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Nothing is Black and White with Payne’s Gray

December 22, 2022by Michael Townsend

Just Paint Published by Golden Artist Colors,Inc.

During a 2011 interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, contemporary British painter George Thomas Shaw described Payne’s Gray as “the color of English rain” (1). This simple characterization delineates the essence of a color that nearly every painter knows. And yet, most artists could not tell you who William Payne was or what pigments were originally used to create it. Payne’s original blend might surprise you, as it’s quite different than the modern premixed versions we take for granted when we reach for this go-to color. Artists will discover the pigment combination that “feels” right for their artistic needs. This article also provides a brief albeit blurry glance at who was William Payne. As you’ll discover, things are rarely black and white when it comes to Payne’s Gray.


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