Guide to Winsor & Newton whites

Pristine and striking, white pigments are used by artists to create high contrast, subtle highlights and serve as a base layer for other colours.

Winsor & Newton whites range from opaque to sheer; some are ideal for mixing and others are more suited to highlights, depending on the pigment. With whites in all our key ranges, you’re certain to find several suitable for different purposes in your practice.

Below, we examine some notable whites and review 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 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 universal white. It is a popular choice among artists, both for the strength of its finish and its 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 civilisations, including Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt, when it was the only white pigment widely available to artists. Flake White Hue is a modern lead-free formulation made to match traditional Flake White.

Chinese White

A variation of Zinc White, Chinese White is popular among artists for its ability to take the edge off brighter colours. Named after the white Chinese porcelain that was popular with 19th century collectors when Winsor & Newton created this in 1834, our version of Chinese White was incredibly in demand upon its release, so much so that the entrance to the company’s Rathbone Place headquarters 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.