Sunday, November 20, 2011

Using a Second White

Recently I have found a second white appearing on my palette.  Most of the time I use Titanium White.  In the last couple of years I have explored a number of Titanium Whites.  I like Gamblin, Rembrandt, and of course Old Holland.  For value I have used a lot of LeFranc.  During this exploration I also delved into Lead White.  I really like it, but I find I don't prefer it in all applications.  It is fantastic in places I want a warm white, in impasto, and in places where I want an unpredictable outcome.  It tends to come off the brush stringy and wobley.  If I whip it, it gets more viscous and ropey.  Great under the palette knife.

Titanium Above, Lead Below

OK, it is only a picture, so difficult for you to see the hue difference.

Titanium Under The Brush

Then, carefully trying to do the same with the lead white;

Juicy, Gooey, Lead White

I used LeFranc Titanium White and RGH Lead White.  If you want to buy RGH, call them first and order over the phone.  Old Holland's Lead is fantastic but expensive.  I have been using Flake White Replacement by Gamblin.  It has maybe 80% of the properties and none of the lead.  Good news for those who like to suck their brush.  I have found RGH Extra Fine Lead White and Blue Ridge Flemish White to be interesting as well.  Both come out of the tube loose and very smooth.  Both whip into a viscous pile for less control or more impasto.  Thixotropic me thinks.  Store these tubes upside down to eliminate oil separation.

Yesterday I used Lead white and Ultramarine Blue for some sky work (Below).  Just mixing on the palette gave me a look that is out of the ordinary.  It looked translucent and warmer than the usual and the ropeyness gives almost a two tone effect if applied with that in mind.  I usually mix in another pigment but not with this.  Its not for everyone.

The Creperie, Pont Audemer


  1. I think that sky looks really good! The two buildings seem to almost merge together in the upper-left corner - I assume it's an effect of the lighting, but I like the connection it makes between them. Nicely done.

  2. Hi Sam,
    The Church and the Creperie are "connected" so to speak. Quite unusual.