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Galkyd vs Liquin

galkyd vs liquin

Selecting the suitable oil painting medium is a critical decision for artists, as it profoundly affects the drying time, texture, and overall appearance of their artwork. Two popular mediums in the realm of oil painting are Galkyd and Liquin.

But what is the difference between Galkyd vs Liquin? This article will delve into the characteristics of these mediums, highlighting their differences in terms of composition, drying time, texture, transparency, finish, and toxicity to help artists make an informed choice for their creative needs.

Point of Difference Galkyd Liquin
Composition Various formulations, including Galkyd Lite and Galkyd Gel Various versions, including Liquin Original and Liquin Light Gel
Drying Time Significantly accelerates drying time, suitable for layering Significantly accelerates drying time, ideal for rapid work
Texture and Consistency Galkyd Lite enhances flow and transparency; Galkyd Gel provides a thicker texture Liquin Original has a general-purpose consistency; Liquin Light Gel offers a more fluid texture
Transparency and Finish Enhances transparency and glossiness; Galkyd Gel provides a glossier finish Enhances transparency; typically imparts a satin or semi-gloss finish
Toxicity Generally non-toxic; some caution with Galkyd Gel due to fumes Generally safe but may have a stronger odor and require ventilation
Consistency in Final Appearance It tends to be consistent and less prone to yellowing over time It may have a slightly higher potential for long-term yellowing
Suitable for Glazing, glossiness, impasto; enhances transparency Luminous effects, rapid work, smoother brushwork
Long-Term Preservation Considerations Offers good preservation with consistent results It may require some caution regarding potential yellowing


Galkyd is a painting medium manufactured by Gamblin Artists Colors, available in several formulations, such as Galkyd Lite and Galkyd Gel, each with its unique properties. Galkyd Lite is a liquid medium that enhances the flow and transparency of oil paints, while Galkyd Gel has a more gel-like consistency, providing a thicker texture.

On the other hand, Liquin, produced by Winsor & Newton, also offers various versions, including Liquin Original and Liquin Light Gel, designed to cater to different artistic requirements.

Drying Time

Both Galkyd and Liquin are renowned for their ability to significantly accelerate the drying time of oil paints, allowing artists to work on multiple layers in a single day. While they both excel in this regard, Liquin may offer a slightly quicker drying time, making it suitable for artists with tight deadlines or those who prefer a rapid drying process.

Texture and Consistency

texture and consistency

Galkyd’s Galkyd Lite vs Liquin can also be compared through its texture and concisitency. Galkyd Lite has a liquid consistency that enhances the flow and transparency of oil paints, making it ideal for glazing and achieving smooth, glossy surfaces. Conversely, Galkyd Gel, with its gel-like consistency, provides a thicker texture, which can be advantageous for impasto techniques and creating textured effects.

Liquin Original offers a general-purpose medium with a slightly smoother texture than Galkyd Gel. Meanwhile, Liquin Light Gel has a lightweight gel consistency, making it suitable for artists who prefer a more fluid medium, aiding in smoother brushwork.

Transparency and Finish

Both Galkyd and Liquin can enhance the transparency of oil paints, making them suitable for achieving luminous effects in artwork. Galkyd Lite tends to increase transparency and is ideal for creating glazes and depth.

In contrast, Galkyd Gel provides a glossier surface finish, enhancing the overall glossiness of the artwork. Liquin also enhances transparency but typically imparts a satin or semi-gloss finish, offering a pleasing visual texture to the final piece.



An important consideration for artists is the toxicity of the medium they choose. Galkyd Lite is considered non-toxic and safe to use without significant exposure risks. However, some artists may want to exercise caution when using Galkyd Gel in well-ventilated areas due to its thicker consistency, which can produce more fumes during the drying process.

Liquin, while generally safe to use, may have a slightly stronger odor and require better ventilation in enclosed studio spaces.

Consistency in Final Appearance

Galkyd’s Galkyd Lite tends to produce a more consistent final appearance with less risk of yellowing over time, which can be essential for preserving the integrity of the artwork. Liquin, while offering excellent results in most cases, may have a slightly higher potential for yellowing in the long term, especially if exposed to direct sunlight.

Choosing Between Galkyn and Liquin

Your artistic goals, preferred texture, finish, toxicity concerns, and long-term preservation considerations should guide the choice between Galkyd and Liquin. Both mediums offer significantly faster drying times, but Liquin may appeal to artists requiring the quickest drying time.

Ultimately, experimenting with Galkyd and Liquin can provide insight into which medium best complements your unique painting style and objectives. Some artists value using both mediums at different stages of their creative process.

Understanding these mediums and their distinctive properties will be valuable in your journey as an oil painter, helping you achieve your desired effects in your masterpieces.


Choosing between Galkyd vs Liquin depends on your artistic goals: Galkyd offers glossiness and texture control, while Liquin excels in rapid drying and a satin finish. Your decision should reflect your unique preferences and project requirements, considering potential toxicity and long-term preservation considerations. Embrace the versatility of these mediums, experimenting and blending them as needed to bring your artistic vision to life on canvas.