Gamblin Artists Colors
Whites


White is the heart of any line of artists' colors. Between half and three-quarters of the paint on most oil paintings is white, so the white color holds most paintings together.

When selecting white oil colors, consider tinting strength. The more opaque the white, the higher its tinting strength and the more it will "reduce" the color. The higher the tinting strength, the lighter the value of the color/white mixture (tint).

Radiant White, our most buttery white, and Titanium White have the highest tinting strength. Excellent for direct painting styles, they make the brightest, most opaque tints and will reflect the highest percentage of light off the painting surfaces.

The Flake White Replacement project evolved from a prominent artist's request for Lead (Flake) White, which had been the only white pigment commonly available until titanium dioxide was produced in 1920. Not surprisingly, the artist wanted Flake White's working properties without the lead. Challenged, Robert tested all the Flake White oil colors on the market and found tremendous differences among them.

To make Gamblin's version, he matched the working properties generally considered typical of Lead White: warm in color, a dense and heavy paste with a long and "ropey" quality, and a unique look to the impasto stroke.

For a broader discussion of Whites, please visit our Studio Note newsletter, Getting the White Right.

Our whites are arranged from most opaque to least opaque. Please click on each swatch to enlarge:

CLICK SWATCH TO [+]

Radiant White: A good choice where the color white is critical, Radiant White formulated for painters who want a "refrigerator white" white. Same tinting strength and opacity as Titanium White. Excellent for abstract paintings. Bright and opaque Titanium Dioxide is bound with safflower oil, the clearest oil binder. Because safflower oil is almost colorless, the bright white of the Titanium pigment shows through Radiant White.

Pigment: Titanium Dioxide (PW6)
Vehicle: Safflower oil
Lightfastness I, Series 2, OPAQUE, MSDS
Titanium White: Reflecting 97.5% of all available light, this most opaque white is the perfect choice for direct painting. Monet would have loved it because he wanted his paintings to look soft, like velvet. The covering power of Titanium White is useful for creating opaque layers, but T-Z White is preferable for color-mixing.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide (PW 6)
Vehicle: Alkali refined linseed oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS
Titanium-Zinc White: Most useful all-purpose oil painting white. An excellent mixing white, T-Z White combines the soft texture and opacity of Titanium with the creamy transparency of Zinc for less "chalky" mixtures. Consider using T-Z White for color-mixing because it takes so much color to tint Titanium.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide (PW 6, PW 4)
Vehicle: Safflower Oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS
Gamblin Quick Dry White Quick Dry White: This buttery white is useful for painter who want their paintings to set up more quickly. Quick Dry White is not as fast drying as FastMatte Titanium White, and has a glossier surface quality.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide (PW 6)
Vehicle: Alkali refined linseed oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS
FastMatte Titanium White: The fast drying rate, low oil content, and matte surface quality makes it ideal for underpainting. Using FastMatte Titanium White with traditional oil colors will speed the drying of the resulting mixtures, based on the percentage used.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide
Vehicle: Alkyd resin, refined linseed oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS
Gamblin Flake White Replacement: The first true nontoxic alternative to Flake White. It's the leanest of the Gamblin whites and a terrific underpainting white. Its beautiful opalescent quality is of special interest to portrait painters. Flake White Replacement has all the working properties of traditional Flake White: long ropey stroke, warm color, translucency and short brush mark. Not only does our FWR come without the lead but it also doesn't suffer from the fast drying time of traditional formulations, which contributes to the cracking of oil paintings over time.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide (PW 6)
Vehicle: Alkali refined linseed oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS
Zinc White: The most transparent white, Zinc is recommended for glazing, scumbling and alla prima painting. Compared with all other whites, Zinc White has less hiding power. Zinc White dries slowly, so painters who want to paint wet into wet over a long time will find it useful. Because it's brittle, painters should not consider it as a general painting white unless painting on panel.

Pigment: Zinc oxide (PW 4)
Vehicle: Alkali refined linseed oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, SEMI-TRANSPARENT, MSDS
Warm White and Cool White are formulated for painters who want to include the color of the light into their color mixtures. The color of the light source influences all of the other colors in the painting's subject matter. Using a white that replicates the temperature of your light will create a consistent quality of light and color harmony throughout your painting.
Warm White: Perfect for painters working in warm light situations, such as painting at sunrise or sunset. Based on our Titanium Zinc White formula, it has a perfect balance of yellow and orange pigments to lighten and warm other colors, while maintaining their hue.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide, arylide yellow, monoacetolone, zinc oxide (PW 6, PY 75, PO 62, PW 4)
Vehicle: Safflower oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS

Cool White: Perfect for painters working in cool light situations, such as painting under an overcast sky. Based on our Titanium Zinc White formula, it has a perfect balance of blue pigment to lighten and cool other colors, while maintaining their hue.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide, copper phthalocyanine, zinc oxide (PW 6, PB 15:2, PW 4)
Vehicle: Safflower oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS

Titanium Buff: A light, yellow-grey made from a compound of titanium dioxide and iron oxide.  This popular color is valuable in figurative and landscape painting.

Pigment: Titanium dioxide (PW 6)
Vehicle: Alkali refined linseed oil
Lightfastness I, Series 1, OPAQUE, MSDS