Colour of the day no. 1 – Payne’s Grey

Solid colour grey image. Colour is known as Payne's grey

Colour of the day 1 - Payne's grey

Payne’s grey

Invented by British watercolourist William Payne (1760-1830). Originally made from a mixture of lake, raw sienna and indigo as a subtler alternative to a grey mixed from black and white, it is still made today but usually from a mixture of ultramarine and black or ultramarine and sienna.

We’d love to know via the comments below what Payne’s grey reminds you of or makes you think about. We’re also running a weekly competition where people can re-name a colour. If you had to rename this colour, what would you call it? There will be a weekly prize.

Colour of the day

Throughout the Brighton Festival a colour of the day will be displayed in Fabrica and on this blog. To help decide which colour to choose we asked Anne Wight who is a grapheme synaesthete .This is a form of synaesthesia in which an individual’s perception of numbers and letters is associated with an experience of colour.

Like all forms of synaesthesia, grapheme-colour synaesthesia is involuntary, consistent, and memorable and is one of the most common forms of synaesthesia. Generally, while it is extremely unlikely that any two synaesthetes will report the same colours for all letters and numbers, studies of large numbers of synaesthetes find that there are some commonalities across letters.

I have chosen colours/pigments/paints for each day loosely based the colours she sees for the dates of May’s Festival.


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3 responses to “Colour of the day no. 1 – Payne’s Grey

  1. Today I seem to be wearing Payne’s Grey, it’s on the back of the seat on the Southern service from Charing Cross to Gillingham and in the clouds above Southwark as the train passes through. Maybe it could be renamed Southwark Blue

  2. I am a synaesthete too and my days of the week have colours, as does a lot of music. To me this is the colour of the Queen song ‘You’re My Best Friend’ so I think of it as You’re My Best Friend grey.

  3. I adore Payne’s Grey. It makes me think of the colour of the sky before a thunderstorm.

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