“Getting the White Right” from Robert Gamblin: Zinc, Flake or Titanium?


zinc white, flake white, titanium whiteEvery once in a while, I come across an article on another website that is so informative that it precludes the necessity of writing about the subject myself. In this post I’d like to feature a very enlightening article just posted to the Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors website. Robert Gamblin, the founder of Gamblin Oil Colors, takes us on an in-depth tour of all the different types of white. What’s the difference between zinc, flake and titanium whites? Learn about temperature, drying time, and opacity. And what are Gamblin’s own Quick Dry White (of which I am a great fan) and Radiant White? Here is the direct link to the story:

Getting the White Right at the Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors website

While you’re at their site, I encourage you to take a look at the Gamblin Studio Notes section. This is their vault — the place where all their informative articles about materials and painting methods are archived, all in downloadable PDF format. I know of no other oil paint manufacturer that is as dedicated to customer education and service as Gamblin.

Additional Resources

Neutrals: Selecting the Right Neutral Pigment for Your Palette


About Author

Mitchell Albala is the author of Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill, 2009). A best-seller with 37,000 copies in print, it has been called the "new classic of landscape." A respected teaching artist for more than 25 years, Mitchell currently teaches at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Pacific Northwest Art School, and Winslow Art Center. He has also lectured at the Seattle Art Museum and written for International Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines.


  1. Thanks for the heads up on Gamblin Studio Notes about Getting the White Right. Great read about the properties of each white Gamblin makes and its best application use. Just what I needed to hear right now.


  2. Mitchell Albala on

    What I recall hearing from Scott Gellatley, the technical consultant at Gamblin Colors, is that once mixed the Gamvar is good for a year. However, I am not one hundred percent certain of that. Your safest best is to contact Scott Gellatley directly — scott@gamblincolors.com — and he’ll have an reliable answer for you in short order. Good luck.