Understanding the drying times for Oil Colour

oil drying times

Working with oil colour allows for a certain degree of flexibility while painting, as it takes longer to dry than other media. Should you want to alter your work days into a project, oil colour allows for such changes to be made. Its malleable nature, in addition to the depth, purity, and vibrancy of pigment quality, makes oil colour a favourite among some artists.

Familiarising yourself with the properties of various oil colours and their drying rates will help you achieve the best results, in addition to avoiding cracking and other mishaps. Generally oil colours become ‘touch-dry’ in thin films within two to 12 days, but different reactions of each pigment when mixed with oil results in varying drying times which will affect your work.

We’ve rounded up critical information about each of our key oil colour ranges and the drying rates of various colours for your convenience. Read on and print out the charts when choosing your oil colours of choice for easy reference!

Artists' Oil Colour Drying Times

 
 

Artists’ Oil Colour represents the best in traditional oil colour including the purest pigments with the most suitable drying oils. The buttery, stiff consistency of Artists’ Oil Colour is ideal for retaining brush or palette knife strokes and can be thinned to a very fine glaze.

 Range Fast Drying Oil Colours (around 2 days)   Medium Drying Oil Colours (around 5 days) Slow Drying Oil Colours (more than 5 days) 
Artists' Oil Colour Permanent Mauve [manganese]

Cobalt Blues

Prussian Blue

Raw Sienna

Umbers

Flake Foundation and Cremnitz Whites [lead]

Winsor Blues and Greens [Phthalocyanines]
Winsor Blues and Greens [Phthalocyanines]

Burnt Sienna

Cobalt Violet and Greens

Ultramarine Blues

Mars colours [synthetic iron oxides]

Sap Green

Permanent Alizarin Crimson

Ochres

Cadmiums

Titanium White

Zinc White

Lamp Black

Ivory Black

Pyrroles

Bismuth Yellow

Perylenes
Winsor Yellows and Orange (Arylides)

Quinacridones

Alizarin Crimson

Winton Oil Colour Drying Times

 

Winton Oil Colour is ideal for artists requiring large volumes of colour who are looking for affordable quality. The high level of pigmentation provides good covering power and tinting strength with stiff, uniform consistency. The 31 single pigments in the range allow cleaner, brighter mixes and infinite hues.

Range Fast Drying Oil Colours (around 2 days)  Medium Drying Oil Colours (around 5 days) Slow Drying Oil Colours (more than 5 days)
Winton Oil Colour Prussian Blue

Raw Sienna

Umbers
Phthalo Blue and Viridian Hue (Phthalocyanines)

Burnt Sienna

Ultramarine Blues

Synthetic Iron Oxides

Ochres

Titanium White

Zinc White

Lamp Black

Ivory Black
Cadmium Hues (Arylamides)

Permanent Rose (Quinacridone)

Alizarin Crimson Hue

Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour Drying Times 


The Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour range was developed to look and work like traditional oil colour without requiring hazardous solvents. When Artisan is thinned with water, the water evaporates from the paint film quite rapidly, leaving behind a conventional film of oil that dries through contact with oxygen in the air. This means that the paint film is different to that of conventional oil colour. For example, you may notice that the surface is very slightly tacky, which is normal.

Range  Fast Drying Oil Colours (around 2 days)



Medium Drying Oil Colours (around 5 days)  Slow Drying Oil Colours (more than 5 days)
Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour Prussian Blue

Umbers
Cadmium Hues

Phthalo Blue (red shade)

Phthalo Greens

Siennas

French Ultramarine

Synthetic Iron Oxides

Ochres

Titanium White

Zinc White

Lamp Black

Ivory Black
Cadmiums

Permanent Rose (Quinacridone)

Permanent  Alizarin Crimson
 
Additional Winsor & Newton Oil Colour ranges:

Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Colour has a high proportion of single pigments for brilliance of colour and clean colour mixing. It also boasts exceptional drying qualities. You can work with all colours in the range on your palette for between four and eight hours. These become ‘touch-dry’ on the canvas in 18 to 24 hours. However, remember that the thickness of the paint and the temperature of the room you are working in will also affect the drying times of your work.

TIP: Try to avoid the temptation of varnishing your work as soon as you have finished. The colour needs to be completely dry and we recommend waiting at least three months before varnishing.

Oilbar is Artist’s Oil Colour in stick form, enabling painting and drawing directly onto surfaces. It combines the buttery consistency and richness of oil colour with the freedom and directness of pastels or charcoal, making it wonderful to work with on canvas. Colours will become ‘touch-dry’ in two to seven days.

Also keep in mind the following when working with oil colour:

1. Avoid drying your paintings in continuous darkness or high humidity as these conditions may cause yellowing of the oil.

2. Adopt ‘slow drying over fast drying’ as a philosophy when working with oil colours. Fast drying colours should be used continuously as under layers to avoid cracking.

3. Explore our selection of oil colour mediums for drying to alter the drying times of various colours. Winsor & Newton Artists’ Painting Medium changes the rate of drying and influences the gloss and texture of colour. If you want to speed up the drying process, try Winsor & Newton Liquin Original to increase the drying rate by approximately 50%.

Read our oil colour Tips & Techniques library for additional tips on working with the media, and read our feature on artist Marcus Coates’ work with Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour for more on this unique colour range.

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