topiary cats

topiary cats

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We Gel Well

I am SO into gel mediums for oils these days.

Simply put, it doesn't change the consistency of the paint.
That means I can add dryer/ extend the paint without a change in consistency, which I prefer to control with solvent. This is really important when you are laying wet paint over wet paint.

Essentially, it is clear oil paint. And it is extremely useful.

It started with Oleogel (Rublev).
I was smitten.

Then it progressed to galkyd gel. (Gamblin)
And THEN I needed Gamblin Tack Reducer (for printmaking but fine for oils too), which is just like oleogel but in a bigger tube. In the stores, it used to be hidden in the printmaking section but now it is also with the oil paint.

And they also have solvent-free gel which is also alkyd so I had to get that, too.

And THEN Carey said she likes Liquin impasto.

Let's pause here for a moment and discuss Liquin.
It is an alkyd dryer.  A standard.  Winsor Newton. It comes in a bottle.
It stinks but will dry your paint really fast, like 24 hours, making it an illustrator's bff.
So I had to get Liquin Impasto.
And THEN i noticed WN has another gel too... Liquin Oleopasto.
So I had to get that as well.

I'm not compulsive or anything.

1. Rublev Oleogel.  Linseed oil, fumed silica and wax.  I LOVE OLEOGEL.  Does not contain dryers.  Soooo silky and smooth! No smell.

2. Gamblin Tack Reducer- also linseed oil and fumed silica. No dryers. Pretty much the same thing as Oleogel but in a bigger tube. No smell. I like it. There are many times I don't want any dryers in the paint.

3. Gamblin Solvent-free gel- has a dryer. Dries the paint moderately fast. Silky and wonderful. No smell. Great stuff.

4. Gamblin Galkyd Gel. Gel with dryer. I LOVE GALKYD GEL. Handles the same as Oleogel and the other Gamblins. No smell/not much smell.

5. Liquin Impasto.  Dries the paint the fastest.  Smells kinda bad. Dries faster than Galkyd gel. It's silky. I'll use it but after this tube I won't buy more. Partially because I prefer to support Gamblin with my purchase decisions. It's thick Liquin. Better than the stuff in the jar.

6. Liquin Oleopasto- funny thing about this, I couldn't find it in the stores.  It was always out of stock. And I went around looking until I finally just got it on Amazon. It is THICK.  Really, really THICK. This is not something I would normally use. I'm glad I have it around because one day in the future I'll likely need's always good to have options.  Oleopasto REALLY STINKS. Did i mention it is super-thick?

GEEK NOTE: proper use of dryer vs drier.


  1. I am totally clueless about this stuff, but I do find it fascinating, haha.

  2. This is all Greek to me. I have never used oils or their helpers. I remember my Mother went through an oil painting phase. I remember coming home from school to find the house smelling like linseed oil. Yes, I always think of my Mother when I smell linseed oil.

  3. Oh, that's a nice association, Lisa. (At least I sure hope it is!)

    Could tell without the tubes which was the Liquin. I have three of these and, well, I'm not picky.

  4. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Thank you for this gel review, J., you are a gem!


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