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Product Review: Gamblin Solvent-Free Oil Painting Gel

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Creamy. Very creamy. I have found my new addiction!

Initially I was reluctant to use this product because it’s hard enough to paint without throwing yourself a curve ball and adding a new product to the lineup.  After reflecting on numerous bad experiences with Res-n-Gel, and admitting to my long-term addiction to Liquin, I surrendered and cracked open a tube.

Verdict: I absolutely love this product! Here is why...

Let me preface this text by saying that up to this point I have only tried it for outdoor painting. I always use some kind of medium additive when painting outdoors because straight thinner dries at a blistering pace. Other products seem to be either too greasy or get tacky too quickly.

The Straight Dope:

  • Thinner only - dries too fast.

  • Walnut or Linseed Oil - gets the paint too slick, making subsequent layers slide around.

  • Walnut Alkyd or Liquin - starts to get sticky and tacks up in half an hour. Brush marks drag over each other. Smurge!

  • Res-n-Gel - is greasy, slippery and doesn’t readily accept the paint. Over-mixing is the danger with this medium.

Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel benefits:

  • Non toxic and non smelling.

  • Slow drying and won’t tack-up at all during a three hour painting session in the hot sun and wind. (even longer working time in studio)

  • Readily mixes into paint without being greasy.

  • Mixes great with thinner allowing for layers of paint to get fatter and fatter. (Kind of like me when I quaff too many chicken wings.)

  • Comes out of the tube readily

  • It’s a gel so it stays where you put it on the palette.

  • Holds the shape of your brushstrokes.

  • Gives colours more gloss and transparency.

  • You don’t need much for it to work it's magic.

  • Being solvent-free you can transport this product when flying.

  • Creamy. Very creamy. I have found my new addiction!

Your friend in art,


P.S. Since writing this review I had a chance to use the gel in the studio and I have to say that this is by far the best painting medium I have ever used. Its consistency and workability is fantastic.

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1 Comment

I have been painting for over 50 years, SFF opens up underpainting and destroys months of work. I don't own a store, and need to sell products that don't work. Use SFF only if your art means nothing to you.

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