Problem with white paint yellowing - Artist Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 11-17-2011, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Problem with white paint yellowing

I ham having some trouble and am hoping the art community can help. I paint mountainscapes, which by its nature uses a lot of pure white. I paint oil on canvas but I use palette knives so I need the paint to be elastic as the paint layers are thick. The trouble I am having is that after 6 months, the white areas are yellowing significantly. I have been using Georgian oil Titanium white. If I use Zinc, its too transparent and cracks with the amount of paint I need to use. Can anyone help? Do I need to mix the titanium white with anything to stop the discolouration? Will a retouching varnish followed by a UV satin varnish stop this problem or am I doomed to yellow snow...?
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post #2 of Old 11-17-2011, 11:40 AM
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Yellowing is a primary problem with oil paints as they are based on vegetable type oils. Oil paints continue to polymerise (combine long organic chains into longer strings) for decades as the paint loses the remaining oil and deteriorates. This is unavoidable, but can be lessened with higher quality paints. I was going to suggest UV varnish, but see you did that. You paint on canvas, so acid wouldn't be an issue. Perhaps a change of paint brand and quality (ie professional grade) would be in order.
There is a traditional line of thought that pure white should never be used, perhaps for this very reason, so changing the temperature slightly in any direction can mask the problem as it is much more evident in pure white.

Last edited by DonH; 11-17-2011 at 11:47 AM.
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post #3 of Old 01-30-2016, 02:12 AM
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[QUOTE=bringe;3337I paint mountainscapes, which by its nature uses a lot of pure white. I paint oil on canvas but I use palette knives so I need the paint to be elastic as the paint layers are thick. The trouble I am having is that after 6 months, the white areas are yellowing significantly. I have been using Georgian oil Titanium white. If I use Zinc, its too transparent and cracks with the amount of paint I need to use. Can anyone help? Do I need to mix the titanium white with anything to stop the discolouration? Will a retouching varnish followed by a UV satin varnish stop this problem or am I doomed to yellow snow...?[/QUOTE]

Hi Binge,
Zinc white is not much good in my opinion for anything else but for mixing.
I paint snow capped mountainscapes also and mine don't yellow.
Snow on a mountain top normally reflects (absorbs) being white, the color of the sky, (usually blue tinge).

I add a touch of blue to my snow, not so noticeable that it turns blue, just a touch. If the snow is in shadow, then a touch more blue, have you tried this?
Hope you overcome your problem.
M.
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