Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gamblin Fastmatte Colors

I received a free sample (3 tubes) of Gamblin's new Fastmatte, fast drying oil colors for underpainting and matte surfaces. I had entered the Torrit Grey competition they hold and this was my runner up prize. Obviously I did not win, you would have heard my cheers long before now. Anyway, my painting of Medusa Turning To Stone is on their website, Gamblin Artist's Colors and on the Torrit Grey Competion website.

I used the three colors sent to me to do an underpainting on the Minerva painting. I normally never do an underpainting, but figured this would be a good time to give it a try. My normal procedure is to do an indepth grisaille or else tone a canvas and then do a placement sketch. For Minerva I have done neither. Instead of toneing the canvas, I placed a light compositional sketch. Today I have used the Fastmatte colors to create a grey underpainting of the background.

MY FINDINGS: Fastmatte is very good for a fastdrying tint or underpainting. If you like Acrylics you will love this product. On the other hand, if you are a traditional slow painter like myself, these are not for you. They dry too fast for my style of painting. Even when turpenoid was used to thin them, they did not stay open long enough for my traditional soft hazy background technique. I had difficulty with blending and feathering the colors. BUT, I will use them to quickly tone a canvas. I may also use them to do small illustrations that need to be finished quickly for a deadline.


  1. You might like Daniel Smith's Painting Medium for Oil and Alkyds. It comes in a tube which I really like and it's buttery consistency is wonderful.

    Wishing you all the best as you make your studio transition.

  2. Thanks Kim. It is slowly starting to look organized here. I will try the medium soon.
    Can you recommend a good postcard printing company? I have not been happy with my last two postcards.

  3. Hi Linda -

    Scott from Gamblin here...

    I recommmend adding a small amount of our Neo Megilp painting medium to the FastMatte colors to lengthen the drying rate slightly for more blending effects. A small amount will not drastically increase the gloss level, so this mixture will still be great for underpainting techniques.

    Kind regards,

    Scott Gellatly
    Product Manager
    Gamblin Artists Colors