The Secret to Mixing a Dynamic Gray

The Secret to Mixing a Dynamic Gray

July 13, 2020 2 Comments

Black + white makes gray, right?

While that is correct, it’s not that simple.

So here’s the secret:

To make a really rich, natural looking gray, start by mixing your own black paint. 

Unless lifeless and dull is the look you are going for… black paint looks unnatural and doesn’t mix well with other colors. Black can be made from several different color combinations. Experiment with mixing your darkest hues and see what you end up liking!


For truly dynamic grays, start with colors and experiment with making different combinations that complement the look and feel you want from your painting. Some scenes call for warmer gray tones, while others benefit from cooler grays.


Repeat after me: Never use paint colors straight from the tube.


When it comes to painting, 

Gray is simply any color that has been mixed and is not straight from the tube. Gray refers more to the saturation of a color than to a specific color on the color wheel. 

Still not sure about this? Take a look at your color wheel.

The closer a color is to its most vivid identity, the less gray it has. The more you begin mixing colors, the closer you will get to finding gray. 

Give it a try, and leave us a comment to share how you found your favorite gray!


And remember: never, ever use black paint straight from the tube.


Want to learn more about how to mix color? We cover color, composition, and so much more in the Creative Circle, my membership group for inspired creatives like YOU.

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September 16, 2020



September 16, 2020


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