View Full Version : Zinc White

03-02-2006, 11:04 AM
The only 'zinc white' I'm aware of is W&N zinc white. I'm not a fan of W&N pastels so I'm looking for a really good other brand pastel.

I know the 'big three' - Bob, the Good Guy of GA, Terry, the Nice Guy of Terry Ludwig and Karl,The Other Nice Guy of Mt.Vision are sometimes taking a 'peek' at this site and maybe can shed some light on why they do not make 'zinc white'?(I picked up the above names from the adorable ladies on this site - sorry about that guys but they could call you worst)!

Because it's translucent, it does a beautiful job for 'misty' landscapes, fog, and to play down a to bright color!

Any help will be sincerely appreciated - thank you all very kindly!


03-02-2006, 11:50 AM
Dakota sells a sampler packet. You can email them and ask if you could order the sampler and get all white. I think senneliers has one and maybe schmincke but, talk to them. You can also call them. I think that would be best.

03-02-2006, 12:02 PM
if you want your question answered quickly - all 3 of these guys have their email addresses on their websites and are real good at replying .
and terry ludwig is a wetcanvas partner with a forum so you can start a thread there and i'm sure he will reply.

03-02-2006, 06:09 PM
I personally am not too fond of alot of W&N pastels but I find the zinc white to be one of the good ones. I have never applied it thinly enough to notice a transculent quality to it in pastels though (acrylics and oils - yes, pastels - no). As far as I know it is the only zinc white out there.

Both Mount Vision and GA white's are PW6 Titanium white, I don't know about Ludwigs. Only they can answer why they don't include it in the line.

03-03-2006, 08:32 AM
Interesting idea I never really thought of. I think I have some Zinc White buried somewhere I'll try making a couple and seeing what it is like.

03-03-2006, 11:54 AM
Karl, thank you for your response - if W&N can make it, I'm sure YOU will have no problems and I'm also sure it will be a 'super' pastel stick - please let us know when we can order it! Like I said it's used a lot in acrylic work but has not been readily available for pastel work - I'm sure when the 'instructors' start using it, the demand will increase! Again, thanks, your pastels are really nice and appear to be one of the 'big three' with the 'gals' on this thread! I use them and appreciate your interest in we pastelist!


03-03-2006, 12:27 PM
I know I never used Zinc white in oils after trying it and finding that it doesn't cover OR tint worth squat. A very weak pigment overall. I'd think pastels would use Titanium white since Zinc is so weak and Flake has lead in it.

As to whites, generally, I think Mt. Visions probably has the widest range of whites I've seen...both cool and warm. Nice and creamy and with great covering power. I hear that Diane Townsend has a bunch of pale near-white tints, as well.

03-03-2006, 12:41 PM

That's whats so beautiful about 'zinc' white - it's not a strong pigment and can go over other other work and give that 'misty' feeling - seascape painters and early morning landscape painters will love getting the 'morning dew' on the bushes and trees! You can build up layers with it until you have the desired affect - the titanium pigment is opaque and covers everything up!When the 'big three' bring it to market, give it a try - you'll love it as much as 'atmosphere'!


03-04-2006, 01:48 PM
Karl, Terry and Bob:

By mixing 'zinc' white with your base pigments instead of titanium dioxide you will create a whole new line of soft shades of your existing colors - just think of the possibilities - everyone will have to purchase two full 'Montys' to have all your colors! Money in the bank!

'bluefish - the underpaid pastel consultant'

03-04-2006, 02:17 PM
I suppose what you suggest is possible...will have to check it out if/when they offer it! I'm ALWAYS game for yet another color!

03-06-2006, 11:54 PM
Try this:

Blockx Soft Pastel 812 Zinc White - $2.50 - Jerry's Artarama


03-07-2006, 08:50 PM

thank you kindly - I never thought of 'blockx' but I'll take a look - actually I rather like 'blockx' pastels - don't have many but always thought I should try more!


Donna A
03-11-2006, 07:39 PM
I know I never used Zinc white in oils after trying it and finding that it doesn't cover OR tint worth squat. A very weak pigment overall. I'd think pastels would use Titanium white since Zinc is so weak and Flake has lead in it.
Hi!!! You are so right that Zinc White does not tint as heavily as Titanium White will do----but that can be one of it's charms. Working in oils, if I'm only using one White, it will be Mixed White, a combo of Zinc and Titanium. Each has it's stronger and weaker points in the oil paint film it creates.

Titanium pigment is definately more opaque and cooler. Zinc is warmer and less opaque. There is a real difference in how they veil the colored bits of pigment. There are times I want a color to look lighter, but I still want a richer essence of the color of the pigment(s) I'm lightening with a White. Zinc gives me that better than the Titanium. I can get a bit deeper feel of color with the Zinc. If I want something that absolutely stands out fully forward or very strongly in a strong light, I'll choose Titanium. The difference is often subtle, but the difference is there.

I particularly use this with my oil portraits. Use the Zinc for the halftones in moderate light---and the lighter shadowed areas. I use the Mixed for areas in more direct light----and the Titanium for areas in strong light and high light. Will use no white in most of the shadow areas, where the transparency gives me the 4th level from transparent to opaque. (I've even used a Transparent Flake White before the Zinc----giving 5 levels from trsp. to opq. And people have been able to see the effects in the particular paintings where I have used these. But usually, just Zinc-Mixed-Titanium.)

In pastel, we are working primarily in more opaque color, but there are ways of establishing some degree of semi-transparency as well as the "effect of transparency" for some areas compared to others in a painting. I think Zinc Whites---along with Titanium Whites in pastels can give us one more nuance that can be delicious! Donna ;-}

03-11-2006, 07:43 PM

I have three whites on my oils, Titanium, Zinc and Transparent (which I think it's a mix). Flake white is still used and has it's benefits. Of course that one needs to be very carefull due to lead. However if one wants to copy the great masters works, one has to use their pigments, like lead tin yellow or vermillion (mercury sulfate) not the cadmium one.
I guess that I also have the Winsor's zinc white in my pastels.....

Kindest regards,


Paula Ford
03-12-2006, 08:07 AM
What an interesting discussion. I have to add, if Karl makes ANY new colors, I will be the 1st to be at his doorstep to buy them!