Choosing a white in oil colour

white oil
White has been used by artists for thousands of years, helping to provide contrast within a work, as well as conveying moods such as cleanliness, lightness and innocence. It also dominates some of the 20th century’s finest works such as Mondrian’s ‘Composition With Yellow, Blue and Red.’

There are lots of whites to choose from in the Winsor & Newton Oil Colour ranges to allow you to create and experiment with qualities such as covering power, non-yellowing and transparency.

During the production process all of the pigments used to create Winsor & Newton whites are milled with Safflower oil because of its paler colour and its non-yellowing characteristics.


Titanium White
(Artists’ Oil Colour, Winton Oil Colour, Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour, Griffin Fast Drying Oil Colour, Oilbar)
This is the most popular modern white. It is the whitest, most opaque white, softer than Flake White No. 1.


Flake White No. 1*
(Artists’ Oil Colour)
The traditional lead white in oil colour, Flake White is excellent for painting as a result of its flexibility, durability and speed of drying. The inclusion of zinc pigment improves its consistency. This is the stiffest white in the range.


Flake White Hue
(Artists’ Oil Colour, Winton Oil Colour)
A titanium based formulation which avoids the hazardous lead based Flake White No.1. It has a lower tinting strength than Titanium White and has been formulated to match Flake White. It also has a similar drying rate to the original Flake White.


Zinc White
(Artists’ Oil Colour, Winton Oil Colour, Artisan)
This is the least opaque white, making it ideal for tints and glazing. It also has the stiffest consistency.


Transparent White
(Artists’ Oil Colour, Artists’ Oil Bar)
A titanium based white with extremely low tinting strength, providing the palest white glazes.


Cremnitz White*
(Artists’ Oil Colour)
Also made from Lead, the absence of zinc gives a stringy consistency. Some artists may prefer a pure lead colour in principle.


Iridescent White
(Artists’ Oil Colour)
A mica based pigment which makes a pearlescent white. It is effective when mixed with transparent colours.


Soft Mixing White
(Winton Oil Colour, Oilbar, also known as “Mixing White” in Griffin Fast Drying Oil Colour & Oilbar)
A titanium based white with the softest consistency. It has lower tinting strength than Titanium White.


Antique White

(Oilbar)
This is a warmer white for mellower results.


* For reasons of toxicity these Lead White colours are only available in tins in the EU.

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