Oleogel Road Test

Oleogel was featured in Rob Anderson’s Road Test column in the October 2013 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. Rob writes about Oleogel:

“The quesions I, as an oil painter, consider when choosing a medium are: Will it affect the drying time? Will it eventually cause cracking or yellowing? Is it dangerous to my health? Perhaps most important: how will it affect my painting practice? After experimenting with Natural Pigments Oleogel, I’ve found that my responses to all these considerations have been positive.”

The Artist's Magazine October 2013

“What exactly does adding Oleogel to paint do? Oleogel maintains the body of the paint—say goodbye, in other words, to drippy paint—at the same time it increases the paint’s transparency. The medium is versatile enough that it can be used for a thick impasto and also for glazing. The fact that this medium is this versatile is something I’ve never seen before. In my experience, a medium typically is only good for one thing, either glazing or helping to extend and thicken the paint, but not both. All in all, I had a very positive experience using Oleogel. The increase in fluidity and simultaneous control were wonderful surprises. I plan on continuing to use the medium, making it a part of my painting process.”

“According to Natural Pigments’ website, “Oleogel is a thixotropic gel (having a viscosity that decreases when stress is applied: the gel becomes fluid when shaken or stirred) medium made with linseed oil and pyrogenic silica.” What it looks like is a clear, pale amber gel that will add transparency and thixotropic body to oil, resin oil, or alkyd paint. The Natural Pigments’ site advises, “Add Oleogel directly to your paint to give it transparency without thinning its consistency.” Oleogel does not contain driers, which can sometimes lead to cracking. Because it contains linseed oil, Oleogel may cause your painting to yellow slightly over time, though I’ve never seen this happen with Oleogel or any other linseed-based medium. In fact, most paint companies use pigment and linseed oil as the two ingredients in oil paint. Finally, Oleogel appears to be very safe.”

Road Test by Rob Anderson

Oleogel is a thixotropic painting medium made with linseed oil and pyrogenic silica. Oleogel is a clear pale amber gel that adds transparency and thixotropic body to oil, resin-oil, or alkyd paint. Add directly to your paint to give it transparency without thinning its consistency. Add pigments or extenders to thicken it to create impasto effects that do not sink in.

Oleogel does not contain driers, so it is safe to use in oil painting without the worry of cracking. When mixed with colors, Oleogel does not slow the drying time.

Read the entire article in The Artist’s Magazine.

Read another artist’s review of Oleogel.

Where to Buy

Buy Oleogel at the Natural Pigments online store or a local retailer.