It got me wondering, though, who Payne was. A little Googling and Wikipedia had the answer - William Payne was an English watercolourist, and the colour was made for him. The term has been used in English since 1835. Interestingly though, the original version did not contain black. It contained iron blue (known as Prussian Blue, PB27), Yellow Ochre (PY43) and Crimson Lake, which as far as I can find is a fugitive carmine pigment PR23. I don't have any PR23 to look at but I thought I'd mix some Yellow Ochre, Prussian blue and a Permanent Alizarin together and see what I could get. (All watercolours Daniel Smith unless otherwise noted.)
|Traditional Payne's Grey mix of pigments - yellow ochre, Prussian blue and a crimson.|
|Payne's Grey variations using a red, blue and crimson.|
|Mixing blacks and greys.|
Update - here are some extra swatches of the colours shown above and discussed in comments below. Notice that DS Burnt Sienna PBr7 is slightly more orange than the DS permanent Brown PBr25 or W&N Indian Red Deep PBr25. W&N Burnt Sienna PR101 is much more of a burnt orange hue. Brown Madder W&N or DS Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet are made with PR206 - another transparent earth red option. There is also the option of PR179 Perylene Maroon is another interesting transparent neutralised red but it varies hugely by manufacturer. I have shown the more burnt scarlet version by W&N. In Daniel Smith is is far more of a maroon and in Daler Rowney it is a deep crimson.