A fast-drying Titanium White oil paint can help to accelerate the overall drying time of your painting as it is so often used in mixes. This can add convenience when painting the final works for an exhibition, or when you need layers of paint to dry quickly so you can continue to work wet-on-dry. Below is a comparison of fast-drying Titanium Whites produced by Gamblin, Holbein, Sennelier, and Winsor & Newton, and the results of which dried the fastest.
Which Titanium White Oil Paint Dries the Fastest?
Gamblin Artist’s Quick Dry White Oil Paint and FastMatte Alkyd Oil Paint
Gamblin’s Quick Dry Titanium White (PW6) from the tube was thick, with a consistency similar to clotted cream, and a very slight grainy quality; a consequence of a high pigment load. It held peaks without any levelling as it was squeezed from the tube. The white was intensely bright in its appearance and highly opaque. The FastMatte Titanium White (PW6) by comparison was incredibly stiff; in fact, I needed two hands to squeeze the paint from the tube. The batch date on the tube was 10th October 2023, so it had been made less than 4 months before this test, which assured me that the paint was still fresh. However, once the paint was whipped up with a palette knife it became more responsive and easy to mix with other colours.
Although difficult to document, I can assure you that the matt finish that provides the product with its name, is highly apparent. Alongside the Quick Dry White, the FastMatte White is an even brighter, cooler hue that by comparison made the Quick Dry White appear slightly yellow. This warmth in the colour is no doubt a consequence of the use of refined flax linseed oil in the binder. In contrast, the FastMatte White uses a binder made from a blend of refined flax linseed oil, and soy-based alkyd resin.
Holbein Extra Fine Quick Drying White Oil Colour
Holbein’s Quick Drying White (PW6) was noticeably less stiff than both Gamblin Whites and was smoother and glossier in appearance from the tube. It had the slightest degree of transparency; noticeable when brushing the white against the black stripes I had applied to the canvas panels I was conducting my tests on. Holbein’s Quick Drying White has a binder made from Poppy Oil, Alkyd Resin, Petroleum Solvent and Calcium Carbonate, which helps to give this white a very slight yellow tint that makes it almost identical in hue to the Gamblin Quick Dry Titanium White.
Sennelier Rive Gauche Titanium White Oil Paint
Rive Gauche is Sennelier’s fast-drying oil colour range – which uses Safflower oil in its binder, known to yellow less than refined linseed oil. Sennelier Rive Gauche Titanium White (PW4 / PW6) uses a blend of both Zinc and Titanium White, to optimise the performance of the paint in mixes. When squeezed from the tube, it is slightly stiffer than the Holbein Quick Drying White, with a cool hue that has a very slight hint of grey in it when placed against the Gamblin and Holbein whites. It is thick like clotted cream, with the ability to hold impasto peaks and is very smooth.
Winsor & Newton Artists’ Underpainting White Oil Colour
Winsor & Newton Artists’ Underpainting White Oil Colour (PW4 / PW6) is another white that consists of a blend of both Zinc and Titanium White. From the whites tested for this report, it was by far the most fluid in its consistency. Although it could partially hold peaks as it was squeezed abundantly from the tube, these peaks soon slumped a little. With the first squeeze of the tube, a lot of clear oil came out of the tube as well, indicating pigment and oil may have separated a little over time. That said, the paint had impressive covering power. Its hue had a slightly warm quality, most similar to the Gamblin Titanium White in appearance.
Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Titanium White and Mixing White Oil Paints
Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Titanium White (PW6) was a little stiffer than the Winsor & Newton Underpainting White, but still quite fluid. As the tube was squeezed, a generous quantity of very yellow clear binder (made predominantly from alkyd resin) was also squeezed out with it. The paint had a slight degree of transparency and so did not entirely cover the black stripes on the substrate.
Winsor & Newton Mixing White (PW4 / PW6) was the warmest white of the lot with a greater degree of transparency, although would still be described as semi-transparent as opposed to completely transparent. The paint was very smooth and relatively fluid – almost identical in its consistency to the Griffin Alkyd Titanium White.
Which Is The Fastest Drying Titanium White?
Within 24 hours:
Gamblin FastMatte Titanium White / Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Titanium White / Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Mixing White
Within 48 hours:
Holbein Quick Drying White / Winsor & Newton Artists’ Oil Underpainting White
Within 72 hours:
Gamblin Quick Dry Titanium White / Sennelier Rive Gauche Titanium White
A generously thick brush stroke of each paint was applied to this piece of primed canvas and left in a closed room with all windows shut, and a temperature of approximately 15 degrees Celsius. After 24 hours I returned to the charts and dragged a dry brush through each brushstroke. The Gamblin FastMatte Titanium White, Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Titanium White, and Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Mixing White were all completely dry. The Holbein Quick Drying White and Winsor & Newton Underpainting White were touch dry but some paint moved on each of these swatches when I dragged my brush through them. Sennelier Rive Gauche Titanium White and Gamblin Quick Dry Titanium White were the wettest with a good amount of paint being wet enough to be dragged by my brush, although both brush marks were dry to touch on the surface. A trace was still moveable on each of these brush strokes after 48 hours, but by 72 hours all the brush strokes were completely dry.
Which Is The Most Opaque White?
Gamblin FastMatte Alkyd Oil Paint
Opacity is useful when you need to cover over previous passages of paint or you want to mix colours that are light-toned, pastel hues. The majority of the whites had impressive opacity that covered the black stripes on the canvas they were applied to, and Gamblin Fastmatte Titanium White covered the black entirely. Closely following were Gamblin Quick Dry White and Sennelier Rive Gauche Titanium White. Whites with some transparency are useful when you want to allow previous passages of paint to remain visible through subsequent layers and allow light to pass through brush strokes. Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Mixing White was the most transparent, followed by Holbein Quick Drying White.
A fast-drying white can help to speed up the drying process of your painting, and today there is a wide variety of artist quality fast-drying whites to choose from. Investing in a fast-drying Titanium White oil paint can help you to keep creative momentum going in your studio and minimise those frustrating days of watching paint dry.