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Question asked 2018-06-03 13:37:10 ...
Most recent comment 2018-06-09 10:05:58
Grounds / Priming
Hello MITRA folks! Can you recommend the best white oil paint (used thinly) for both a straight white Imprimatura and a pale colored Imprimatura? Thin, of course, and non-Zinc. I'm also wondering if a product like Gamblin Ground could be used? Whatever I use needs to be non-yellowing if some areas are left exposed, and also needs to take varnish the same as further layers of oil paint. Hope that's clear. I used to do this with a Zinc-based paint, but apparently that is NOT a viable option anymore. Thanks for your thoughts.
Answers and Comments
There is really no better white than lead white for oil
painting. It is superior in flexibility and permanence. It is, however, less “white”
than zinc and titanium and is both expensive and toxic. It is easy to use lead
white safely but some would prefer to avoid both the expense and issues of toxicity
disposal. So in lieu of lead white you really only have titanium white. Zinc
white has been shown to be very problematic even in small proportion. Other
whites lack the opacity to be used as an all-purpose white (barium sulfate,
etc) Titanium dioxide on its own has issues as well. It tends to make very weak
paint films. Unfortunately, for oil paint, all whites other than lead are a compromise. That is not to say that permanent paintings cannot be made using titanium white, only that it is inferior to lead white.
One could certainly use Gamblin’s ground, which is titanium white and calcium carbonate
in an alkyd binder. It should take varnish in a similar manner as the rest of your painting and should remain white.
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