The Drawing Room

Drying Oils

Drying and semi-drying oils are the vegetable oils used to make oil colour, namely linseed, poppy and safflower. The different methods of processing oils produces products with different drying rates, consistencies and colour.

Drying oils are used to modify the consistency and drying time of colour in much the same way as prepared mediums.

Cold-Pressed Linseed Oil (Winsor & Newton)


Cold-Pressed Linseed Oil can be added to colour to reduce the consistency, improve flow, and increase gloss and transparency whilst reducing brush marks.


Bleached Linseed Oil (Winsor & Newton)


A refined pale oil of slightly increased viscosity, which will improve the flow of colours and dries slightly faster than Refined Linseed Oil. It is useful for use with white and pale colours.


Thickened Linseed Oil (Winsor & Newton)

A pale refined oil of syrupy consistency. This speeds the drying time even more than Bleached Linseed Oil, improves flow and gloss and increases the durability of the film.


Drying Linseed Oil (Winsor & Newton)

This is an oil of darker colour than Refined Linseed Oil, which promotes the fastest drying rate of all the oils whilst increasing gloss.


Refined Linseed Oil (Winsor & Newton)

Our most popular oil offers many of the same qualities as Cold Pressed Linseed Oil, but is slower drying. It is an alkali-refined oil of pale colour that reduces oil colour consistency and increases gloss and transparency.


Linseed Stand Oil (Winsor & Newton)

Linseed Stand Oil is a pale viscous oil that can be mixed with Turpentine or White (Mineral) Spirit to improve the flow and levelling of oil colour.  It is well suited for glazing and for fine detail and is resistant to yellowing while increasing the durability of the film.


Drying Poppy Oil (Winsor & Newton)

A drying oil used to increase the drying rate. Made from poppy seeds, it is the palest of the oils and is resistant to yellowing which makes it well suited for whites and pale colours.


Artisan Water Mixable Linseed Oil (Winsor & Newton)

This reduces the consistency and improves flow of Artisan oil colours. It also increases the gloss and transparency of Artisan.


Artisan Water Mixable Stand Oil (Winsor & Newton)

The flow and levelling of Artisan oil colours is improved by using Stand Oil. It is excellent for glazing and producing fine detail as it smooths brushwork. It also increases gloss and transparency.


Artisan Water Mixable Safflower Oil (Winsor & Newton)

If painting a lot with pale colours, you may choose to use Artisan Water Mixable Safflower Oil instead of Linseed to reduce their consistency. It also in creases gloss and transparency.

Other areas of interest:

Oil Brushes

Hints, Tips & Techniques for Oil – Mediums

Brand web-sites

Winsor & Newton

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