Griffin oil colour

by Jan 26, 2021Art Supplies

Fast drying oil colours

Jane has continued her look at oil paints last with this review of the Griffin Alkyd oil colour range. Last week Jane looked at water soluble oils.

Griffin Alkyd

Griffin are a fast drying oil colour which offers the excellent advantage of faster drying times compared to traditional oil colours.

This means that the traditional oil techniques of both impasto and glazing can be done in considerably less time and a painting can be completed in a single session.

griffin alkyd oil colour

What is Alkyd?

An alkyd is a polyester that is modified by the addition of fatty acids and other components. They are derived from polyols and a dicarboxylic acid or carboxylic acid anhydride.

Alkyds are used in paints and in moulds for casting. They are the dominant resin or binder in most commercial oil based coatings.


I looked up the meanings of the following in the dictionary. 

Polyol is an alcohol containing three or more hydroxyl groups; a polyhydric alcohol

dicarboxylic acid
Any of the organic compounds that contain two carboxyl groups.
A compound formed by removing water from a more complex compound:an oxide of a nonmetal (acid anhydride) or a metal (basic anhydride) that forms an acid or a base, respectively, when united with water.

Faster drying – by how much?

So Griffin alkyd is faster drying but how much faster?

The most outstanding advantage of the Griffin fast drying oil colour is of course the speed in which it drys compared to a traditional oil colour. All colours in the range remain workable on the palette for 4 to 8 hours, and are touch dry on the canvas in 18 to 24 hours. Which is considerably faster than a traditional oil colour.

griffin alkyd oil colour chart

Can you mix alkyds and oils?

Excellent question, alkyds can be used in combination with oil paints and their standard mediums, or on their own with the medium liquin.

They cannot be mixed with any other mediums. If used in conjunction with oil paints, alkyds can be blended to dry slower, with more characteristics of ‘normal’ oils.

griffin paints

Can you varnish too soon?

What happens if you were to varnish an oil painting too soon before it’s dry?

The answer is if a final varnish is used too early, even when the paint feels dry but isn’t actually dry then there may be problems later because the paint has not finished drying and prevents air getting to the oil paint and it may not ever dry out completely and some of there is likely to be some discolouration over time.

A thinned down varnish usually called a retouch varnish is better to apply as it does not seal the oil paint, so enough air gets through to let the paint continue to dry.

griffin olive green

I hope this is helpful to anyone who is new to oils or just starting out with oils. 

Gadsbys are happy to help you when you are choosing the best materials, whether that be paint or brushes, for your work. Gadsby’s stock a great range of artists materials and have experts on hand (if needed) to help with your selection.

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