Those of you who are familiar with Daniel Smith’s awesome range of watercolour paints will know that last year they bought out a new range of grey watercolours, some of which are named after well known watercolour artists. I was quite excited about this range of grey watercolours coming onto the market. There was (and still is) a definite gap in the market where grey watercolour paints are concerned – in many ranges of watercolours the choice of ready made greys is very limited. When the new greys arrived, lovely as they all are in their own way, I found none of them quite matched up to what I was looking for. I am a bit picky with my colours…
This is the point when I decided that I’m just going to have to create my own “ready made” grey… ! Here it is – FLINT GREY:
My grey is a mix of Daniel Smith’s Ultramarine Blue and Yellow Ochre. Both of these watercolour paints are transparent, granulating and have an excellent lightfastness rating. Mixed in the correct proportions they make a soft, stunningly beautiful and totally neutral grey that is just what I was looking for.
In mass tone Flint Grey is a lovely charcoal grey and it will wash out to the most beautiful light delicate grey. It is perfect for skies, landscapes. winter seascapes, soft shadows and shading. It’s uses are endless. It also mixes well with other colours to create lovely soft muted colours. To my grey I can add a tiny bit more Ultramarine Blue in the palette to cool it down if needed and I can add a touch more Yellow Ochre to warm it up if needed:
Sometimes when I run clean water through a dark wash of Flint Grey I get a subtle separation of colour and some lovely granulation:
Flint Grey is named after myself (Flint being my surname) but also appropriately named because flint stone comes in lovely shades of grey, blue-grey and yellow ochre. Flint Grey is now going to be a permanent part of my watercolour palette. I will just mix more as I need it. I store my Flint Grey in a large watercolour pan, which you can see in the first image above. I am so excited about this grey – it is so beautiful!
There are so many different ways of mixing grey. Any mix of red, yellow and blue in the correct proportions will make some form of a grey. For example: a green (blue + yellow) mixed with a red (in the correct proportions) will make a grey. Blue plus a small amount of orange (red + yellow) will make a shade of grey. Different primary colour combinations will make different shades of grey. Why not have a go at creating your own greys? It’s fun…