How to Mix a Black and Grey Palette Without Using Black.

As I mix a black and grey palette without using black paint today, I am reminded of my students saying to each other, “..Ms Mucha does not allow us to paint with black”.

San Francisco Acrylics 30
A Work in Progress: San Francisco | Acrylics | 30″ × 24″ | Artist: Sandra Mucha
Here is my reason why: Black flattens the color, while it can make the other colors pop, it does not create the depths as found in a natural setting when creating a cityscape, portrait or still life.

While it can make the other colors pop, it does not create the depths as found in a natural setting…

Glass Towers | Oil On Canvas | 48″ x 36″ x 1.5″ | Artist: Sandra Mucha

So, here is my favorite pairing for creating darks and fogs in my cityscapes: burnt umber with ultramarine blue to achieve a natural dark shade.

Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue and Tint with Titanium white.
The next time you have the urge to reach for black paint, try creating more depth and realistic darks and greys with the versatile color combination of ultramarine blue and burnt umber.

Also, be careful to use small amounts of titanium white for tinting. This cooler white tends to dominate the other colors.

See works in progress at SandraMucha.Artwork on Instagram.

Sandra Mucha
Painter of Playful Perspectives and Portraitures.