Zinc Buff Yellowish to be Discontinued

It is never fun to announce the loss of a pigment. Many have long histories with Williamsburg and some are even unique to us and us alone. Such was the case with our Zinc Buff Yellowish, made from a rare and special form of Zinc Oxide. We would also be lying if we didn’t share that this was also one of those pigments that was always a bit problematic, drifting a little this way and that, its color relying on the slightest variables during its production that proved to be….well, variable! That said we were committed to carrying it as long as we could. Sadly the only supplier of this pigment recently let us know that is was being discontinued, forcing us to make some hard choices. Do we simply drop the color altogether or try to make a blend to replace it? Even more importantly, can it even be replaced? The difficulty with Zinc Buff Yellowish was how to match its beautiful translucency while holding onto a warm and pale yellow tone. Get one quality, and the other would slip slightly out of reach. In the end, as is so often the case with single pigment colors, there was no way to achieve an exact match, although we were able to hold onto the translucency we felt was essential from the beginning, even while the color grow a touch cooler and ever-so-slightly deeper in the process. As a way to acknowledge these small differences, and reduce confusion, we also decided to give the resulting mixture a new name as well: Zinc Buff Yellow*.

Zinc Buff Yellowish compared to Zinc Buff Yellow

Anyway, while available and ready to ship, Zinc Buff Yellow will probably still take a little while to make its way onto all the shelves and fully replace the remaining stock of older Zinc Buff Yellowish. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts and any concerns. And while announcing the loss of a pigment is never fun, and for some this will clearly mean adjusting your palettes, hopefully it will be to make room for a useful and new found favorite.

*Pigment composition of the new Zinc Buff Yellow:
PW4 -Zinc Oxide / PY53 – Nickel Titanate / PY43  – Natural Hydrated Iron Oxide 


6 thoughts on “Zinc Buff Yellowish to be Discontinued

  1. I still have some of the original. I found it really nice for painting florals. I’ll be interested in the new version. Now I have run out of Williamsburg cobalt green light and can’t find it anywhere. Was that discontinued as well? No other brand came close to it’s clarity and softness. Thanks!

    • Hi Lucy –

      Thanks for the comment and if you do get a chance to try the new version let us know what you think. And yes, Cobalt Green Light was unfortunately discontinued some years back because the pigment simply ceased being manufactured. It was a really sad day for all of us when that happened as we know exactly what you mean by its softness and clarity being unmatched. Unfortunately the art materials market is not the driver of which pigments get made or discontinued, so this likely will not be the last time this happens. On the plus side, an even larger number of new pigments are being created all the time, so we are always trying to test and make available those that seem the most permanent and interesting.

  2. awww…. this has been one of my favorites…I so appreciate the email, it’s spared me the shock of going to your site to order more and being shocked at learning of it’s demise.
    I like the new name…..Zinc Buff Yellow…..sort of reminds me of the way my family’s name was shortened when they came over through ellis island ha! A fitting name for the new arrival!
    Thanks for your dedication and commitment to creating the finest oil paints on the planet!

    • Hi Maura –

      We are so glad that the communication was helpful – and for the warm words about our paints! Also your comment about Ellis island made me smile. I am quite familiar with the propensity for shortening long ethnic names as new arrivals came through Ellis, since all my grandparents immigrated here from Russia. In any case, I think we tried to be a touch more gentle when it came to pruning on our end.

    • Thanks for the note – and glad you found some of the tubes you need. We also agree that the replacement is truly a nice color in its own right. And while you can notice the slight differences between the two when placed side by side, we think most painters will find the new mix performs very similarly on the palette. Anyway, if you ever get a chance to use the new one, let us know what you think!

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