Sunday, 6 June 2010

Jonathan Linton's Review of the lightfastness of White Oil Paint

Jonathan Linton (Theory and Practice) has published images of the results of his comprehensive test of various white paints - oils and alkyds - in The White Test. . . 5 Years in the Making 

These are the white paints he tested
Winsor & Newton (Artist Oil Colors)
    Titanium White  37 ml
     Zinc White  37ml
     Flake White #1  37 ml
     Foundation White  37 ml
     Cremnitz White  37 ml
     Transparent White  120 ml
Winsor & Newton (Griffin Alkyd)
    Titanium White  37 ml
     Mixed White  37 ml
Gamblin (Artist Oil Colors)
    Titanium White  37 ml
     Radiant White  37 ml
     Titanium Zinc White  37 ml
     Zinc White  37 ml
     Quick Dry White  37 ml
     Flake White Replacement  37 ml
     Flake White  37 ml
Grumbacher (Artist Oil Colors Pretested)
    Titanium White (soft form)  1.25 fl. oz.
     Titanium White (original form)  1.25 fl. oz.
     Zinc White  37 ml
     Flake White  37 ml
Holbein (Extra Fine Artist Oil Colors)
     Ceramic White  50 ml
     Zinc White  50 ml
Lukas 1862 (Finest Artist Oil Colors)
     Opaque White  37 ml
     Zinc White  37 ml
     Titanium White  37 ml
Old Holland (Classic Oil Colors)
     Mixed White #2 (zinc & titanium)  40 ml
     Titanium White  40 ml
     Cremnitz White  40 ml
     Flake White #1 Cremnitz & Zinc  40 ml
Vasari  (Classic Artist Oil Color)
     Titanium Zinc White  40 ml
     Zinc White  40 ml
     Titanium White  40 ml
Permalba (Artist Oil Color)
     Original White  150 ml
     Zinc White  37 ml
     Titanium White  37 ml
     Iridescent White  37 ml
Chroma (Archival Permanently Flexible Artists Oils)
     Titanium White  40 ml
Chroma (Professional Artists Oils)
     Tinting White (Pearl/Titanium)  40 ml
C.A.S. Alkyd Pro
     White Luster  70 ml
     Titanium White  70 ml
Rembrandt (Extra Fine Oil Colors)
     Transparent White  40 ml

His colour charts group paint by type (eg Titanium, Zinc, Flake etc) and then go on to demonstrate
  • how the white behaves when painted over a black stripe ie what is its covering power; how opaque or transparent is the paint and how does it behave when used as a glaze
  • what it's like when mixed with black
  • what colour the paint is after five years - in both solid form and brushed out
I give you the results of this expanded White Test (or Off-White Test, as it is known in-house.) 
The charts demonstrate which remain the same and which change - and, if they change whether they have a tendency to go towards orange or yellow.

A small sample of Jonathan Linton's colour charts for white oil paint

His charts when clicked produce large images and it's very easy to read which paint is which.

He then produces a ranked list for
  • those which remained white, 
  • those which practically turned orange and 
  • those which had a distinct lemon yellow tint.
This is definitely a RECOMMENDED READ for all painters. Do also make sure you read the comments as they contain interesting discussions about different paints and indicate what he's now planning for the next tests!

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