Basic lead carbonate, or lead white.
This white is well known since antiquity – the Romans
called it “ceruse”. Sennelier still prepares it following the
same ancient methods. Opaque and dense, it creates a highly
durable film, and is best used in an oil binder. Avoid
mixtures with cadmiums and ultramarine blues. Suitable
for fresco, but prepare it with caution, due to its toxic nature.
Not recommended for water-based techniques.
Zinc sulfide and barium sulfate. Dense opaque white
invented in 1860 by the French chemist de Romanange.
Creates tints with exceptional luminosity. Frequently used in
Blanc de Meudon or Marly White
Natural chalk carbonate. Delicate white with good covering
capabilities, generally used in water-based paints. Often
used in conjuction with Lithopone white.
Titanium dioxide (rutile variety). Very lightfast. An opaque,
very dense white that mixes well with all colors. An excellent
all-around white appropriate for both oil- and water-based
colours. The most recent of the white pigments to be
developed, this pigment, which dates to about 1915,
occupies an important position in the white family.
Zinc oxide, which dates back to 18th century painting, was
first manufactured by the French chemist Courtois. A stable,
non-toxic, semi-transparent pigment that mixes well with
all colours. Use it in thin layers, or in combination with
titanium white. Used most frequently in oil, gouache, and
watercolour. Suitable for fresco.