Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Jane's Grey



Quick sketch of Sydney Harbour Bridge in the rain


Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine 

As anyone who's been reading my blog would know, this is one of my favourite mixing pairs. This combination of two neutralising pigments make a wonderful range of beautiful hues, from warm navy blues to deep burnt umbers and a lovely range of greys.

Daniel Smith Watercolours - ultramarine and burnt sienna - make a huge range of gorgeous colours.
While many people mix their own variations of this common two-pigment mix, I decided many years ago to pre-mix it and have it available in my palette as a convenience grey rather than mix it on the fly every time I needed it. This allows darker and stronger greys to be used more quickly, which saives time when painting en plein air.

I posted the recipe and instructions to make my particular version - Jane's Grey. I'd been putting it in my students' palettes for years and had to name it something. I rather liked the pun on Payne's Grey :-)






But unlike almost all greys available commercially, Jane's Grey doesn't have black in it. It is made with two liftable (non-staining) pigments so it is itself liftable. This makes it easier to lift out clouds in a stormy sky or soften shadows or lift out highlights.

It is also granulating which is rather nice, and without the often deadening effect of a black pigment it stays lively on the paper.












Last year it was released in the Daniel Smith Ultimate Mixing Set of 15 half pans, and I'm delighted that it is now available as a 15ml tube as part of the Daniel Smith Signature Series.











Needless to say, I use it all the time. Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine are such palette staples that it always works in any of my paintings or sketches.

It is available world wide, but here is an affiliate link for Jackson's in the UK.












In mixing it acts as a neutral tint, darkening other colours without changing them.

Mixing with Jane's Grey - Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Scarlet, Pyrrol Crimson, Quinacridone Rose and Ultramarine mixed with Jane's Grey

Mixing with Jane's Grey - Cerulean Chromium, Phthalo Blue (green shade), Phthalo Green (blue shade), Goethite and Burnt Sienna mixed with Jane's Grey.



In paintings and sketches I use it for skies and shadows, windows and concrete, for the shadows on trees or people or to deepen another colour.

The Old Police Station, The Rocks, Sydney.


Morton Bay fig, Sydney.
Pulteney Bridge, Bath.
Looking across at Hunter's Hill.

It's a great colour to have available and I'm delighted it's now in a tube for those who don't want to have to mix it all the time :-)


14 comments:

  1. A very welcome product - not yet available in the UK but I'm looking out for it.

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    1. I assume it will be there soon. Jackson's are usually pretty fast to stock.

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  2. Congratulations …that is just awesome!

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  3. That looks amazing- do you know when it will be available for sale? I can't find anywhere online except Daniel Smith's website.

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    1. It has arrived in Australia so will probably be generally available world wide now - we are often about the last place to get new things!

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  4. Just ordered a tube. So much easier than mixing it myself!!!

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  5. Jane's Grey will be the next tube I buy from Daniel Smith!

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  6. Definitely available from senior art in Melbourne (online & stores) this week. Never looked forward to a neutral paint tube with such glee! Congrats, and Thankyou for such a comprehensive post, with those great swatches!

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  7. I have a half pan of Jane's Gray that came with DS's Ultimate Mixing Set. And I use it all the time. I first learned to make grays using ultramarine and burnt sienna, but never thought to mix it in a pan myself for convenience.
    Fyi, I just did a quick search online (I'm on the east coast US and searched Cheap Joe's, Amazon and Blicks) and the tube is still not available to me. As soon as it is, I'll grab it.

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    1. It is very unusual that the new colours seem to be available in Australia before they appear in the big US stores, but that seems to be the case apart from through Daniel Smith stores directly.

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  8. Congrats!!! Well done Jane :)

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  9. I found it in the Daniel Smith pan and LOVE it. But on amazon.ca a 15 ml tube is $50 US. Is there a place I can find the recipe? It was posted somewhere but I can’t find it. It’s gorgeous to use!!! I use it on pet portraits and am SO grateful for it

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    1. You can buy the Daniel Smith tubes from many art stores so shouldn't need to go through Amazon. Here's a link through Dick Blick https://www.dickblick.com/items/01767-2500/ or even better, here's an affiliate link through Jacksons in the UK https://www.jacksonsart.com/daniel-smith-signature-series-watercolour-paint-15ml-jane-s-grey-series-2?___store=jacksonsart_en&acc=884d247c6f65a96a7da4d1105d584ddd

      If you would rather make it your self, here's my blog post https://janeblundellart.blogspot.com/2014/02/custom-made-watercolour-mixes-janes-grey.html

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