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Old 01-14-2012, 05:59 PM
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darkening and lightening value 5 neutral grey

I want to get a tube of value 5 neutral grey as an easy way to grey down colors without having to mix up a complement (which can be tedious to get right). I'd rather buy just one value of neutral grey and darken it with Titanium White and darken with a black...probably Mars Black.

Will there be a significant loss of neutrality when I add white or black? It doesn't have to stay perfect, just close enough. I expect I'll be lightening with white much more often than darkening with black. And I'd think that any loss of neutrality would be easier to see in the lighter values. Would it be better to buy a value 6 or 7 neutral grey instead? Thanks in advance for any color wisdom anyone can share .
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:00 AM
oddman99 oddman99 is offline
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Re: darkening and lightening value 5 neutral grey

I don't use black or grey as a rule, but I am now toying with the idea. I keep to a fairlly high chroma palette with three or four earth colours to help bring down chroma when needed. However, when I work in a lower key, like you, I believe mixing these colours from a grey starting point might be more expeditious. When I get around to trying it, my thinking would be to experiment with both a three and a seven-value grey so as to minimize the potential for hue shift in the mid range.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:25 AM
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Re: darkening and lightening value 5 neutral grey

Quote:
Originally Posted by oddman99
When I get around to trying it, my thinking would be to experiment with both a three and a seven-value grey so as to minimize the potential for hue shift in the mid range.
Yeah...I was thinking about that and it's an option if a single mid-value neutral grey, lightened and darkened, incurs a noticeable loss of neutrality. But I have the feeling that a single neutral grey will remain visually neutral enough for my not-so stringent needs.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick1
I want to get a tube of value 5 neutral grey as an easy way to grey down colors without having to mix up a complement... I'd rather buy just one value of neutral grey and darken it with Titanium White and darken with a black...probably Mars Black.
My idea exactly when I started playing around with neutral greys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick1
Will there be a significant loss of neutrality when I add white or black? It doesn't have to stay perfect, just close enough. I expect I'll be lightening with white much more often than darkening with black.
You will lose neutrality; no point in trying to give you Munsell numbers for the change in chroma (paint variation etc.) but anyway for middling values the shift away from neutral will be small and won't make much difference in a lot of cases and no difference in others (you can test this for yourself if desired*),

As you might expect, you'll tend to see the effect less when adding black than when you've lightened with white, and values 8 and 9 should prove to be the most evidently blue obviously. Broadly speaking it'll depend on the hue of the mix you're adding the grey to whether this'll be significant - bearing in mind that for some hues even neutral greys don't guarantee no shift in hue.

*Mix one batch each of other values of neutral grey and use the lightened/darkened value 5, then directly compare mixing results. If you do this it would be worth having a look at the performance of simple black+white greys too, since even they can work very similarly to neutral greys in some mixes.

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Old 01-23-2012, 12:39 AM
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Re: darkening and lightening value 5 neutral grey

Patrick -- The mixture will shift slightly with added black and white (obviously more the further you diverge from middle grey sample). If you want to keep close to neutral, you need to add small amounts of warm color. My favorites have been OH Burnt Umber with Mussini Burnt Sienna on the dark end, and the Burnt Sienna alone on the upper end. Just a tiny bit is added, and will help to have a keen eye. You'll only need to be concerned about N6, N7, and (slightly) N8 on the light end, and N4, N3 and maybe N2 on the low end (only if it is being blended into lighter adjacent colors). One of the advantages of mixing and tubing your own (if you have accurate samples to match), is that you could have N3, N5 and N7, and use them to fill in the gaps without any noticeable color shifting in the mid-values. Hope this helps. Jim
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:41 PM
pacificNW pacificNW is offline
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Re: darkening and lightening value 5 neutral grey

Patrick, If you find your white and your black are drawing your gray too far out of neutral you could consider adding a brown to bring it back in line, like burnt umber or raw umber. I would probably try mixing a pool of slightly brownish white and then use that and a warm black like Mars to lighten and darken my middle gray.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:40 PM
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Hey Jim

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