I am a value painter. But I do appreciate neutrals a great deal, especially when laid next to pures and sparkling brights. I have always mixed my own grays. It is usually quite an ordeal, searching for a particular neutral nuance, while adding and adding and subtracting with my palette knife. This summer I found in my color box a promotional tube of Torrit Gray from Gamblin. I have absolutely no idea where it came from. But I now hail its unexpected arrival. Because it is such a beautiful gray, in my opinion, I found myself simply mixing the pure hue of my choice to get it to lean in a particular direction. The tube says " In honor of Earth Day, we make this oil color from recycled pigments collected by our air filtration system". Wow.
There is a special link on the Gamblin site that explains this pigment and its making. I found it fascinating.
Torrit Gray is quite a guy.
Here’s the secret of being a great colorist: it doesn’t matter how well you combine the bright, obvious colors, it’s the so-called dull, closely related shades - gray-greens, pewters, tans, muted browns, umbers, ochres, stormy blues and charcoals - that determines whether you have an eye for color.
Dorothy Shinn, April 14, 2005 review of Yves Saint-Laurent, Akron Beacon Journal