getting the lead out

Today I made the switch from lead white oil paint to a non-lead white. Environmental and health concerns were the main reasons for doing this.  I wasn't thinking about cost but it turns out non-lead white is less expensive too - a nice surprise.  Today I used Winsor & Newton Underpainting White (Fast Drying)  - a good alternative, I've been reading, to lead white.

I'll have to paint quite a few pictures with this new white before it feels right to me.  But even at this awkward stage I'm happy with the first painting I made with it - and very pleased with how much healthier the studio feels.

a little study of the St. Croix River; oil on linen; 6" x 10"
I painted this little study next to my computer monitor.  The photo is one I took yesterday while sitting in a canoe on the St. Croix River near Osceola, Wisconsin USA.  Below is an in-progress shot to show how this all works.  I've only used this method a few times because I much rather enjoy painting outside.  But I knew I couldn't paint this scene while floating down-river in a canoe.  And I also thought this would be a nice way to break in the Underpainting White.  (The pencil sketch taped to the monitor is meant to be me (with my big straw hat) in a canoe seen paddling from behind.  I thought I'd add it as a couple of paint daubs but decided against it as the painting neared completion.)

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