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Which White?

September 23, 2016

This is just an aside, an innocent inquiry by a painter who sometimes does portraits or clothed figures in interiors.

You know how, when Ivanka Trump comes out under the lights wearing a white dress, and you can’t tell where her dress stops and her skin begins, because she’s a white woman. Well if I’m painting her portrait in that dress—she’s in the dress, not me—which white or whites do I use?

It gets tricky.  You’re doing white on white.

I like zinc white a lot, even though it’s toxic. I think it gave earlier painters a real advantage, like chromium in red. However, Daniel Smith (a Seattle company) makes what they call a “Mixed White” that is buttery and applies very smoothly. There are others, but you see the point.

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