Sunday, May 22, 2011

Whitaker Day One: Mulling Lead (Flake) White

Whitaker uses 50/50 linseed and walnut oil. Walnut oil, he says, is harder to mull but makes the paint flow better off the brush (how it should flow is personal taste, though, so do your own experimenting):

Be careful not to raise any dust as you slowly mix it in:

It will look gritty:

If you're doing just a small batch, you can mull it with the knife, but the mull itself works much better for large batches. You'll notice, too, the rather worn-looking glass. This is done by adding carborundum powder to the glass (there are different grits, but they're all the same for this purpose), which must be repeated or the mulling will make the glass smooth again. The rougher glass is helpful in aiding the mulling process:

Simply move the mull in circular motion until the paint takes on a smooth consistency. With Whitaker's proportions of linseed and walnut oils, his ends up with a wonderful, stringy, smooth consistency:

To save time, Whitaker will often use a commercial Titanium white for mixes and darker areas. However, this white is the truest white of all whites so if you really need to nail those highlights, this is the way to do it! Another great thing about true Flake White is that it's a more transparent white, which creates some wonderful effects.

Happy mulling!

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