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A Love Affair with the Colour Gray

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, May 9, 2016

Jean Arp, "Untitled (College with Squares Arranged according to the Laws of Chance)". 1917

"In Europe and America, grey is the color most associated with boredom, solitude and emptiness. It is associated with rainy days and winter.“ -Wikipedia ”Grey: Boredom“

Grey is my favorite color“ -Counting Crows ”Mr. Jones“

I would like to believe that I learn something new every day. Part of what drives that belief is my goal to be a lifelong learner. Which is why it came as a surprise when I discovered that there is an additional category of grey other than ”cool grey“ or ”warm grey“ and it is called ”French grey“.

I first started to distinguish between ”Warm Gray“ and ”Cool Gray" when I first started using Copic Markers.

Warm grey is tertiary grey that is made up of different levels of yellow, orange, and red. It is a warm neutral that blends better with the red-yellow side of the spectrum. A good example of warm grey is Taupe or the color of a chinchilla. This type of grey pairs very well with shades of brown, tan, beige, off-white, or cream.

Cool grey is a tertiary grey that is made up of different levels of green, blue, and violet. It has an almost bluish quality to it. It has a sharper, more distinct quality, like the grey screen of an e-reader. Cool grey pairs well with white, shades of blue, and black.

From what I have gathered, French Grey is a type of grey that has a yellow tint. It is more of a warm grey than a cool grey. It pairs nicely with light yellows and other brown colors.

So there you have it! Grey is one of the most important colors in my wardrobe because almost every outfit I put together has grey in it. The ability to pair greys with other colors is a surefire way to have a very polished look.

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Banes at 10:57AM, May 10, 2016

Very interesting stuff! I can feel the difference between the cool and warm greys in that image! @KimLuster - hahaha! Those pesky Greys! Glad they treated you warmly. Or that they were cool to you.

bravo1102 at 6:05PM, May 9, 2016

One real fashionable look of the late 1980s was grey, pink and aqua for men.

bravo1102 at 4:35PM, May 9, 2016

And then there are the various shades of grey used by the air forces of the world. It started in the 1930s leading up to World War II. It was discovered by the RAF after the Battle of Britain that the predominant color of the European sky was grey. Look at the wonderful Humbrol paint catalog for all kinds of greys. German tanks in the Blitzkriegs were grey. It blended well with foresty terrain as found in Central Europe. Modern NATO camouflage actually uses a grey (though officially a black, in use it is a very dark grey like the old panzer color)

ozoneocean at 9:26AM, May 9, 2016

Battleship grey! All warships all over the world in every country are different shades of grey. Battleships are a specific class of warship though... I don't know which were the first battleships to be coloured grey but I strongly suspect it was British battleships at the close of the 19thC. In the late 1800s ships were moving to all steel construction with the battleship at the forefront of the trend because they were the most valuable- and the most technologically advanced, most powerful weapons in existence. Anyway, they started painting them grey back the for some reason- camouflage being part of that, but probably the need o prevent rust and needing lots of cheap easily acquirable paint would've been another. At the time some other countries tended to have white ships, like the USA and Austria.

Ironscarf at 8:35AM, May 9, 2016

I always found Payne's Grey more forgiving than black for that kind of thing K.L. - a bit softer on the eye.

KimLuster at 4:03AM, May 9, 2016

I've always been fond of the Greys (ever since my alien abduction) - I haven't figured how to make to make it blend in my comic (watercolor) unless I sorta do all black watercolor (which results in shades of Gray)! Great article!

Gunwallace at 1:18AM, May 9, 2016

My mother was so fond of grey she cooked vegetables until they became so. However, I haven't let that stop me using grey in my art. I will now have to play with yellow tints and such. Great post.

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