Four Lead White Aritsts' Oils to Choose
by, December 12, 2011 at 06:27 PM (1692 Views)
Rublev Colours Lead White Artists Oil is an opaque white that is smooth and brushes long. The consistency straight out of the tube is creamy, slightly ropey yet retains its shape as you manipulate it while being soft yet sculptural.
Our lead white is made with pale linseed oil and basic lead carbonate (made according to modern processes) without stearates (a pigment stabilizer), other pigments or fillers to alter the characteristics of the pigment. As a result you get a higher pigment volume concentration (PVC) than other brands of lead white (flake white); as high as 50%. This means most brands of flake white in oversized tubes do not weigh nearly as much as Rublev Colours 50 ml tube. Yet, Rublev Colours Lead White is not overly stiff and mixes well with all other oil colors.
Unsolicited comment from a professional artist: “Your Lead White #1 is the best tubed white lead I’ve ever used. Virgil Elliott swears by it, too. I compared it to a small amount of freshly ground white lead mixed with linseed oil. I made sure my grind was the same consistency as your tube white. Your tube white was just as good as what I made. I've been using it every day since. It better than any other white lead I’ve ever used.”—William Whitaker
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Rublev Colours Lead White #2 Artists Oil, ground in filtered, pale walnut oil is an opaque white that is soft and buttery. Lead White #2 is a brighter white than our first lead white, because of the paler walnut oil. Lead white #2 is without stearates or fillers, so you get a higher pigment volume concentration (PVC) than other brands of lead white (flake white); as high as 45%. Rublev Colours Lead White #2 mixes well with all other oil colors.
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Rublev Colours Venetian White Artists Oil is is a semi-opaque white ground in a blend of pale linseed and walnut oil that provides a stiff white excellent for mixing with colors.
According to Salter’s edition of George Field’s Chromatography (1869), Venetian white was a commercial name in the 19th century for a white pigment mixture composed of equal parts of lead white (basic lead carbonate) and ‘heavy spar’ (that is, the barium sulfate mineral barite or baryte). The names Venice white and Venice ceruse were also used for this mixture as well as for pure lead white. We’ve replicated this color for artists today without the fillers and stearates of modern whites. The white mineral barite has a lower refractive index than lead white, making it less opaque and hence well suited for mixing with other colors. Use it to make pale tints of colors without overpowering them or as a foundation for other colors.
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Rublev Colours Ceruse Artists Oil is a semi-opaque lead white ground in pale linseed and walnut oil like that used by Rembrandt and Velazquez. It is used for translucent white effects and soft tints when mixed with other colors.
Ceruse is made with lead white and a medium dry ground calcite (the calcium carbonate mineral) that has a low oil absorption rate like that of lead white to maintain its quick drying character. Calcite is semi-transparent in oil, giving ceruse its soft white character. In the 16th century, this mixture of lead white and calcite was favored as a mixing white by artists such as Rembrandt, and was known as lootwit in Dutch. The name ceruse originates with the Latin cerussa and refered to lead white (basic lead carbonate) pigment. In the 19th century, the name ceruse was used for white pigments that contained lead white and chalk.
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