It’s not just that Grey is a colour, Grey is also needed to desaturate all the other colours. Perhaps Grey is in fact not a colour, so much as the cancellation effect of two other colours that are positioned on roughly opposite sides of the colour wheel.
Here are some recipe suggestions from a self acknowledging source, whose choice of typeface creates concerns, but has a good grasp on the wonderful variety in the nature of Grey:
The easy question is, how can I mix these Greys. But the harder questions are, Why do I need them? And when do I use them?
- As one example, I was told to mix (Grey) shadows using purple for chairs on an orange/yellow beach, because purple is the complementary colour, which is how shadows work.
- For another, try mixing some neat Alizarin Crimson and some neat French Ultramarine Blue to make a powerful purple. Then soften it step by step by progressively adding a neutral Grey. You’ll see a variety of colours appear.
I’m hoping to understand ‘Grey’ much better as I go on learning to mix colours in future.