Tip 6. My favourite grey

Anthony O'Keefe Uncategorized 0 Comments

Greys are one of the most important “colours” in painting which when used correctly add realistic variation in tone and warmth. My favourite grey was shown to me at Art Umbrian in Italy by a wonderful artist Freda Anderson I find it to be the most versatile of greys and I use it in every painting I produce, some of them have been carried out entirely with this grey.

The grey is made from alizarin and viridian mixed with titanium white to obtain the required tone. The grey can be warm by adding more alizarin or cool by adding more viridian. It is well worth while experimenting on a board to get the mixture variations as a colour board in your studio. I also mix the grey on a glass pane on an off white paper so that as I scrap the paint on the glass I can easily see the colour I’ve produced.

This grey is very versatile and can be used to obtain an infinite range of subtle variations. If I want a deep black I add ultra marine blue. If I want the colour of the leather on a worn bridle I add a little raw umber. If I want the variations in colour on a grey horse I add either cobalt blue, yellow ochre, burnt sienna or any other colour from my pallet; but only one at a time otherwise you’ll end up with mud. The variations are literally endless.


Many thanks Freda for opening my eyes to this wonder colour.


Blending the tones wet-in-wet


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