oil question: warm white?

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    oil question: warm white?

    One of my biggest problems with my palette is that all whites I own are cold ones. Especially some of the mixed whites and glazing whites or permalba white.
    I don't think titanwhite is fully neutral, to me it appears to be somewhat cold.

    So... anyone knows a warm white?
    because warming the white up (with naples yellow or similar stuff) is a way to help out but especially white glazes or warm highlights are a real pain in the neck with those.

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    i think almost everyone is going to tell you to use naples yellow, white is inherently alot cooler then almost any other colour out there because its so desatured (i think) also look into tinting it with indian yellow, i havent done it yet myself but apparently its highly transparent and really versatile.

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    yeah... naples yellow is a big help here. But I would still prefer a warm white...
    I just read lead white is a warm white... can anybody confirm that?

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    true whites are cool.

    white essentially has no color, and therefore appears cool.
    http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color12.html#warmcool

    the only time it appears warm is when it is surrounded by a predominantly warm area,
    or is slighted tinted to the warm side of the spectrum (not really making it white any more).

    redrook is dead on about indian yellow.
    its very vibrant, and just a pinch will really warm up the white.

    so, if what you are looking for is something of a very light value that is still warm (and premixed),
    try:
    unbleached titanium white
    or, naples yellow light <<<one of my favorite colors


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    I agree with all DS's comments, but I have also heard people say that Lead White is warmer than most (but I've never used it). It really is in how you use it though

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    Iím still deciding whether the whole idea of colors being warm and cool is silly. Well, scratch that; I am trying hard to fight the idea that it is silly, out of deference to all the artists who have come before me and assumed this to be true. Iím not sure Iíll ever be convinced that color is not entirely relative. In the right situation, red can look green. A so-called cool white can be made to look warm if used in company of the correct colors.

    But then again, for painting images of lighting situations that are fairly standard, itís darn convenient to grab the Naples yellow to lighten a color and add warmth. I suspect the artists who came up with the warm/cool way of thinking werenít painting skin tones in purple fog and lit by green and lights. It seems to me like a guideline for painting conventional scenes with conventional lighting and colors.

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    I think this discussion was why the Art Discussion area is here in the first place- but again, I think it is a way of classifying some very general connotations carried by colors- Day is warm, yellow, red, orange. Night is cool, blue purple, darker greens. Using warm colors at night, unless under a specific light, makes it not seem like night. That isn't to say that all warm mooded paintings only have warm colors or vice-versa- for instance, on a blue background, what stands out better. A purple rock or an orange rock? The orange- (not only because it is blue's compliment), but because it is a warm color. On a predominatly orange BG, what stands out more- a red rock or a blue rock? The blue- for the same reason. It is essentialy a divide in the color wheel to seperate colors of different types- Warm naturally carry a lighter tone, Cool naturally carry a Darker tone- though this is all again, speculation and I could be totally wrong.

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    odd ly I think we get in to habits of dealing withthings in certain ways..our own personal conventions if you will. Seedling tends to cool light.. YTyranx to worm golden light... I can't deal withthe damn stuff at all so who am I to talk...
    I use titanium white for everything cooled or warmed as needed

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    I’m not sure I’ll ever be convinced that color is not entirely relative. In the right situation, red can look green. A so-called cool white can be made to look warm if used in company of the correct colors
    well of course, it is relative. This is what Dan said, your Titanium white can be warm or cool depending on how you apply it and what it's near. All the same, just as some pigments are "dark" (as in darker than a mid-tone) and "light" (as in lighter than a mid-tone), some are warmer and some are cooler. Alizarin Crimson is without question cooler than Cadmium Scarlet for example, and reacts accordingly when used with other paint.

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    Almost any tube of warm, light paint you can buy (brilliant yellow lt, even most naples yellow) is going to be mostly white pigment. You just have to learn how to hold the local while lightening a color, same as with darkening. It's almost never simply a matter of adding white.


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    Color temperature in terms of art - to me, is all about context.

    If we're talking lightsource it's of course about hue. i.e. Yellow is warm, blue is cool.

    If we're talking shading scale we're talking about saturation/purity. i.e. Adding saturation warms, losing saturation cools. Though perhaps, adding saturation to a cool hue cools?

    If we're talking about comparison we're talking relativity and dealing with simultaneous contrast. i.e. A warm red next to a cool red, or a red next to blue - this is a mix of both hue and saturation I believe.


    It's very confusing as the terms float around different contexts interchangably.

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    wow... so much valuable information... thanks a lot for that.
    I will try some of this stuff today.

    I have to add one thing:
    Mussini Glazing White is definitive a lot cooler than titaniumwhite.
    I did a study yesterday with Titanium White and Ivory Black in Acrylics. When it was dry I added a GlazingWhite oil glaze and it appeared blueish (not slightly blueish, it was obviously much cooler).
    Then I added some warm and cool colors and came to the conclusion that Titanium White is a neutral white and whatever pigment is used in mussini glazing white is a cool white.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaknafain
    I did a study yesterday with Titanium White and Ivory Black in Acrylics. When it was dry I added a GlazingWhite oil glaze and it appeared blueish (not slightly blueish, it was obviously much cooler).
    Then I added some warm and cool colors and came to the conclusion that Titanium White is a neutral white and whatever pigment is used in mussini glazing white is a cool white.
    Things get real complicated when you start introducing multiple layers of transparent/semitransparent paint. Any color will go cool when used as a scumble (transparently over a darker ground) just as any color will go warmer and more chromatic when used as a glaze (transparently over a lighter ground). It has to do with the physics of light; longer (warmer) wavelengths penetrate further, while shorter ones scatter on the surface.
    However, putting that aside, there are differences in the qualities of different white pigments, and they're well worth exploring. That Mussini glazing white is probably mostly zinc, which is a relatively cold, transparent white. Titanium is much denser and "pure" white, and much more powerful in mixtures (to the point where it can be overwhelming and "chalky"). Most titanium white paint actually has a small amount of zinc added because it improves the handling qualities. "Mixing whites" like Permalba have a higher percentage of zinc so that they tint more cleanly, while still having the covering power of titanium.


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  16. #14
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    Glaze and scumble? Thanks a lot for explaining the difference (especially because you explained "why" as well).
    That is exactly the answer I was hoping for...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Things get real complicated when you start introducing multiple layers of transparent/semitransparent paint. Any color will go cool when used as a scumble (transparently over a darker ground) just as any color will go warmer and more chromatic when used as a glaze (transparently over a lighter ground). It has to do with the physics of light; longer (warmer) wavelengths penetrate further, while shorter ones scatter on the surface.
    However, putting that aside, there are differences in the qualities of different white pigments, and they're well worth exploring. That Mussini glazing white is probably mostly zinc, which is a relatively cold, transparent white. Titanium is much denser and "pure" white, and much more powerful in mixtures (to the point where it can be overwhelming and "chalky"). Most titanium white paint actually has a small amount of zinc added because it improves the handling qualities. "Mixing whites" like Permalba have a higher percentage of zinc so that they tint more cleanly, while still having the covering power of titanium.

    thanks elwell that was really helpful info

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    Yeah, extremely helpful, thanks Elwell!

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    Barium sulfate or strontium are other ingredients sometimes added to white pigments to alter their tinting characteristics. Holbien has a nice range of whites that include these as well as lead, titanium and zinc.

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    Can I just add my two cents and echo the fact that Indian Yellow works wonders in this department. At least for me.

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    Indian Yellow

    More information that's probably more than anybody needs to know...

    Indian Yellow is one of those color names that doesn't have a standard pigment associated with it. The original Indian Yellow pigment was produced in India (surprise surprise) by feeding cows a diet of nothing but mango leaves and restricting their water intake. Their concentrated, bright yellow urine was then collected and dried to a powder (NO I AM NOT KIDDING)*. It's manufacture was outlawed in the early 20th century on animal cruelty grounds. Today the name Indian Yellow is used for any highly transparent golden yellow that approximates the color of the original pigment. Usually this is some sort of tartrazine yellow.

    * Frighteningly enough, this is not the most disgusting thing that was used as a pigment in the 19th century. There was a popular transparent brown called mummy. And yes, it really was made from ground up Egyptian mummies.

    Last edited by Elwell; December 12th, 2006 at 11:03 AM.

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    Willamsburg has a zinc yellow that is similar to their zinc white but with a yellowish buff. They also have an unbleached titanium that leans toward red.

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    That's bizarre Elwell, I did not know that.

    Learn something every day around these parts..

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    I actually knew about the mummies

    and of course actual Lapis and cochineal red was made from ground up beetles

    I have a great book called the "Painters cyclopedia" copy right 1893
    It has the coolest stuff in it...most of it is at the very least poisonous
    (arsnic green, lead white...etc)

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    "* Frighteningly enough, this is not the most disgusting thing that was used as a pigment in the 19th century. There was a popular transparent brown called mummy. And yes, it really was made from ground up Egyptian mummies."

    If you think THAT was disgusting...the "corporate" Euros who had control of the middle east in the 19th century actually used hundreds of thousands of mummies as fuel on the railroads they built in the area and even in parts of Europe (steam engines)...

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    Any color will go cool when used as a scumble (transparently over a darker ground) just as any color will go warmer and more chromatic when used as a glaze (transparently over a lighter ground). It has to do with the physics of light; longer (warmer) wavelengths penetrate further, while shorter ones scatter on the surface
    I know this is very apparent when seeing a painting in person, but I wonder how visible these effects are in reproduction. Any thoughts? It seems to me that the effect is less when photographed, though I admittedly don't really work in all that many layers. Of course, no repro is going to have the same intensity and purity as the original, but "why" is something I still only partially understand and I wonder if layer interaction is among the variety of reasons. Thoughts?

    And the origins of Mummy and Indian Yellow are the two things I remember best from Color Theory class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    I know this is very apparent when seeing a painting in person, but I wonder how visible these effects are in reproduction. Any thoughts?
    yeah, this is a constant source of annoyance for me.
    personally, i find glazes disappear almost totally when photographed.
    yet, scumbling holds up pretty well.

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    That color shift occurs due to the way light passes through the upper layer, so that likely accounts for the differences in how it photographs. It also depends on the choice of pigment. The color change is more noticeable on transparent pigments, like indian yellow for example, or if you use extra medium with an opaque pigment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration
    yeah, this is a constant source of annoyance for me.
    personally, i find glazes disappear almost totally when photographed.
    yet, scumbling holds up pretty well.
    Which is exactly why I moved from Acrylics to oils. To blend the acrylics the way I wanted, I either had to use an airbrush (a pain, slow to change paint colors and clean up, as well as being probably MORE hazardous than most oil mediums/cleaners) or a ton of glazes (what I usually did). These looked great in person, but when photographed suddenly turned into a completely different painting. Of course, I'm having to break a lot of old habits with oil to get into more Alla prima painting.

    This thread is gold, by the way.

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    Flake or Cremnitz white (both are lead based) are warm whites. Titanium is closest to neutral. Ivory is cool, but only use it in top layers or direct painting. If used underneath it may lead to cracking. The naples yellow we buy today isn't really naples yellow. Its a mixture of ochre, white and cad yellow light.

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    The naples yellow we buy today isn't really naples yellow. Its a mixture of ochre, white and cad yellow light.
    though I would still marry it if it would have me

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    Naples Yellow genuine includes lead which some places won't use, but it's available if you shop around a bit.

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