Underpainting Lead White (also known as flake white or Cremnitz white) This is the ideal white to use in your underpainting, because it dries within an hour or two. Mix with any oil color and apply as your underpainting to dry quickly to a matte surface. This is the best surface for your overpainting because the matte provides subsequent layers with ample texture for excellent adhesion. Dries to a matte finish. Underpainting Lead White does not contain driers.
Not all painters use an underpainting, it seems that those who do want it to dry fast so they can begin coloring in the overpainting. Natural Pigments has a simple solution that does not require buying a whole new set of colors just for the underpainting. Introducing two new products: Underpainting Lead White and Transparent Base. With either or both products, you can use any of your standard oil colors and have them dry blindly fast—usually within an hour or so. Add the Underpainting Lead White or Transparent Base—from one third to one half—to your oil color and your underpainting dries quickly to a matte sheen. Add less for slower drying.
The image of the test panel shows the effects of l, Lead White #1, Underpainting Lead White and Underpainting Transparent Base in mixtures with four oil colors: , Ultramarine Blue (Green Shade), Ercolano Red and Italian Green Umber.
Note: We recommend using Underpainting Lead White in the underlayers of a painting or as the white in alla prima (direct) painting. Do not apply Underpainting Lead White over slower drying oil paint, as this may lead to cracking or wrinkling of the layer.
All images of color swatches in this web site are only approximations of the actual color of the oil paint. We have taken every care to match the color in these pictures on calibrated color monitors to the actual color. However, because of the wide variance in color monitors, the results you get may vary.
Color Swatch Note: The color swatch was created with a thick application (left side) of color and a tint (right side) made with equal parts of color and titanium white and applied on acrylic primed cotton canvas.
Drawdown Note: The image of the "drawdown" contains a pre-mixed paint film of 6 mil (0.006 inch) thickness applied to a standard test card for the purposes of examining color consistency, opacity, and other qualities. The drawdowns show the color full strength (mass tone), on the left, and mixed in a 1:2 ratio with bone black on the right. The bottom area of the drawdowns is scraped to show undertones.