Rublev Colours® Oleogel
Oleogel is a thixotropic painting medium made with linseed oil and pyrogenic silica. Oleogel is a clear pale amber gel that adds transparency and thixotropic body to oil, resin-oil or alkyd paint. Add directly to your paint to give it transparency without thinning its consistency. Add pigments or extenders to thicken it for creating impasto effects that do not sink in.
Oleogel does not contain driers, so it is safe to use in oil painting without worry of cracking. When mixed with paint, you may find that Oleogel slows the drying time. However, most artists who have used Oleogel find that it does not extend the drying time of oil colors.
Oleogel is available in 8 ounce (236.6 ml) tins.
Oleogel adds transparency to whites without losing the body of the paint
Oleogel in the center, Flake White on the left and a mixture of Oleogel and Flake White on the right. The Flake White is stiff, plastic and short, but when mixed with Oleogel the mixture is semi-transparent, soft, yet sculptural.
Oleogel increases transparency without flowout and leveling
Rublev Colours French Raw Sienna at left and a mixture of Oleogel and Raw Sienna on the right. Below each is a brush out of the above examples. Rublev Colours French Raw Sienna is long, yet holds strokes well. When Oleogel is added to Raw Sienna it increases transparency without causing the flowout and leveling of brushstrokes.
Mix directly into your paint right on the palette.
To make your own paint with Oleogel, add directly to pigment powder until a stiff paste is obtained (almost the consistency of putty). Grind the paste with a muller on a flat surface before storing in collapsible tube. Some of its thixotropic property will be temporarily lost when grinding Oleogel with a muller, but should be restored when allowed to stand.
Questions and Answers
What is a thixotropic gel?
Thixotropy is the property of some fluids to change viscosity as they are agitated. The longer the fluid is agitated, the lower its viscosity. A gel is mostly liquid in composition, but behaves more like a solid. When a thixotropic gel is agitated, such as manipulated with a palette knife or brush, it begins to flow, but when the agitation is stopped it regains its former viscosity and stiffens.
What are the working properties of Oleogel?
Oleogel increases the transparency of colors without making paint more fluid, such as when adding drying oil to increase the transparency of a color. This is an advantage when you want a transparent layer of color without making the paint runny. The pyrogenic silica in Oleogel adds a little drag while brushing and its translucency creates wonderful possibilities for layered painting techniques.
Can I use Oleogel to make opaque impastos?
Oleogel increases the transparency of colors. By adding a small amount of Oleogel to your paint, you can maintain the body of the paint while only slightly increasing its transparency. Oleogel is a soft gel so that as you add more to your paint the softer and more transparent it will become. For heavier impastos or textures, we recommend adding calcite (calcium carbonate) and bodied linseed oil to Oleogel in combination with your oil colors.
I use a wax medium with my oil paint. Can Rublev Colours Oleogel be mixed with this medium?
Oleogel is compatible with wax pastes and resinous mediums. We do not recommend heating Oleogel to mix it with wax, but rather add the wax as a soft paste directly to Oleogel or melt the wax in linseed oil before adding it to Oleogel.
Can I add driers to Oleogel to hasten drying?
Oleogel does not contain driers, so you can add driers to it to speed its drying time. You will most likely find that driers are not needed. However, if you find driers necessary, add them as you would normally use with oil paint.