Thursday, 13 November 2014

Paynes Grey

A long time ago, an extremely accomplished artist I know told me not to use Paynes Grey but to make my greys using other colours, especially if needing it for shadow work. As time went on I found I was seeing this advice more and more but I couldn't stop using Payne's Grey as I found it such a useful addition to my palette.

One day I discovered the work of James Fletcher-Watson and just had to buy one of his books. With interest I read about his usual palette and was thrilled to find that it always included Paynes Grey. From that point on I stopped worrying about having it in my palette on the basis that if it was good enough for James Fletcher-Watson then it was more than good enough for me.

A couple of months ago, while catching up with my old issues of "Paint" I was taken by an article in the March 2013 edition by artist Alan Goodall. The article is actually about the All Weather Wonderpad, but my interest was more with his subject and technique. His featured painting was a Pen & Wash but he only used one colour ... Paynes Grey. His washes were built up by adding multiple layers of varying strengths and I felt compelled to attempt this myself.

So here is my version of the scene at Watendlath in the Lake District. This was a really useful tonal exercise and I thoroughly enjoyed building up the values layer by layer. I don't know whether it's my love of pencil work that makes me biased towards graphite shades but I'm really pleased with the way this grey monochrome painting has turned out. And yes, Paynes Grey will always have a place in my palette. ;-)