Guide to Winsor & Newton Whites


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Pristine and striking, various iterations of white are used by artists to create high contrast, serve as a base layer for other colours, or create clean, bright, and transparent effects in artwork. Our range of whites range from opaque to sheer, some ideal for mixing, others more suited for highlighting. With whites in all of our key ranges, you’re certain to find several suitable for different purposes in your practice. Below, we review some notable whites and their standout qualities to ensure you never draw a blank when searching for your white of choice.

Zinc White

As the least opaque of Winsor & Newton Whites, Zinc White is best suited for tinting and glazing paintings. Based on Zinc pigments, it is also known as ‘Chinese White’ and has a particularly ‘clean’ finish, making it a prime choice for light highlighting as well.

Titanium White

Clean and opaque, Titanium White is considered the strongest and most standout white. It is a popular choice among artists, both for the strength of its finish and ability to provide good coverage, thus lending itself well to base layers, or when a large surface area must be painted in white.

Flake White

Also known as ‘Snowflake White,’ Flake White is a traditional lead-based white whose origins date back to the oldest civilizations, including Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt, when it was the only white pigment widely available to artists. Flake White is a favourite of artists for its pure whiteness and mixing qualities, and it is good for general coverage.

Chinese White

A variation of Zinc White, Chinese White is popular among artists for its ability to take the edge off of brighter colours. Winsor & Newton’s version of Chinese White was incredibly in demand upon its release, so much so that the entrance to the Rathbone Place flagship was reportedly blocked by carriages filled with clients eager to get their hands on the new paint. A subtle white, it is essential for painting white objects in addition to softening other colours.

White Inks

The whites found in both our Calligraphy Ink and Drawing Ink ranges are lauded for their brilliance, particularly when used on dark paper. They can be applied to surfaces with a variety of tools, including brushes and dip pens, and are lovely for hand-lettering or adding a subtle sheen to work.

White Blender

The Winsor & Newton Pigment Marker™ White Blender is the first-of-its-kind – a revolutionary tool for artists and illustrators who want to access a limitless palette. Specifically designed for the Pigment Marker range, the White Blender allows artists to soften, build, and blend colours with ease and can be used on black paper as well. Learn more about the Winsor & Newton Pigment Marker™ and White Blender by visiting our Pigment Marker page.

Explore our various whites and an array of brilliant colours in various ranges in our Shop.