With more restrictions being put on the manufacturing and sale of lead white, it is becoming more expensive and harder to find for oil painting.
After keeping away from it for years, I finaly tried it only to discover that its working properties really are the best for oil painting, especially figure painting. Compared to titanium white, I find it to be less opaque, warmer, less chalky, but more importantly it has a luminous quality that is hard to describe.
Information is easy enough to find both in older texts and online on what historical process's were, so I decided to try it. This video represents my second, and far more successful attempt at making stack process lead . Here are a few things I learned;
-Difference between sources of lead. The first attempt I bought sheets of lead from the scrapyard, and it had some different properties from the second one I bought online. The biggest evidence of this is that the first batch didn't leave the water blue during the wash. As I broke apart the coils for the different batches, the first left tons of little bits of lead in the powder, the second was more evenly corroded, making the grinding much easier.
_30% vinegar. I discovered that plant nurseries sometimes have a higher percentage than the 5% apple vinegar that I used for the first batch.
_Traditionally, horse manure was used to add carbon dioxide, however living in a city without horses nearby, I found it easier to control by making a yeast starter.
-Warmer weather also plays a part, first time I tried was in the winter, and for the second in the spring. As spring turned to summer the corrosion happened faster and faster.
This process can be dangerous and is a lot of work, but I feel it was worthwhile. Both the grinding and the painting with this pigment work great. I prefer this pigment to anything I've found commercially.