Rublev Colours lead whites are made with basic lead carbonate (made according to modern processes) ground in oil without additives (such as stearates, a common pigment stabilizer found in all other commercial brands) to alter the characteristics of the pigment. As a result, you get a higher pigment volume concentration (PVC) than other lead white (flake white) bands. This means most brands of flake white in oversized tubes do not weigh nearly as much as Rublev Colours lead white in our standard 50-milliliter tube. Yet, Rublev Colours Lead White is not overly stiff and mixes well with all other oil colors.
Lead White—Our Most Popular White
Rublev Colours Lead White Artists Oil is an opaque white that is smooth and brushes long. The consistency straight out of the tube is creamy and slightly ropey yet retains its shape as you manipulate it while being soft yet sculptural.
Our lead white is made with pale linseed oil and basic lead carbonate (made according to modern processes) without stearates (a pigment stabilizer), other pigments, or fillers to alter the characteristics of the pigment. As a result, you get a higher pigment volume concentration (PVC) than other brands of lead white (flake white), greater than 50%.
Unsolicited comment from a professional artist: “Your Lead White #1 is the best tubed white lead I’ve ever used. Virgil Elliott swears by it, too. I compared it to a small amount of freshly ground white lead mixed with linseed oil. I made sure my grind was the same consistency as your tube white. Your lead white was just as good as what I made. I’ve been using it every day since. It’s better than any white lead I’ve ever used.”—William Whitaker.
Lead White #2—Our Brightest Single Pigment White
Rublev Colours Lead White #2 Artists Oil, ground in filtered, pale walnut oil, is an opaque white that is soft and buttery. Lead White #2 is brighter than our first lead white because of the paler walnut oil. Lead white #2 is without stearates or fillers, so you get a higher pigment volume concentration (PVC) than other brands of lead white (flake white), greater than 50%. Rublev Colours Lead White #2 mixes well with all other oil colors.
Venetian White—Transparency for Better Tints
Rublev Colours Venetian White Artists Oil is a semi-opaque white ground blended with pale linseed and walnut oil that provides a stiff white excellent for mixing with colors.
According to Salter’s edition of George Field’s Chromatography (1869), Venetian white was a commercial name in the 19th century for a white pigment mixture composed of equal parts of lead white (basic lead carbonate) and ‘heavy spar’ (that is, the barium sulfate mineral barite or baryte). The names Venice white and Venice ceruse were also used for this mixture, as pure lead white. We’ve replicated this color for artists today without the fillers and stearates of modern whites. The white mineral barite has a lower refractive index than lead white, making it less opaque and hence well suited for mixing with other colors. Use it to make pale tints of colors without overpowering them or as a foundation for other colors.
Ceruse—Old Master’s Mixing White
Rublev Colours Ceruse Artists Oil is a semi-opaque lead white ground in pale linseed and walnut oil like that used by Rembrandt and Velazquez. When mixed with other colors, it is used for translucent white effects and soft tints.
Ceruse is made with lead white and medium dry ground calcite (the calcium carbonate mineral) with a low oil absorption rate, like lead white, to maintain its quick-drying character. Calcite is semi-transparent in oil, giving ceruse its soft white character. In the 16th century, this mixture of lead white and calcite was favored as a mixing white by artists such as Rembrandt and was known as lootwit in Dutch. The name ceruse originates with the Latin cerussa and refers to lead white (basic lead carbonate) pigment. In the 19th century, ceruse was used for white pigments containing lead white and chalk.
Crystal White—Transparency and Brilliance
Rublev Colours Crystal White Artist Oil is a semi-transparent white composed of lead white and leaded crystal glass in walnut oil, excellent for mixing with colors. Finely powdered glass gives this white a novel refractive appearance in mixtures with other colors. We’ve created this color for artists today without stabilizers (e.g., stearates, waxes, etc.) or fillers characteristic of modern whites. Finely ground crystal glass (1.51) has a refractive index similar to oil (1.48), making it transparent and well-suited for mixing with other colors. Use it to make pale tints of colors without overpowering them.
Mica Lead White—Crisp Body that Won’t Slump
Rublev Colours Mica Lead White Artist Oil is a semi-opaque lead white with a small amount of wet ground mica in walnut oil that provides a stiff white, excellent for mixing with colors or making crisp highlights. We’ve created this color for artists today without stabilizers (e.g., stearates, waxes, etc.) or fillers characteristic of modern whites. Wet ground mica provides a crisp body to the lead white and has a lower refractive index than lead white, making it less opaque and hence well suited for mixing with other colors. Use it to make pale tints of colors without overpowering them and where crisp highlights that do not slump and level out are needed.
Lead-Titanium White—Highest Opacity and Brightest White
Rublev Colours Lead-Titanium White Artist Oil combines the excellent filming properties of lead white with the high opacity of titanium white in one oil paint. The paint is unusually smooth and slightly ropey in consistency.