How to Make Chromatic Gray Scale With Paint

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Chromatic gray has a small amount of color in it.
Chromatic gray has a small amount of color in it. (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

While some people choose to make gray from a mixture of black and white, this type of gray is considered monochromatic. Instead of making gray from black and white paint, complementary colors also combine into a gray color when mixed properly. A chromatic gray scale shows a progression from one color to the other and the various shades in between.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint, two complementary colors
  • Palette
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper

Mix equal amounts of two complementary colors, such as yellow and blue, red and green or orange and purple. The result should be a flat gray with no hint of color. If there is a hint of either color, add a little bit of the other color to even it out.

Paint the flat gray into the center of the paper and separate the amount you have left on your palette into two sections.

Add a drop of one color to half of the flat gray and mix it. Paint a stripe of this new color to the right of the flat gray color.

Create each step up with a drop of the first color, painting the stripes in order. Stop when the color no longer looks gray at all.

Mix a drop of the second color into the other half of the flat gray paint. Paint a stripe of this new color to the left of the flat gray on the paper.

Add the second color one drop at a time, painting stripes to the left of the previous one until the color no longer appears gray.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make rows using each set of complementary colors for a complete chromatic gray scale.

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