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The trick to eliminate a lot of fiddling around with colors

Discussion in 'Color the World!' started by Robbyrockett2, Feb 5, 2018.


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  1. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Ok I posted this in response to @Jimmyfingerz post before and as much as it sounds complex its really a stupid simple trick when you think about it.
    So how to make primary grey and why you want to;)

    First why;
    It will save paint and time.

    Its a mix of the three primary colors ,looks nearly black. You can use it to darken (desaturate) any color you want to.
    So the next time you want to darken a brown, theres no thinking about whether that brown leans orange or red or yellow. Any color for that matter. You just reach for your magical premade primary grey.
    No need to fiddle with a couple drops of red then a little blue then some of this or that and maybe you over shoot your goal. That wont happen with primary grey.
    Even better if you are overspraying a color to darken it up.
    No worries about whether your going to get a fuzzy blue line around that orange your trying to darken.
    Its a whole lot easier when youve got two drops of yellow you want to darken. Its awfully hard to stir in just the right amount of red and blue. So youll save lots of paint too.

    Next How;
    This is how I do it

    I start by making something I think looks like orange. I had mentioned this part to @SiRoxx .
    Then I test it into a little white to make sure it doesnt go more yellow or more red on me.....Still orange (peach) , OK I have my red and yellow balanced.
    I started with I think 1/8th bottle yellow and started adding red.
    Grey1.jpg grey2.jpg

    Now I start adding blue, In this case 5-10 drops at a time.
    grey3.jpg
    When I'm feeling like im close I spread some out on paper, or even better on like a styrofoam food package that wont absorb it. When it pretty much looks like a weak black you are there.
    In the picture I added blue going clockwise from the left. Then when I was close i again tested into white to look for any detectable lean. Spread some out on styrofoam to look for any lean. Nothing, basically black. The last one I overshot it and it started to lean blue which I did on purpose just to show it.

    Now I have primary grey.
    So when I want to overspray or mix a color down a bit darker all I have to do is grab my bottle of primary grey. It's the automatic compliment to any color, or any mix of colors.

    Secondaries darken slowly
    If its violet, My botlle is 2/3 violet and 1/3 yellow. If its orange , My bottle is 2/3 orange and 1/3 blue.

    Primaries darken quickly
    If its red may bottle is 2/3 green and 1/3 red, and so on...you get the point.
    grey4.jpg
    I darkened all of those down with the same bottle.

    grey5.jpg
    And how about some fleshy brown. Yep works great. No more fooling with whats opposite, no overshooting your goal, youll never pull that orange over so far it starts turning blue or purple.

    Having a bottle made up will save you oodles of time and quite a bit of paint too.
    ilzeairbrushing, doc1, SiRoxx and 3 others like this.
  2. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Also you can spray white over it with no color shift. In fact if you mix it 75/25 or so with black, its hard to tell its not black except that you can spray over it without blue shift since it is in fact 2/3 orange. So It may well be a good candidate for you next monochrome job. @SiRoxx :)
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  3. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    That's awesome. To my uneducated brain, it cancels blue shift by the fact that it already has the opposite colour mixed in. Would that be right? The post reads clearly, so any misunderstanding is probably me over thinking it.
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  4. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Its just a balanced mix of the three primary colors so yeah basically. I mean it has the color combos in it, so it pretty much becomes what you need it to be. Its already 1/3 yellow and 1/3 red=2/3 orange so cancels blue shift with white the same way adding orange would if you were spraying over blue black.
    Really its 2/3 any secondary color. 1/3 any primary color.

    Like I said sounds complicated, but its really simple.
    Say you want to tone down blue, so you add orange(red and yellow) but you go a little too far so you add some blue back. You just went a round about way of adding primary grey.

    Anyways yes youre right.
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  5. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    Cool. I'm glad I'm on the right track with this as I'd like to try it out. Thanks for the info Buddy. I think a lot of people could find this pretty useful.
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  6. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Definitely try it, I've been sitting here going why the hell didnt I do this before, Its 100 times easier to mix colors with a half bottle of this stuff sitting there.
  7. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Very Likeable!

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    Well Robbie, after your recent needless attack on me and your failed attempt at an apology I decided not to post any further responses on this forum, but I'm afraid I can't just let this one slide.

    This is rediculous since grey isn't a colour, it is neutral and a derivative of black and white which are also neutrals so you can't mix it using colours primary or otherwise, so your invention of the term "primary grey" is redundant and basically just a name you've given to this new discovery.

    Essentially what you have created here is simply a somewhat bastardised mix of burnt umber, although a little more yellow and blue would get you closer to sepia.

    Seems strange to me that after your criticism of Dru Blair's colour buffering theory (something you know nothing about) and accusation that it was stolen from the old masters, you are prepared to do the same thing, you're mix has also been used for centuries, particularly in the Mische technique where an under painting is created monotone using umber (read primary grey) and colour added afterwards, so this really isn't new.

    This tiger was done using exactly the same mix, I started off just as described by creating a monochrome painting using the same mix, note there is no black used whatsoever in this piece, after the complete monotone version was done I then started to add the different colours using transparent orange for the main body and head, this was done using the same Mische technique but my style is also loosely based on Jurek Zamoyski's method, this is from 6 years ago so unless I'm psychic I couldn't have stolen your idea, I prefer to think that like most artists I have stolen too from the old masters, but I believe they refer to it as learning rather than theft.

    The tiger.jpg

    In your description of this amazing new invention you don't mention what paint your using, you probably should since different brands will provide different results, some even horrifying, not just the mix but the shifts that happen afterwards, the only positive thing I have to say about this is that it does indeed help combat blue shift.

    There is a good chance I will be reprimanded, possibly even banned for this retort, but thanks to you I don't even care, if I can stop a couple if newbies from taking in your shite it will all be worth it

    Your lame excuse for attacking me was "I had a bad day" well my friend, today is my day to have a bad day, hope you have a good one:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  8. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    well
    1. I didnt make it up, youll find thousands and thousands of references to "primary grey" and how its used in almost every basic color theory explanation right beside "complimentary grey" also often called "tertiary grey" or even "near black" So if its wrong than I guess almost every book or reference on color theory I can find is just no good.

    https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS731US731&ei=zX54WqLJB4q45gLUm63wBg&q=primary grey color&oq=primary grey color&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30k1l2.12545.14148.0.18341.6.6.0.0.0.0.773.1421.2j2j1j6-1.6.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.6.1409....0.pVdar20g1gI

    https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS731US731&ei=5H54Wq_oLLKd5wLKuayoCA&q=primary gray color&oq=primary gray color&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i8i30k1l7.250113.250373.0.253789.2.2.0.0.0.0.115.216.0j2.2.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.2.212...0i8i13i30k1.0.5idvNbqhPGk

    Among hundreds of thousands of other references to how to mix gray using colors.


    2. According to Drus site mixing compliments desaturates a color, all the way to grey so i guess its not just me. I guess he made it up too.
    But since I'm being accused of acting like Dru or the other well knowns, Primary grey is now called Robbys magic black method (tm) LOL

    3. So far ive tried it with wicked color, comart, Aztek, masters touch acrylic, folkart, decoart, applebarrel, and rosco off broadway....all the same results.

    4. umber is not completely balanced which is why its brown and not gray. Its leaning orange. Same as if you slightly cross the wheel the other direction you'll get blue-grey.


    anyways glad your back.

    And as a an aside, it was never an attack on you nor did i say anything bad about you or anything you said. Just that I thought that you were telling me in a sideways sort of way that I would never produce anything. Which again I guess was never intended to be the case. You were just stating how you look at things. So yeah i'm sorry i took offense.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  9. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    So anyone who would rather always be trying to mix in just the right amounts of complimentary primaries a little here and a little there to darken a color you have, be my guest. No one has to try this tip. Meanwhile I'll be happily plugging along using the age old trick I personally just discover has excellent uses in airbrushing as well as the rest of the art world ( without actually going out and trademarking my name to it) :laugh:
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  10. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    By the way Id really love to know the paint brand that doesnt allow you to mix red blue and yellow together without horrifying results, please let me know because I would absolutely love to avoid that paint.
  11. ilzeairbrushing

    ilzeairbrushing Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    MASTER ADVISE!! Thanks....
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  12. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

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  13. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Watching !
  14. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    But if you're unaware of the fact that you can mix gray using color than I'd suggest checking out munsell...or any of the thousands of tutorials that show how. Unless you simply can't see the difference between gray and umber, in which case well your in pickle as colors go.

    Sorry for sharing. I'll try and do that a whole lot less. In fact I'd be happy to have the thread deleted, anyone who wants to learn , there are already plenty of resources out there with munsells "ridiculous shite"
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  15. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Thread now closed.
    All relevant info is here, no need for further comment/debate
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