DANIEL SMITH Payne's Blue Gray Watercolor article by Julie Karlsson

Everyone has favorites. But it seems that one of the “favorite favorites”, at least in Scandinavia, is Payne’s Gray. (I wonder if that’s because a good part of our year in the north is lived in grayish darkness??!!). What was already good has become even better: meet DANIEL SMITH’s Payne’s Blue Gray Watercolor!

Payne's Blue Gray landscape sketch by Julie Karlsson

Payne’s Blue Gray landscape sketch by Julie Karlsson

I was once told that shade is probably the worlds´ most sold watercolor. I’m not sure if that’s actually true, but if it’s not, it should be! Some of my watercolor students commented once that “Payne’s Blue Gray” seemed to be the answer to nearly every watercolor question they asked: “What can I do to provide more contrast?” “How do I make that awful green beautiful?” “How do I deepen my shadows?” “How can I cool the temperature of my painting?” “How can I create more ´mood` in my subject?” “What works best with salt to create stars in the night sky, snowflakes in the dusk or a field of flowers?” “What is a good choice to paint stormy skies and clouds?” “What is the one dark color that you can´t live without?!!” PAYNE’S BLUE GRAY!

Four color comparison, Payne's Blue Gray, Payne's Gray, Sodalite Genuine and Indigo. Julie Karlsson

Four color comparison, Payne’s Blue Gray, Payne’s Gray, Sodalite Genuine and Indigo. Julie Karlsson

Payne’s Blue Gray is a relative newcomer to the DANIEL SMITH family. On first glance it appears similar to Payne’s Gray, Sodalite Genuine and Indigo. (See comparison photo) While they are fairly close in color, they can be compared to very different siblings in a family. Payne’s Gray produces a blackish wash, Indigo is an elegant deeper blue, Sodalite Genuine enchants with its amazing granulation, and Payne’s Blue Gray creates mood, while being very playful, creating diverse effects.

Walking in the Rain, watercolor painting by Julie Karlsson with DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Tubes

Walking in the Rain, watercolor painting by Julie Karlsson with DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Tubes and bottle of salt.

Payne’s Blue Gray brings life to gray tones and is transparent enough to mix beautifully with yellows, golds, greens and pinks—well, actually with most colors! In “Walking in the Rain” I have paired the moody Payne’s Blue Gray with Buff Titanium and an accent of Anthraquinoid Scarlet.

Payne's Blue Gray watercolor sketch. Julie Karlsson

Payne’s Blue Gray watercolor sketch. Julie Karlsson

Payne’s Blue Gray creates great paintings all on its own as well! The range of nuances from deep dark to misty lights never produce “boring” or feel “colorless”.

Creating exciting texture with salt on Payne's Blue Gray watercolor. Julie Karlsson

Creating exciting texture with salt on Payne’s Blue Gray watercolor. Julie Karlsson

It is a great addition to any palette and takes the good qualities of “regular” Payne’s Gray up a notch further! Besides being more blue-gray, it also is much more “reactive“ to salt or splashes of water during the drying process than Payne’s Gray , creating exciting texture. (Salt effect photo) After laying on a juicy swatch of color, a few grains of table salt sprinkled onto the surface seem to work magic when white “splotches” appear as the paint dries. Note that more or less water will produce a variety of results, as does drying the watercolor on an incline.

 DANIEL SMITH Payne's Blue Gray and Payne's Gray comparison. Julie Karlsson

Payne’s Blue Gray and Payne’s Gray salt comparison. Julie Karlsson

Seeing is believing. Don´t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Add Payne’s Blue Gray to your next painting and you might just agree that “everyone’s´ favorite” just got even better!

Why I love DANIEL SMITH:

It was “greens” that first brought DANIEL SMITH Watercolors to my paintbrush. I was tired of ordinary looking green pigments and happened across a painting with luscious shades and unusual granulating properties. I knew then I was going to love making DANIEL SMITH paints a permanent feature on my palette! The uniqueness of the PrimaTek and Luminescent Watercolors (not to mention the Watercolor Grounds) let me stretch the limits of what watercolor can do. I love the thrill of being able to share this with others!

Honestly, I never met a DS watercolor I didn’t like, but these 18 are favorites! Happy painting!

– Julie Karlsson, Sweden

DANIEL SMITH Watercolors on my palette:

Hansa Yellow Medium
Anthraquinoid Scarlet
Anthraquinoid Red
Quinacridone Rose
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine
Iridescent Electric Blue
Cobalt Blue
Prussian Blue
Blue Apatite Genuine
Sodalite Genuine
Jadeite Genuine
Green Gold
Monte Amiata Natural Sienna
Quinacridone Burnt Orange
Hematite Burnt Scarlet Genuine
Enviro -Friendly Brown Iron Oxide
Hematite Genuine
Payne’s Blue Gray

About: Julie Karlsson
Julie KarlssonColor feeds my soul. . . .
I love playing around with paint to see what comes to life and capture a mood or an impression, or some inspiration from God’s amazing creation.
I moved to Sweden after growing up in Seattle, Washington, USA, and met the love of my life! As our daughters grew up I enjoyed the creative side of mothering and teaching. . . which grew into more and more art exhibitions, teaching painting classes, watercolor blogs, painting trips with my students around Sweden, Denmark, France and the States, and connections with artists and art lovers around the world. Three years in South Africa gave me an appreciation for seeing and learning more . . . discovering new techniques and a curiosity for “painting outside the lines”. Westersart and DANIEL SMITH Watercolors changed forever the way I experience painting! The challenge of developing the arts department at Folkuniversitetet in Jönköping, Sweden has given me a forum for sharing this love of creating with others.
It is such a joy to be able to share my love of painting with others and hopefully spread some encouragement along the way too!
-Julie Karlsson
Website: ArtByJulieAnnKarlsson.com
Instagram: @ArtByJulieAnnKarlsson

 

 Walking in the Rain, watercolor painting by Julie Karlsson

“Walking in the Rain” by Julie Karlsson