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Making Geneva Paint Dry More Quickly

Now that I'm beginning to paint in layers, I would like my Geneva paints to dry more quickly. Because I've never oil painted before, I have very little idea about additives. Can someone suggest a way for me to get Geneva paint to dry more quickly? Thanks.


  • ArtistMartin1

    I expect you could use Liquin to hurry Geneva along. I hope we can get Geneva down here soon.


  • @dencal, thanks. I know so little about this, but I believe I heard that Liquin can yellow the paint. Is that right or am I just not remembering correctly?
  • ArtistMartin1

    Never heard of such a thing. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You will need to provide quotes from an authoritative source.


  • Denis

    That's good advice, of course. I did a quick search and realized that I was not wrong about the yellowing, but I did have it in the wrong context. Here's what I found:

    Below is a direct quote from the FAQs page on the Winsor and Newton website.

    Can Liquin be used as a varnish or final coat?

    It is definitely not advisable to use Liquin as final layer to a painting based on the reasons below:
    - Unlike Conserv-Art and other modern picture varnishes, when dry Liquin is not soluble in normal paint solvents. Therefore when the picture surface becomes discoloured by ingrained dirt from the atmosphere, it cannot be either completely cleaned or removed and the picture re-varnished.

     - Although Liquin has much better resistance to yellowing than linseed oil, it will discolour more than acrylic varnishes such as ConservArt.

     - Liquin will seal the surface of the painting and prevent the drying of underlying paint layers. This is similar to Artists' Painting Medium or Conserv-Art varnishes. All produce a continuous film which excludes oxygen and delays the drying process - hence the recommendation to wait at least six months before varnishing. It is therefore advisable to use one of the Winsor & Newton specifically formulated varnishes 

    I spoke with someone from the technical department of Winsor and Newton several years ago.  The technical expert went into quite a bit of detail beyond what is explained above, most of which I cannot remember.  I just remember the admonition NOT to use Liquin as a varnish.



    1. 1.    Liquin cannot be removed or cleaned.
    2. 2.    Liquin can yellow.
    3. 3.    The Liquin bond on a painting prevents oxygen from reaching the paint film.  Oxygen is necessary for oil to cure properly.

    . . . 

    In the meantime, resist the urge to coat your paintings in Liquin.

    Best Wishes,

    Keith Bond

    The URL for this quote is

    I also found an interesting article about Liquin as a medium vs. Neo Meglip. You can read it here if you're interested: This is not a negative article about Liquin but rather why this artist decided he preferred to use Neo Meglip.

    Thanks for your response.


  • ArtistMartin1

    The first reference is not a definitive statement. Yes linseed, Liquin and varnish will yellow with time. This is the natural order of things. But will paintings be accelerated in their yellowing? Has this yellowing diminished the value of the old masters? Will this occur in my lifetime? Or in my children's lifetime?

    I don't attach much credence to the second article. Pretty woolly method and even woollier thinking.

    Thank you for providing these links.


  • edited April 2017

    Well, of course you're right with your questions about the value of the old masters and whether or not the yellowing will affect anything in our lifetime or that of our children. I certainly agree with this. On the other hand, it was a statement by the manufacturer of Liquin. That seems to me to be at least a relatively definitive statement.

    I didn't feel negative about the second article, however. I saw it simply as an artist discussing why he preferred one medium over another.
  • edited April 2017
    @ArtistMartin1 ,I've had W&N Liquin go bad in my refrigerator once, just like in their photos, didn't take as long five years though, Lol!. because it was already pretty old on the shelf at the store where I purchased it from (buyer beware!). I like the info and have seen demos using the Neo Meglip, it appears a good choice!, when I get around to glazing, a new interest for me.
  • I use Gamblin Galkyd to help dry oil paint quickly.  Mostly when painting outside.   Do use adequate ventilation with this product.  I don't know anything about whether it yellows with time or not.  It is relatively new on the market and no one may know, as of yet, about the yellowing with time.
  • @Forgiveness, I have two bottles of W&N Liquin only about a year old and they're both just about solid in the jars already. Perhaps, as you say, they had been on the shelf for a long time before I bought them.
  • @oilpainter1950, thanks for the information. I was wondering, how much Gamblin Galkyd do you use with the paint in order to make it dry more quickly? I was also wondering whether you use it with Geneva paints or not? Thanks.
  • @martenvisser, thanks for the information. I have no idea, however, how or how much Liquin to add or even when. Do I mix a little bit into my mixed color pile? Thanks.

  • Thanks for the info again, @martenvisser. I'll start experimenting. I appreciate the help.
  • I apologize for taking so long to respond.  I've been tied up with an art show.  I don't use the Galkyd with Geneva paints because I don't have any.  I mix my medium from Mark's recipe.  I don't see any point in using it outside because I want to paint as rapidly as possible and need it to dry quickly, but not like acrylic paint that is dry almost immediately.  I do want some working time.  I'm very leery of using mediums like the Galkyd and Liquin inside where the ventilation is poor.  Also the quicker your painting can dry the easier the transport is.  Not quite so much paint all over the vehicle.  The last time I used Galkyd was last summer here in Texas.  The Galkyd, along with the 100+ temps helped the painting dry in about 12 hours or overnight.  I don't mean to imply that it was completely dry, but dry to touch and wasn't going to get on anything surrounding it.  I carry boxes to put wet paintings in, but....stuff happens.  I only add a small amount to my piles of paint.  You will just have to experiment to see how it works for you.  Different environments can affect how it will work for you, just as different brands of paints are formulated differently and will react differently to the mount of Galkyd that you use.  Snap cap plastic containers are ideal for something like this.
  • @oilpainter1950, thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate it. Next month I'm going to take a workshop with Cindy Procious. In her list of materials she specifies M. Graham Walnut Alkyd medium and adds "please don't bring Liquin." This will all be very new to me. Thus far, the few paintings I've done have all been with Geneva paints. In the workshop we'll be using mostly Williamsburg and some W&N and one Holbein. So in a sense, this will be one totally new experience for me and an experiment of sorts. Thanks again.
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