect such a lovely response. I was listening Kordelia, that was what prompted me to give it a go....my greys have always looked so flat until now. The painting looks even better in real life. Thanks again for all your advice and your comments.


Bill Foehringer
12-31-2005, 02:17 PM
After having been involved at the beginning of the thread I wandered off due to some pressing matters. Here are some of my attempts at greys.

All done on location and each completed in one session. BillF

12-31-2005, 04:39 PM
Very successful, I think, Bill! I especially like the first one.

Pat Isaac
12-31-2005, 04:56 PM
Nicely done and I, also, especially like the first one.


12-31-2005, 06:23 PM
me too


this is one of a misty grey morning