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Old 06-18-2017, 11:28 PM
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Soupcan Soupcan is online now
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So, I love having Payne's Gray/Grey in my palette, but often I find the one's you buy pre-mixed are either too cool or too warm; too much blue or too much yellow.

Any thoughts on the best mixing combination to get an ideal Payne's Gray/Grey?

Currently, I'm working with a 3-color limited palette of Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Yellow Ochre in watercolor (both Windsor & Newton and M. Graham).

Sorry if this topic has been discussed already, but my search didn't find anything.

Cheers and thank you!
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:01 AM
ntl ntl is offline
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

Welcome!
You might find searches here more successful by starting from google. I googled "mix payne's gray in oil paint" and got a few hits:
Making Payne's Gray [Archive] - WetCanvas
www.wetcanvas.com › WetCanvas › The Learning Center › Color Theory and Mixing
Dec 17, 2001 - 7 posts - ‎3 authors
[Archive] Making Payne's Gray Color Theory and Mixing. ... or is it just trial and error? I'm thinking more on the oil paint line if that helps any.
Tell me about Payne's Grey 6 posts Dec 29, 2013
Gray glazing recommendations 13 posts Jul 28, 2010
what's your preferred method of greying down colors? 50 posts Nov 10, 2007
Neutral gray--What's the target? 35 posts Feb 5, 2003
More results from www.wetcanvas.com


and this one
http://mariesartjourney2.blogspot.co...ynes-gray.html
which you might find helpful. Best wishes!
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:02 AM
budigart budigart is offline
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

So, are you strictly a water-colorist, or are you talking about using a gray in watercolor? I can't speak to water color, but in oil work I daily mix two gray strings . . . one is straight raw umber lightened with cremnitz white, and the other is a neutral gray string made of mostly ivory black and enough yellow ocher to kill the blue, lightened with cremnitz white. You can also achieve neutral grays with a mix of ivory black and raw umber, or ivory black and burnt umber, or ivory black and burnt sienna. In each case, you'll have to experiment with how much of your second blue-killing color to add I have stuck with yellow ocher all these years because I paint mostly portraits, and the yellow ocher in the neutral grays harmonizes better with flesh tones, which usually often contain yellow ocher.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:06 AM
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

The easiest, most common approach, would be black + a bit of Ultramarine Blue. By varying how much blue you add, you control the balance toward bluer or more neutral. But...if it's a color you use often, mixing it up constantly yourself can be a chore. It's probably best to just search until you hopefully can find a brand that's just the right color you want.

BTW, I was recently thinking about buying Paynes Gray - what do people use it for? I guess can be used as both black, and as a very dull blue...esp mixed with yellows to make dull greens. Maybe underpainting sketching.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:35 PM
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

Thank you, ntl, budigart, and Patrick1 for your thoughtful replies!

Yes, I'm strictly watercolor and keeping a limited palette it's always tricky to get ideal grays. In some ways, mixing just the limited colors keeps the gray within the scheme, but I find it's often too heavy either in cool or warmth.

I agree, it's always an experimentation play, right? I typically buy Payne's Gray, but again, if it's not balanced in the palette I'm using, it can be noticeable.

As for use, I typically use it with burnt umber in an underpainting or as a last layer glaze to push shadow areas back a bit.

My challenge is figuring out that ideal combination. I'll continue to play with it. If I figure anything out, I'll feedback!

Thank you all again! Cheers!
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:43 PM
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

Hi Soupcan,

Since you’re using WN watercolour Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Yellow Ochre as your palette, Payne’s Greay seems to me a good fit. Payne’s Grey by Winsor and Newton Watercolour is a convenience mixture made from PB15+PBk6+PV19, which are as follows:

PB15 = Phthalo Blue red shade( a reddish-blue);
PBk6 = Lamp Black, (a black with slight blue undertone);
PV19 = Quinacridone Violet, (a red-violet).

Different Manufacturers use different component paints for their Payne’s Grey, and Mr Payne himself all those years ago reportedly used a mixture of Iron Blue (aka Prussian Blue), Yellow Ochre and a Crimson Lake. So he could shift his "neutral" around as he needed. As a strategy you could keep using the Payne’s Grey, and tweak it with just a touch of another paint to shift it the tiny bit to warmer or cooler.

I see your limited palette has a very tight gamut, lovely tube paints, very classic. So, in a way it probably would be relatively easy to pre-mix a neutral pool from these with practice. But Payne’s Grey also makes a great blue in a limited palette. It’s often used very dilute for stormy skies and oceans where its blue undertone becomes apparent.

But with the three tubes you are using, I think you might find it useful to include Winsor and Newton’s Permanent Rose as your red-violet ~ as this paint has a much stronger, higher colourfulness and is more “red” than the wonderful Burnt Sienna. Then you would, I think, be able to tweak your Payne’s Grey as you would wish more efficiently and easily, and also as an option be better set up to mix and manage your own neutral. So, a touch of Permanent Rose to Payne's Gray, or a touch of Prussian Blue to your Payne's Grey as you would need it. Cheers!

Last edited by KolinskyRed : 06-19-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:26 PM
Ratchet Ratchet is offline
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

I have always admire that old sea gull gray which has the merest tint of blue. I was told it was Paynes Gray.

I tried Ultramarine and black

I tried genuine Prussian Blue, PV 19 and a touch of either yellow orchre or PY 74. I am not certain which but one or the other.

The Prussian Blue, PV 19 and a touch of yellow works well. It can be mixed to a bluer or redder or brown shade to suit the situation. It has become my favorite gray.

I am going to try genuine Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna and yellow ochre. That may yield a more neutral gray.

Last edited by Ratchet : 06-19-2017 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:57 PM
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

Kolinsky Red, thank you! That's great information about the breakdown of WN's Payne's! I hadn't considered that!

I don't always stick to this limited palette, but it's my current mixtress and makes me quite happy.I definitely agree that the Perm. Rose would add jazz to the mixture, so will have to look at that! Thank you again!

Ratchet, yes - that sea gull gray is exactly the tone I'm looking for. With Prussian Blue and Yellow Ochre, I can tweak the distance between them with Burnt Sienna, but while I come close to what I want, I can't seem to land on it. I think perhaps Kolinsky Red's idea to maybe try the Perm. Rose might be what I need to warm it up a bit.

Thank you both for such thoughtful replies! Cheers back atcha!
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:51 AM
pickle_walsh pickle_walsh is offline
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

I love Paynes Grey, mixed with a little bit of Ultramarine it is great for adding mood to a sky.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:50 AM
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick1
The easiest, most common approach, would be black + a bit of Ultramarine Blue. By varying how much blue you add, you control the balance toward bluer or more neutral. But...if it's a color you use often, mixing it up constantly yourself can be a chore. It's probably best to just search until you hopefully can find a brand that's just the right color you want.

BTW, I was recently thinking about buying Paynes Gray - what do people use it for? I guess can be used as both black, and as a very dull blue...esp mixed with yellows to make dull greens. Maybe underpainting sketching.
I use it for black and also for a very cool gray (mixed with white, of course). DaVinci is the brand of acrylic I use
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:27 PM
Ratchet Ratchet is offline
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Re: Mixing the Perfect Payne's

Soup Can

I checked my notes. I use PR 112 which is a vermilion hue rather than Perm Rose PV 19

First I made Royal Blue, approx 4 parts Prussian Blue, 2 parts PR 112

I added a touch and I means touch, sliver, speck of yellow, possibly chrome yellow or ochre. Adjust to taste, in other words.

The PR 112 shades to the yellow side so that adds a yellow tint to the mix.

Perm Rose is a blue red and you might get a violet blue rather than the royal blue. Try an orange red rather than the blue red.
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