Linseed Oil

Cold-pressed raw linseed oil is generally recommended (it was used by the old masters)


50-50 blend linseed oil & turpenoid

simplest way to thin your paint (however, you must have proper ventilation AND a means of disposing your used turps)

Other Mixes:

— equal amounts of cold pressed linseed, stand oil, turp and damar

Resinous mediums:
These are usually a blend of a natural resin (damar, copal or mastic as you’d expect) plus some linseed oil and some turpentine).  The resin is really a kind of varnish that adds luminosity to the paint and makes it dry more quickly.


Oil of Spike Lavender  – on the Huffington Post by Robert Maynord; discusses oil of spike lavender as an alternative to odorless mineral spirits

Hints, Tips & Techniques for Oil – Mediums

Painting with oil colour almost always involves the use of Mediums and Oils in order to to further control the colour, prevent overthinning (see also solvents) and maintain the flexibility of the paint film (fat over lean).

You can separate mediums into four categories:

  • Linseed Oils
  • Oil Mediums
  • Fast Drying Mediums and
  • Water Mixable Mediums

Below you will find an explanation of how mediums are used and an insight into the effects that you can create with them.Working with oil colour is a skill that needs to be learnt and in this section we will also explain a few of the oil colour rules such as oiling out, how to combine different mediumsfat over lean and why varnishes should never be used as mediums.

Oil mediums in use

Oil mediums in use

Linseed Oils
Linseed oil is the traditional medium, as it is the binder for most oil colours. Generally oils dilute the colour, increasing gloss and transparency and are used in combination with solvents. The consistency, colour and drying time of linseed oil can be varied by different processing.

Click on the links to find out more about each individual product.

  • Cold Pressed Linseed Oil
  • Thickened Linseed Oil
  • Drying Linseed Oil
  • Refined Linseed Oil
  • Linseed Stand Oil
  • Drying Poppy Oil
  • Safflower Oil


Oil Mediums
Oil mediums are ready made mixtures of particularly suitable linseed oils with solvents. They can be used as general purpuse mediums and can be used directly for oiling out.

Click on the link to find out more about each individual product.


Liquin Family

Liquin family                  

Fast drying mediums

Modern resins called alkyds are used to make fast drying mediums for oil painting. These are extremely popular because they generally halve the drying times of the colours.

Click on the link to find out more about each individual product.

  • Liquin Original
  • Liquin Fine Detail Medium
  • Liquin Light Gel Medium
  • Liquin Oleopasto
  • Liquin Impasto
 Liquin Effects
 Liquin original

Liquin Original effect

 Liquin fine detail

Liquin Fine Detail effect

 Liquin light gel

Liquin Light Gel effect

 Liquin Impasto

Liquin Impasto effect


Water mixable mediums


Artisan mediums family

Water mixable mediums are available for use with Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colours. These dedicated mediums ensure that all the traditional oil colour techniques can be achieved without the use of turpentine or white spirit (mineral spirits). In addition, all Artisan bottles are easy to open as they do not require child resistant caps.

They include:

  • Artisan Water Mixable Fast Drying Medium
  • Artisan Water Mixable Painting Medium
  • Artisan Water Mixable Impasto Medium
  • Artisan Water Mixable Linseed Oil
  • Artisan Water Mixable Stand Oil
  • Artisan Water Mixable Safflower Oil

Combining different mediums

All the conventional mediums can be mixed. However, the structure of the painting is under less stress in the long term if mixtures are avoided.

We recommend Water Mixable Mediums to be used exclusively with Artisan colours in order to benefit from the use of water instead of solvents.

Not using varnishes as mediums
Picture varnishes are not recommended as constituent parts of mediums because of their resoluble nature. Neither should they be used as intermediate layers in oil paintings.