Graphite Gray (PBk10)


Something you hardly associate with watercolor is graphite. Not to paint with, in any case. For the sketch for a watercolor, graphite is used in the form of a pencil, but there are actually watercolor paints with graphite as pigment.

Two watercolor paint manufacturers have graphite paint, namely Schmincke and Daniel Smith, there is also ArtGraf from Viarco which has water soluble graphite sticks and the paint as a large pan in a round tin container. Both Schmincke and DS call the color Graphite Gray.

Graphite paint in watercolor is an extremely light-resistant paint, it is very opaque and very staining. The paint does not granulate and leaves no hard edge. It loses quite a lot of value when it dries.

When painted on a paper, the paint looks compact and flat. A flat wash really becomes massively smooth and opaque. The watercolor paint gives a surface which, just like a pencil drawing, has a certain graphite sheen. A slightly glossy surface. This property makes the color stand out in a painting with other colors, which almost all dry up matte.

Graphite gray mixed with three primary colors, PY175 (lemon yellow), Quinacridone rose and phthalo blue, notice that all the colors become cooler, the yellow becomes green, the red violet and the blue color becomes turquoise.

Therefore, graphite gray may not be suitable to use as a black color in a painting together with other colors. It is so radically different from the other colors. But if you mix all the colors in a painting with graphite gray, so that everything gets the same graphite character, then it works. The result is different from a regular watercolor, it gets a nice pencil-like feel.

Or try doing a value painting on top of a pencil drawing, it works very well. So the color is not really something for regular watercolor painting, but a nice addition if you want to experiment and try different methods of painting watercolor.

A painting made with three primary colors together with Graphite Grey. All the colors are mixed with graphite gray so it doesn’t look too weird.
The color is very opaque, you can’t see the top black line. It can be seen as a faint white-spotted surface because the paint did not adhere very well to that surface.
Left is dry paint, right is freshly painted
No hard edge, no granulation.
The color adheres very well to the paper.
Unable to create blooms.
Unwilling wet on wet.

Color index: PBk10
Light fastness: Extremely good.
Transparency: Very opaque.
Staining: Very staining.
Granulates: No.

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