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Review of Griffin fast drying oil paints

Alkyd doesn't sound like an oil painting medium at all. Actually it IS oil paint, but modified to dry quicker. Here Noel Garner of Cambridge Art Academy reviews Griffin alkyd oil paints on location

Fast drying oil paints are made by Winsor and Newton under the names"Griffin Alkyd." Alkyd sounds like a completely different medium - but it's actually proper oil paint with all the normal characteristics of oils with this exception - they are chemically modified with Alkyd resin to make them dry much faster than normal oil paint.

This has some real advantages:
  1. If you are painting on location, with limited available time, there's a better chance you can get the whole painting finished in one sitting.
  2. If you want to paint a portrait or a still life of flowers, where the subject may only be available for you on one session, you can get much more painting done in that one session.
  3. If you like to paint in oils with more than one layer of paint on top of another, you don't have to wait so long before you can paint a fresh coat of paint.
  4. If you like to paint thin transparent layers of transclucent paint - glazing - quick drying speeds up the process no end.
  5. You can add alkyd paint to "normal" oil paint and it will speed up the drying of the "normal" paint.
But some disadvantages too:
  1. It's another clutch of tubes you have to organize and carry around with you if you work plein air.
  2. You want to leave paint on your palette overnight and come back to use the rest of  it the next day? Forget it! It will probably be dried out. So more potential to waste paint.
  3. The same applies to brushes - don't forget to wash them out after each painting session.
  4. The range of colours - though good - is not a wide as standard oil paints.
  5. There aren't many manufacturer's brands to choose from. But Winsor and Newton is available in most retail outlets.
  6. Alkyds are slightly transparent, a disadvantage if you prefer to "block in" with opaque paintwork.
Click below to see Noel  putting Alkyd oil paints to the test. To see the video of the full review, join up for free membership of Cambridge Art Academy here. Lots more free resources are available to members