Acrylic White Paint Review
Seems a little far fetched doesn’t it?
That your white paint could be ruining your Acrylic paintings.
It’s often the first tube of paint you buy and definitely the most used on your palette … yet can be the most overlooked paint in your collection.
You can become transfixed by the Quinacridones, save up for the expensive Cadmiums but little old Titanium white stays the same.
Choosing the ‘right’ white for the type of painting you’re creating is a critical step in mastering painting with acrylics.
So what is the right Acrylic white to use?
Morning class I’m Will Kemp from Will Kemp Art School And this week were gonna look at different whites you can use in your acrylic painting and which are the best whites too choose.
Often if you use a white that isn’t opaque enough then it could cause real trouble when you’re trying to block out different areas of your painting.
So lets have a look at different ones in different price ranges and see which ones is gonna be the best for you.
So the first paint I’ve got of this one this is the cheapest paint that I could find. This is about 1 lb 50 on an offer from a local craft store.
Then I’ve got here an example of a student quality titanium white. And this is from Winsor and Newton.
And then I got a few different examples of artist quality titanium white. I’ve got one from Daler Rowney. I’ve got another Winsor and Newton artist acrylic and a Golden titanium white
I’ve also got two other paints one which is an Open Golden titanium white and I’ve also got a zinc white and we’ll talk about zinc white a little later on.
So the first thing I’m gonna do is poor out examples of the different whites so you can start to see how there consistency varies.
This is the first white. This is the Craft white and one thing you will notice when you use craft acrylic paints is that they’ve got a real smell to them there quite strong and that’s because of they have a lot of different additives that have been added in to them.
You’ll find with artist quality paints that they don’t have much of an odor at all.
So let’s now have a look at them on the easel so we can start to see the different consistency of the paints.
So here you can already see the difference in consistency of the Titanium whites.
So this is on the very far left the one from the Craft store and you see how it’s already dropping down on the palette. And it’s quite thin when it’s quite easy for my palette knife to go through it.
Then this is the Galeria which is the student quality Titanium white. It’s a bit thicker but its still starting to move down the palette.
And these are the 3 artist quality Titanium whites. and there all holding their shape really well. They are not moving down at all. And they are all in these kind of exactly the same shape when I first put them out.
So this one here is the Daler Rowney and that’s got a really nice stiffness to it.
This is the Winsor and Newton it’s not as stiff but it still has a nice consistency to it.
And this is the heavy body from Golden and that is the thickest of the lot cause of the heavy body.It’s a little bit thicker and stiffer. And this particular titanium white is towards the bottom of the pot that I’ve been using so its probably a tiny bit thicker than you would normally get from a fresh tube.
The one I haven’t put out is the Open Titanium white so just to show you that. Now you can see here this is some of the issues I have with the Open acrylics from Golden is that there artist quality paints but look at the difference in the consistency. So this is still the Titanium white but it’s so much more translucent. So much more of a looser body of paint. I’ts coming down the palette almost the same as these first couple of paints here. So it’s actually something to bare in mind if you’re looking at the Open range. The Titanium white is a lot looser and a lot thinner than the standard acrylic Titanium white.
So we can now just test just with the brush to see how they cover over black.
So you can see on here that the first one, the craft paint, didn’t really cover over that much at all. The second one the Galeria paint that starts to cover over quite well. The Daler Rowney one covers over real well. It’s a little bit thicker that but it worked really well there. This was the Winsor and Newton artist quality and that is about the same as the Golden artist acrylic here. The Open acrylic again is about the same as the Galeria acrylic the student grade there.
So let’s just try with a palette knife with thicker applications. So what’s interesting to note here is how when you’re applying thickly with a palette knife, they’ve got similar coverage they still all cover the white underneath and that’s with applying it reasonably thickly but they can all cover over whatever you’ve got.
Now let’s have a look at the different tinting strengths of the whites.
So what I’ve done here is laid out about the equal amounts of titanium whites to some Phthalo Blue with its green shade.
I’m just gonna mixed them together and start to see if we can see any differences the finished tones that are mixed.
So you can see that the two end ones are slightly darkest and the ones in the middle are all slightly lighter.
You’ll also find with this one the Craft Titanium white its got a real gloss finish to it. Where as the other have gotten a more satin or matte finish to them and that’s just due to the different fillers that have been put into this Titanium white.
See how there are drying off and they each got a very very slight different hue to them due to the different white that’s been used.
The final white I put out here is just the zinc white and just to show you the difference with the zinc white. So zinc white is a lot more transparent white it isn’t as solid as the titanium white. So what you’ll find with it is what is called a mixing white. So if you’ve got some blue and you just want to lighten it up slightly but still retain a lot of body into the paint you can just add in some zinc white and just change it ever so slightly.
if you are doing the same thing with titanium white grab a little of that you can start to see that the hue can be changed a lot more rapidly with titanium white.
To get to the same hue with the zinc white were gonna have to add quite a lot more. Even a bit more you’ve really got to keep adding that zinc if you want to try and lighten it up to the same level. I’d even say a bit more. So it’s looking quite close in hue. But if you just look at the difference of volume of paint. So you need loads more of the zinc white to get the same level of the Titanium white if you’re trying to lift up the value to make your colors a lot lighter. But if you’re trying to subtly lift the color then zinc white can be very very handy because it can just shift it ever so slightly.
So now what’s interesting to note is the whites are actually drying off a lot more.
It’s the first one the Craft white you can see how it’s drying off here. Notice what’s called the Color Shift and this is the shift from when it’s wet to when it’s dry. And you’ll see here the color is a lot darker than when it’s wet. And that’s because often you’ll find with the cheaper quality white is that they have a greater color shift. So you can paint it onto your canvas and look perfect and you come back when it’s dry and it shifted a lot darker.
This is with the Daler Rowney that’s dried there but this is still wet. The actual shifting color is quite close.
And again with the Winsor and Newton. It’s nearly dried there and that’s wet at the top. So you can see very very subtly there there’s a very slight darkening off. It shouldn’t be as much with the Winsor and Newton because they use a clear binder rather than a white binder which is usually or use to use.
Again with the Golden acrylic. That’s dry down here just going off there and you can see they are very very close in color. This is because the open acrylic will be wet and will still stay wet for quite awhile.
So if you have the very cheapest white you can find sometimes its a lot harder to cover over that painting that you are working on top of and also you have to be aware that the color shift that will happen with the white.
When you start to go into artist brands so Winsor and Newton,or Daler Rowney, orLiquidex then you’ll start to find that there is more consistency in the actual paints. Between the students and the artists quality.
i mean this one here the Galleria is done really well in comparison to some of the artist quality paints. but the one thing you’ll still notice a difference is in the actual consistancy of the paint. the paint is a lot thinner when your actually first working with it If you want something thats got that real heavy body to it then something that gonna hold the actual shape of your brush so if i do a mark here see how it holds the shapes where as with this one it kind of smooths it out more
then using an artist quality titanium white is always gonna be a real benefit to your acrylic paintings.
and then when you want to have subtly mixes you can use a zinc white to get these lovely translucent mixes. that can be so effective when your using very subtly shifts in tones such as portrait
this is will kemp from will kemp art school
About the Artist
I’m Will Kemp, I’m an award-winning professional artist and teacher. Prior to painting full time I’ve worked in Museums, taught in schools, set up and ran my own gallery for 5 years and have taught hundreds of people to paint and draw. I’ve studied Classical atelier techniques in Italy alongside conceptual art at the Tate Gallery, London. I’ve painted in watercolours, acrylics and oils and my styles have ranged from abstract; impressionistic to realistic portraiture in order to realise my own personal style. I’ll teach you to become selective with composition, demystify colour mixing, achieve perfect perspective, and see the benefits of dramatic use of contrast. I’m looking forward to you joining me on your creative journey of discovery I really hope you enjoy this free video from Will. Will has more great lessons and resources on his website. I highly recommend that you visit today.
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