What Colors Make Gray

What Colors Make Gray? – How to Make Gray Paint Yourself

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There is no gray area when it comes to the color gray, and there is no escaping it, either! It has popularized most fashion styles because it has a remarkable ability to pair well with almost every other color. Not only that, but it is what defines definition in terms of shading. Many people love using the color gray inside their homes because it is just so incredibly versatile and goes with just about anything! This tutorial will cover everything there is to understand about the color gray. We will include what colors make gray, as well as how to make gray paint including all the variations of gray color shades, even the ones that you may not have thought were technically a gray color.



The Analysis of Gray

When you look upon the color gray, what feeling is aroused inside you? Most people would say it inspires feelings of low vibrational, dispirited natures. But this does not have to be the case, it can mean so much more than melancholy. If you were to open your mind, and somehow detach from your idea of what gray means to you, it could invoke a whole lot more. Remember, when paired with almost every color, grey can be livened up so much and makes a far better background than white, especially when it comes to the colors of the walls inside your home.

How to Make Gray Paint

You could be painting a scene in a dense jungle, where dark grayish purple would add real depth into the jumble of branches and shrubbery, bringing out a sense of adventure that is lurking in you. You might also be painting a scene in a city somewhere and even though it is raining, a little girl is jumping in puddles, again making use of the dark graying purple, or even a greenish-gray color, and you can not help but smile.

So, what two colors make gray? That might seem like a silly and tedious question but it is still an important one. Where would we be without our foundations, right? And that is especially true when it comes to color! The basic, flat-out answer would be black and white, of course. But, what ratio you choose defines how light or dark the shade of grey you create will be, and adding any other colors to the mix will also change it immensely, even though it might still be considered gray.

Gray is so much more than what meets the eye!


The Significance of Gray

Gandhi was always right, yin yang is always around us, and it is especially noticeable with colors that surround us daily. As we said before, that there is no escaping the color gray, and we meant it. Without the color gray, other colors seem far too intense, and shading just would not make sense! Think about it! Neutral colors are significant for blending and bringing a natural element to our painting. So, learning how to make gray paint is important, and learning how to create each tone equally so.

What Two Colors Make Gray

Black is a powerful pigment and you would only need a small amount to make a typical medium shade gray. If you want a darker shade, naturally, you must add more black. If you are trying to achieve a blueish gray, then mixing in a little bit of blue will be the obvious choice, and a dark purplish gray would then need a hint of red added to the mix to create the perfect shade.


Gray Inspired Impressions

The beauty of gray is that it can be manipulated to fit whatever style you are painting in and it can be used to convey an unlimited amount of meanings and significances, it all depends on your choice of additional colors to make gray variations.

So, let us take a look at some of the different impressions that gray can give off, to give you a better idea of what we mean.


A Shade of Sophistication

The typical feeling and impression that gray inspires are impressions of serious natures. City scenes, minimal home decor, office attire, formal clothing, and so on. It embodies a professional feel because it is a neutral color that can be paired with both warm and with cool colors. This usually involves all of the lighter shades.

How to Make Gray Paint Shades


Strength and Fortitude in a Shade

Some people might find it off to have such a feeling inspired by the color gray, but some revel in it. Strength, or might, can be represented in big ominous thunder clouds that threaten impressive lighting and thunderstorms – that is powerful!

Fortitude is made possible by the gray stones of a castle, or possibly the cliff faces from a mountainside or the glaciers in Antarctica.



What Other Colors Make the Color Gray?

If you did not know what two colors make gray, they are black and white, and it is up to you on the choice of ratio and shade. It is a real blessing to be able to make any shade of color you wish, but sometimes what seems to be the most obvious color to mix, can also be the most complicated. So, in order to get the perfect shade for whatever you are creating, it is important to know the different methods, of which there are three. The first is simply mixing white and black, the second is mixing the primary colors in, and the third is making use of the complementary colors. Now, let us take a look at the different variations of gray.

What Two Colors Make Gray Dark


The Influence of Color Bias

Have you ever heard of the words, color bias? This is used when classifying a color as warm or cool. Warm colors will be those that spark warmth like yellow, orange, and red. Cool colors are blue, green, and purple. This is very important to understand when understanding how to make gray paint, and learning what colors make gray, at least the gray that you intend for your artwork.

Now, let us work with dark grayish purple, seeing as we have used it so many times as an example. According to the color bias, a dark and graying purple is considered to be a cool color which is because it has blue in the mix, making the purple effect.


Why Is Color Bias So Important?

No matter what color you may be mixing up, be it a bright shade of pink or a cool blue, the color bias is important because it helps to categorize the colors that can be mixed, and the colors that can not be mixed for fear of making that horrible, sludgy brown color which is not ideal if you are going for a smooth and sleek gray color!

If you would like to convert the dark purplish gray into a more muddy gray, your mixture would look something like this:

  • Black and white
  • Warm Red
  • Cool Blue
  • Tinge Of yellow

The yellow is what would usually make the color more brown and dull, but in this case, you are only adding a small amount and it turns the color into that gloriously accurate muddy color.


First Method: Making Gray With Black and White

Of all three methods we will mention in this section, we feel that this is the simplest of all the methods. The only colors that are required are simply white and black. So, this makes your most standard Greif added in equal parts. If you add more white to the mix you will get a lighter shade. Therefore, you can expect a darker shade if you add more black and less white. It is advisable to add only a fraction of black each time so that you do not add too much by mistake and waste paint. Black is a very potent pigment, so it takes over other colors easily.

Making Dark Grayish Purple


Disadvantages of This Method

This method is limiting because you will only get one type of gray color and a different lightness of it. There will be no color variations because there is no color added to the mix. It will only be good for grayscale or black and white styled art. These days black is not always as black as it seems.

Some of the black paints that are sold in stores have a base in certain colors, and the more white you add to it, the more of that base color shines through. 


Second Method: Making Gray Paint With Complementary Colors

If you enjoy a good neutral version of any color, then this will be the technique you use a lot when mixing a gray tone. This method is done by adding complementary colors because they almost cancel each other out. This will help when painting nature scenes as you are focusing on a point in the background of the scene in marshland or a forest of some sort. Let us take a look at some of the combinations.

Cool Dark Grayish Purple


What Colors Make Gray Warm?

A warmer shade of gray would be adding colors that are of a warm bias. At least two colors would make a beautiful hue that is specifically blended for the style you are going for. Some of the colors that can be added are flax yellow or mauve purple.

These colors are already very neutral and they do lean towards the gray side of the color wheel but this is ideal.

It allows the blend to work perfectly and the result is a stunning muted color that looks like the looming clouds of a storm in the distance or the lazy smoke off a fire drifting into the twilight sky. If you would like a gray color that is a bit darker, but still warm in bias, then you can add some golden yellow and mulberry purple.


What Colors Make Gray Cool?

Maybe you are after a more solemn vibe in your artwork or the more neat urban feel or maybe even a cool, simple, and minimalistic swirl of colors. Whatever it is you are after, the key here is to experiment! Experimentation will be your best friend when it comes to investigating color blends, no matter what color you may be mixing up, but we will speak about what happens when you mix certain blue colors to orange. You can start with adding cobalt blue, phthalo blue, and ultramarine blue to a cadmium orange and the result will be a darker gray color that is muted but cool in bias.

The second grouping of colors that will make a cool gray is mixing phthalo green with naphthol crimson and cadmium red. Both of these color combinations make a darker shade of cool grey but of course, white can be added to lighten the color if you wish.


Third Method: Making Gray With the Primary Colors

Our third and final method involves using primary colors. Remember, Primary colors are an important part of color blending and mixing. Blue and yellow will make green colors, red and blue will make purple. But, if you add all three of the primary colors in equal parts, then the result is a muddy grey. There are different variations of the primary colors that will make the perfect gray. When creating gray with primary colors, we prefer to use yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, and ultramarine blue.

How to Make Gray Bright

You can manipulate the bias of the gray color you create by adjusting the amount of red or blue you add. The more red you add, the warmer it will be, and the more blue you add, the cooler it will be. The star of the gray show in a primary color gray-mix is yellow. This is what makes the clash of colors and the result is gray.



Technical Information for How to Make Gray

The following information includes everything technical, including the codes for the different colors. This will make it so much simpler and easier if you are looking for a specific color that you have fallen in love with!

Gray color


HEX code

RGB code

Gray Shade

Charcoal greyIf you are painting stormy clouds that are looming in the distance or maybe the dark waters of a lake, then charcoal grey will work perfectly36454f54,69,79 
Ash greyAsh grey is the more dull version of silvery grey, and it is more on the green side. If you are looking to paint moss or shadow in the jungle, this is the right colorb2beb5178,190,181 
Slate greyThis color can be used on buildings which makes it perfect for the roofs of houses in the city778899119,136,153 
Gunmetal greyThis color is named accordingly because it reflects the colors of grey colored metals unbelievably well2C353944,53,57 
Silvery greySilvery grey can be used to represent the mythical or mystical elements in this world. It can also be used to show elegance, regalness, and certain light reflections.C0C0C0192,192,192 
Purple greyPurple-grey is an often confused color, is it purple? Or is it grey? It makes a bridge between the two colors beautifully and it can be used when adding any type of depth and dimension.a7a6ba167,166,186 
Cadet greyThis military, if you are painting arsenal of any type, or maybe even just the camouflaging colors the military is so famous for91a3b0145,163,176 


Now that you have all the bits of information that maybe have been left out of the color blending lessons in primary school. At least now you will have more variation of the gray color because you understand what colors make gray that is either cool or warm. We hope you have found this illuminating and we wish you happy mixing!



Frequently Asked Questions


Is There More Than One Shade of Grey?

In every one color, there are many variations, and the same goes for grey. There is actually an endless amount of color variations, just like how there is an endless supply of colors in a rainbow, it just depends on the angle you are viewing it from.


Which Two Colors Make Gray?

If you are going to achieve a gray color that is mixed with only two colors then those will be black and white. But, there are many times one would use blues or reds when creating gray. It is all about your desired end tone. But, ultimately, you only need black and white to create gray!


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