I spent some time recently experimenting with handmade white oil paint. I thought I'd share a little comparison I made after mixing Chromium Oxide Green into three different whites, my handmade white, lead white, and titanium white. Chromium Oxide Green is so easy to bend warm or cool so I thought it would be great to show just how warm lead is compared to the opaque cool of titanium.
I've learned that combining calcite with lead white creates Ceruse or "lootwit" and was used by Rembrandt and Velazquez for translucent passages. i also purchased some barite, after learning it is even more transparent than calcite and was used by the Old Masters with lead white as well, it was called Venice Ceruse, or Venetian white.
I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to recreate the transparent quality of lead by mixing barite with titanium, resulting in a non toxic white that isn't cool and chalky.
The barite, titanium and my handmade SRO linseed oil created another ropey long paint. To bulk it up I ended up adding a little bit of calcite as well, maybe 10% calcite. The mixture was lovely! So, would it be somewhat similar to lead? I know my mixture will dry faster than commercially tubed titanium because of my handmade linseed oil. Next was to mix with green and compare. I was very pleased to see that my handmade white, while still not as warm as the lead, was still closer in color/value. I took several pics in different lighting to share.