Do you want to use Cremnitz White?

SoWa Second Sunday is June 9th. I'll be in the studio, open to the public, from noon to 4 PM. #306 450 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA
Come on by because it's Open Market, Farmer's Market and Vintage Market time too!

Cremnitz White - Is it right for you?

I have used Old Holland Cremnitz White. It is a 100% lead pigmented paint mixed with cold pressed linseed oil. The name is derived from a belief that somewhere far away, a long time ago, in the  Austro-Hungarian empire there was a town, Krems or something like that, where superior white lead was supposedly made. This may be on not be true. Nevertheless artists typically call 100% lead white paint, Cremnitz White.

Cremnitz White with linseed oil has a fast drying time. This is useful for under paintings (value only paintings done before color and details.) or for laying a toned ground (white mixed with grey to cover the canvass or white mixed another basic color like burnt sienna).

Cremnitz White has a stiff body texture. Unlike Stack White, Cremnitz does not become syrupy. It's a paint for holding long strokes that stand up. I paint with pallet knife and I like using a stiff paint for textures. However, sometimes I want the paint to flow for translucent or transparent effects and I use Flake White (to be discussed next week).

Cremnitz White has a warmer white color. (some artists claim it yellows but I don't believe it changes. It is slightly yellow to begin with). Because of this warmer tome I do like adding it as a white for warmer colors to help keep their "temperature."

Cremnitz White has a low tinting strength. I like this very much because it will never overpower a color. However if you are a painter who prefers to use tinted colors this would be a very expensive choice. (Titanium White is your best and most economical choice)

Cremnitz White has a nice balanced opaqueness. It's often said to be medium opaque. As I've evolved with color mixing and color layering I have started to lean away from a fully opaque white, as is Titanium White.

All lead pigments are considered toxic especially to children. Precautions should be taken at all times: wear gloves and never create dust, never burn or turn lead into a particle which can be inhaled. Use a respirator, a hood ,or a ventilator if dealing with the powdered pigment. Cadmiums are even more toxic. If you eschew lead for health reasons it is important to remove cadmium from your pallet as well.


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