1. Can Griffin Alkyd be mixed with regular oils?

Yes. Griffin Alkyd colours can be either mixed with or used underneath regular oil colours. Because the alkyd film is slightly less flexible and faster drying than traditional oil, applying Griffin Alkyd films over oil colour or Oilbar layers is not recommended.

Griffin colours are particularly popular for making a quick underpainting, followed by Winsor & Newton Artists' Oils or Winton Oil Colour for overpainting. Griffin Alkyd is not intermixable with acrylics.

2. What is difference between the Griffin Alkyd whites?

White is the most popular colour in the spectrum and is most useful for producing ‘tints' when mixed with other colours.  The two whites which are available in the Griffin Alkyd Colour range offer the artist different working characteristics.  Titanium White is the most popular modern white.  It is the whitest, most opaque white and gives excellent covering power in a painting.  Mixing White is the most transparent white available which makes it ideal for tints and glazing.  

3. Can Liquin be used with Griffin Alkyd?

Liquin will approximately half the drying time of an oil colour, dependant on the proportions added.  Therefore depending on the climate, colours used, and film weight the layer will be touch dry in any thing between 1 and 5 days.  Using Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Colour will reduce this further.  Liquin is the best medium to use with these.  They will be touch dry overnight or sooner. An important rule to remember is that each new layer applied must be slower drying than the previous. For this reason many artists choose to build up their lower layers using Griffin and then revert to Artists' Oil Colour for the upper layers.  Griffin can be varnished after 3 months drying time

4. How do the oil painting rules e.g. fat over lean apply to Griffin Alkyds?

Oil painting with Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Colour requires attention to a couple of conventional oil painting rules:

Fat over lean (flexible over less flexible). When oil painting in layers, each successive layer must be more flexible than the one underneath. This rule is maintained by adding more medium (e.g. Liquin) to each successive layer.

Thick over thin. Thick layers of oil colour are best applied over thin underlayers.

Due to differences in flexibility, never use Griffin Alkyd Colour on top of conventional oil colours unless the oil colour is completely dry (6-12 months). Conventional oils may, however, be used over Griffin Alkyd Colour.

5. Can Griffin Alkyd be used on card or paper?

The correct preparation of surfaces for oil and alkyd is important because it facilitates the easy use of the colour. Typically, if the surface is too absorbent, the colour ‘sinks' leaving a dull lifeless image. In the long term, such paint films are weak and susceptible to damage as they lack binder.  If you have no particular preference for the direct paper surface, a thin coat of Winsor & Newton Acrylic Gesso Primer is recommended. This will ensure the correct absorbency and tooth for the colour to handle well on the surface.

On comparing Griffin to Artists' Oil Colour or Winton, alkyd is less likely to ‘sink'. This is because the alkyd molecule is larger than that of linseed oil so it maintains a film on surfaces which may tend to be more absorbent.

6. Which Griffin Alkyd colours would make the best primary colours?

The three primary colours in the Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Colour range are Winsor Lemon, Phthalo Blue and Permanent Rose. These colours are the best selection when only three colours are used. When using a six colour mixing system, we recommend Winsor Lemon, Winsor Yellow, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue, Permanent Rose and Cadmium Red Medium.

7. What does hue mean when used in colour name?

"Hue" means colour and indicates that a modern pigment has been used instead of the traditional one. For example, 'Cadmium Red Pale Hue'  is a 'colour of cadmium red pale'. A hue colour is not necessarily inferior.

8. What are the best brushes to use for Griffin Alkyd colours?

Winsor & Newton have over 100 years experience in making brushes for artists. A selection of good brushes provides a choice of marks and makes it easier for you to paint. If well cared for, brushes will have a long lifespan.

If using thickly applied colour or impasto, bristle brushes are the most common.

Winsor & Newton supplies two ranges particularly suitable for oil; Artists’ Hog and Winton.

If you prefer a synthetic hair brush, the Artisan range has been specifically designed for use with oil colour. The stiff nature of the bristle and its natural split tips, called ‘flags’, produce brushes which wear well and carry considerable quantities of colour.

If blending and glazing is more prevalent in your technique, a soft hair brush is recommended.

9. Why should an oil painting be varnished?

Varnish is desirable for two key reasons: one, to bring the surface to a uniform gloss level (matt or gloss or somewhere in between), and; two, for protection from dust and other atmospheric contaminants. 

10. How should a Griffin Alkyd painting be varnished?

Varnishes provide a transparent coating which protects your finished painting from general dirt. Picture varnishes are removable, enabling the painting to be cleaned in the future.

Varnishes should not be used as mediums for adding to the colour. Although Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Colour paintings are touch dry in 18-24 hours they should not be varnished until thoroughly dry (at least 3 months).

The painting will benefit from being degreased before varnishing. This can be done with Artists’ White Spirit (mineral spirits). Simply wipe over the surface of the picture sparingly and leave to dry overnight.
Apply the varnish using a large dry varnishing brush, immerse the brush in the chosen varnish and apply in long steady strokes across the painting surface.

To ensure the desired result, test before use. Matt and Satin should be shaken or stirred well before use and should not be used on absorbent or damaged surfaces.

11. How can I tell when my oil painting is fully dry?

Dip a lint-free rag in solvent such as Winsor & Newton Artists’ White Spirit, and rub gently on the painting surface. If colour shows, additional drying time is needed. If not, your painting is ready to be varnished.

12. How can an artists' varnish be removed from a painting?

If the painting is particularly valuable then it should be take to a conservator.

Otherwise, best product to use would be our Distilled Turpentine. 

Dip a lint free cloth into the turps and gently rub the surface of the painting. Start in a corner. The varnish should come off onto the cloth.
If any colour can be seen on the cloth then you should stop. Working in small squares, proceed across the entire surface of the painting. It is best to keep using fresh pieces of cloth as this aids lifting the varnish rather than spreading it.