Gamblin Artist Colors 

Gamblin Artist Colors

About Gamblin Artists Colors

At Gamblin, our mission is to lead oil painting and printmaking into the future. To us this means crafting materials as they ought to be, not just as they have been. Our luscious colors and contemporary mediums are true to historic working properties, yet safer and more permanent.

Gamsol has freed a genera...

About Gamblin Artists Colors

At Gamblin, our mission is to lead oil painting and printmaking into the future. To us this means crafting materials as they ought to be, not just as they have been. Our luscious colors and contemporary mediums are true to historic working properties, yet safer and more permanent.

Gamsol has freed a generation of artists from exposure to strong solvents. In collaboration with the National Gallery we brought painters Gamvar, the perfect picture varnish. With our FastMatte colors, artists can take their paintings further, faster than ever before.

I have always wanted to give artists color at its maximum with a luscious texture. A texture that readily responds to an artist’s intention and handles beautifully. A color reaches its maximum when the pigment has been developed to the highest emotional resonance for that color. There is so much more to our work than fine raw materials and high pigment loads. At Gamblin, we are forging together the right balance of pigment, oil, history, science and emotion. All twenty of us are dedicated to getting that balance right. Every color. Every batch. Every time.

We also believe in giving artists more and asking for less. Artists deserve to be able to use color freely, without hesitation or reservation. And to get in the flow of their painting, unencumbered by expectations or doubt. This is the other half of our work, helping artists select and master the materials best suited to their artistic intentions. We are the first colorhouse to build and organize our palette entirely around the needs of today’s painters.

Since our founding in 1980, we have been guided by our community of artists, our own studio work and insights from our work and dialogue with museums around the world. Our Conservation Colors have been used to restore works by Van Eyck, Da Vinci and Van Gogh. But foremost, we are here to serve today’s painters. We are honored to be your colorhouse and we look forward to working with you.



Gamblin 1980 Oil

True color. Real value.

Gamblin 1980 Oil Colors are made with the same dedication and pure pigments that go into our Artist’s Oils. In addition, we use the same process of mixing, milling, filling, and hand labeling.

In order to reduce the cost of oil colors, some manufacturers use gels and waxes to stiffen colors and replace traditional pigments with less expensive ones.

Our approach is different. 1980 colors are formulated with pure pigments, the finest refined linseed oil and marble dust (calcium carbonate). More affordable colors have been made with these three ingredients since oil painting began.

With 1980 colors, artists experience colors that are true, without homogenized texture or muddy color mixtures. Our approach of using both traditional raw materials and processes ensures that artists experience the luscious working properties that they expect from their oil colors.

Gamblin Artist Oil

Robert Gamblin organized our palette into Mineral and Modern color groupings to help artists easily choose a palette of colors that best matches their artistic intent. Our colors are also grouped by eras of pigment history: Classical, Impressionist, and 20th Century. Throughout the history of art, paintings have always been a reflection of the materials that were available to artists.

Mineral Colors The Mineral side of the color chart includes those colors made from inorganic pigments, that is, metal ores dug from the earth. For many of these pigments, their color is developed in ovens at very high heat. At the bottom of the Mineral side of the chart is the group of earth colors that made up the heart of painters’ palettes during the Classical Era. This group of pigments, which has its origins in cave painting and antiquity, was central to the oil painter’s palette from the Renaissance through the Classical Era. From this limited range of earth colors, painters depicted form by drawing large contrasts between the darkest darks and the lightest lights, creating the chiaroscuro (literally, “light/dark”) effect so characteristic of classical paintings.

During the Industrial Revolution, a whole new array of inorganic pigments was developed from compounds of minerals, such as cobalt, cadmium and manganese. Their intense mass tones complemented earth colors on painters’ palettes and replaced paints made from expensive semi-precious stones, fugitive colors, or highly toxic compounds. This full spectrum of pigments, packaged for the first time as oil colors in tubes, expressed the Impressionists’ interest in pure color.

Mineral Colors grey down when mixed with white, which is perfect for capturing the colors of the natural world. Mineral-based pigments have larger pigment sizes and lower tinting strengths than modern colors. They are leaner and naturally more matte. Mineral colors are mostly opaque. Ultramarine Blue and Viridian, which are transparent, are exceptions. Mineral colors have a Lightfastness rating of Excellent (I).

Modern Colors Modern organic pigments are carbon-based. Most modern colors, including Quinacridone, Phthalo, and Perylene, are transparent. Hansa and Napthol are semi-transparent. Because of their small particle sizes and higher oil absorption (fatter), modern pigments make colors of very high tinting strengths that are naturally more glossy.

When mixed with white, modern colors make incredibly intense tints. They stay high key in mixtures unless a complement is added. Rather than shifting from light to dark, a family of modern colors shifts from warm (Phthalo Emerald) to cool (Phthalo Green). Modern colors have a Lightfastness rating of Excellent (I), with the exception of Hansa Yellow Light and Napthol pigments, which are rated as Very Good (II). Each tube of artist’s grade oil color is marked with a Lightfastness rating. Mineral and Modern colors are completely compatible with each other. Painters can use the characteristics of each color group described above to create their own personalized color palette.

Radiants Gamblin Radiant Colors offer painters eight intense tints – mixtures of pure color and white – at Value 7 on the Munsell® System. Using these Radiant tints, painters can build high key underpaintings and then glaze to achieve optical effects of light and shade.

White, Grey & Black The most important color choice we make is the white we bring to our work. There are nine different Gamblin Whites to give artists a range of working properties, temperatures, drying rates and opacity. Please refer to our Studio Notes Newsletter, Getting the White Right, on our website for more information on selecting the right white for your work.

Gamblin Portland Greys (Light, Medium, and Deep) can mute the high key tints of the modern colors to make more naturallooking mixtures. Named for the city where they are made and its characteristic grey skies, the Portland Greys are formulated for painters who work with value. Our range of the neutral Portland Greys is expanded with Portland Warm Grey and Portland Cool Grey. A triad of muted primary colors is created when Titanium Buff is added to these. This gives painters the ability to complete a range of “colored greys.”

Gamblin Chromatic Black gives painters a neutral, tinting black with energy that doesn’t muddy and flatten the colors the way traditional blacks do. Because Chromatic Black is made from two colors that are perfect complements, Quinacridone Red and Phthalo Emerald, it gives painters a dead-center black with life to it and a clean transparency

Gamblin Dry Pigments

Dry pigments are used to create a variety of painting media such as oils, acrylics, watercolors, egg tempera, and encaustic. Dry pigments are often used in mixed media and decorative painting techniques as well.

To create an artist’s oil color, pure dry pigments are thoroughly ground and mixed into refined or cold pressed linseed oil to form a stiff paste. Gamblin Artists Colors offers a range of dry pigments for painters who want to make their own oil colors.

Regardless of the binder used to mix dry pigments, artists should be very careful when handling powders. A respirator mask should be worn so that no pigment dust is inhaled.

Gamblin FastMatte Alkyd Oil

With Gamblin FastMatte Alkyd Oil Colors, oil painters can take their paintings further, faster than ever before.

  • Thin layers will be touch-dry and ready to be painted over in 24-hours
  • Colors dry to a matte surface with a beautiful tooth and deep, soft luster
  • FastMatte colors are compatible with our painting mediums and traditional oil colors

24-Hour Dry Time

The fast drying rate means painters can stay in the flow of their painting session longer with layering and mark-making possibilities beyond traditional oils. The consistent drying rate of FastMatte colors means painters can return to a dry surface the following day.

Matte Surface

The matte surface gives colors a deep, soft luster that speaks directly to the viewer. Never before have oil painters been able to create a consistent, matte surface with such ease. The matte surface gives dry paint layers a subtle tooth which beautifully grabs paint from the brush or knife.


FastMatte colors are compatible with Gamblin painting mediums and our traditional oil colors. For thinning FastMatte colors, we recommend a 50/50 mixture of Galkyd and Gamsol. This mixture, used in moderation, thins colors without slowing dry-times or significantly increasing gloss. Gamvar Picture Varnish may be applied to saturate colors and impart a uniform satin or gloss surface to your finished work.

The 24-hour dry time, matte surface and compatibility make FastMatte colors ideal for underpainting.

The balanced color palette of earth, mineral, and modern pigments was chosen for its mixing capabilities in all oil painting techniques and styles.

Gamblin Oil Medium

True to historic working properties. Safer. More Permanent.
At Gamblin, our mission is to lead oil painting into the future. To us this means crafting materials as they ought to be, not just as they have been. Our contemporary mediums are true to historic working properties, yet safer and more permanent.

Painting mediums offer a great deal more than simply extending oil colors. Mediums modify the working properties of oil color from the tube – from a fluid consistency for expressive mark making to a stiff paste for creating thick, crisp marks. Painting mediums also broaden the visual qualities of our colors – from increasing the transparency of paint layers, to creating a range of surface qualities, from high gloss to matte.

When a painting is completed, all of the thought, effort and emotion that went into it are reflected in the artist’s marks. Choosing the appropriate painting medium can be an essential part of making oil painting your own. With a painting medium that fits your needs, you can get into the flow of painting faster and stay there longer.

Gamblin’s family of Galkyd painting mediums and Cold Wax Medium are formulated with Gamsol. We recommend only Gamsol for thinning these materials.

Oil painting mediums should not be used as a varnish or final coat.

Gamblin Relief Inks

Gamblin Relief Inks are formulated for all relief techniques, including woodblock, linocut, monotype, and Solarplate. They contain the right amount of stiffness and tack to hold fine detail yet spread evenly on the block or plate. The palette of ten colors is designed to give artists intense pure pigmented colors straight from the jar, along with a wide range of color mixing capabilities. Monotype printmaking, the most painterly of printmaking techniques, is very popular. While most painters and printmakers working in this process learn how to make any kind of ink work, the viscosity of Gamblin Relief Inks makes them ideal for monotype printing processes.

Gamblin Relief Inks are all bound in the highest quality Burnt Plate Oil.


Monotype has its own unique form of expression and certain types of marks and imagery can only be achieved using the monotype process. Monotype is the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques and is often called “the painterly print” or the “printer’s painting.”

Rolling out Color for Printing

Gamblin Relief Inks are designed to suit the specific requirements needed for monotype printing. Their unique softer body and high pigment load allow them to be rolled out in thinner applications with greater color intensity,

particularly as you print multiple layers of color.

You can also mix Gamblin Relief ink with Gamblin Artist Grade Oils to create an even wider range of color. When mixing oil paint with relief ink, it may be necessary to add plate oil and/or tack reducer as the oil paint and ink have different viscosities. If you decide to use paint directly from the tube, we suggest that you mix the oil paint with Gamblin Burnt Plate Oil #000, to lower the viscosity and improve the printing capabilities of the paint. Burnt plate oils are raw linseed oils that have been heated to change their molecular structure so that the oil does not affect the permanence of the paper fibers. Do not use Linseed Oil to thin oil paint, as the Linseed Oil will adversely affect the paper fibers over time.


The viscosity of an ink refers to its flow characteristics. If an ink has a high viscosity, it will be too stiff to transfer from the printing element to the paper. An ink with extremely low viscosity will be too thin and may be difficult to control because it flows too easily. High viscosity inks can be “thinned” by adding either Gamblin’s Gamsol or Burnt Plate Oil #000. Low viscosity inks can “thickened” by adding magnesium carbonate.


Ink “tack” is the stickiness of an ink, similar to what you would feel if you try to pull your fingers apart with ink between them.

If you notice that the ink is ripping the paper during printing or perhaps not transferring very well from the printing element to the paper, then the ink is too tacky. Add Gamblin Tack Reducer to make the ink less sticky and better able to transfer to paper.


If you do not have access to a press, printing by hand can have its advantages. Lay a sheet of paper on top of the printing element. Rub a barren, or similar tool such as a flat wooden spoon, on the back of the paper. This style of printing allows for thicker ink applications and selective printing pressure.


There are two types of printmaking papers usually used in monotype: sized and unsized. Sizing is a material, usually a starch, that is added to paper to regulate how that paper absorbs moisture.

Sized printmaking papers usually contain more sizing inside and less on the surface. In order for the paper to print properly, the paper fibers will need to be softened. This is usually done by soaking the paper in water and then blotting, prior to printing. Examples of printmaking papers that contain sizing are Rives BFK, Arches Cover, Fabriano Tiepolo, Magnani Pescia, Somerset, Stonehenge. An example of a printmaking paper that does not contain sizing is Arches 88. This paper must be printed when dry and should never get wet.



Mark-making in monotype is vast and exciting. Any tool that can be used to apply or manipulate ink can produce an interesting effect. The tools used will reflect the two basic approaches to drawing for monotype: Additive or Reductive.

Applying materials directly to the printing element is called an Additive Approach. Ink can be applied in a painterly fashion with a myriad of tools. This is known as working into a “light field” because your direct mark making creates the positive image. When working in the Additive Method, stiff brushes such as hog-bristle and brayers can all be used to apply ink or paint to the printing surface.

The Reductive Approach is essentially the opposite. Known as working from a “dark field”, ink is first applied to the printing element and then removed to create the image. A soft rubber brayer is best for even distributions of ink. Shop rags, Q-tips, stiff-bristled brushes, and silicone wedges are all great for moving ink.

The mark-making possibilities are endless! Somewhere as unexpected as the kitchen cabinet can yield compelling textures and patterns.

Gamblin Etching Inks

Gamblin Etching Inks were formulated at the request of professional printmakers in the Pacific Northwest who wanted strong reliable inks for edition printing. The palette of pure intense pigments offers a broad range of color mixing potential.

Five black inks and Graphite were formulated to meet the demands of printmakers who want deep rich black inks with good working characteristics. Portland Black and Portland Cool Black are ideal for edition printing; both offer a strong line and medium plate tone. For engravers, printers of mezzotints, or others who need more resistance from their ink, Portland Stiff Black is also available. To read more about selecting the Black ink most suited to your printmaking process, read our latest newsletter here.

Gamblin Etching Inks are all bound in the highest quality Burnt Plate Oil.

Image Product Name Availability Unit price Qty Add to Cart
Gamblin Inks Medium: Burnt Plate Oil 000 8oz

Burnt Plate Oil 000 8oz

Gamblin 2 on stock
In Stock
PHP 785.00
Gamblin Inks Medium: Burnt Plate Oil 2 8oz

Burnt Plate Oil 2 8oz

Gamblin 3 on stock
In Stock
PHP 785.00
Gamblin Inks Medium: Tack Reducer 150ml

Tack Reducer 150ml

Gamblin 1 on stock
In Stock
PHP 788.00
Gamblin Inks: Magnesium Carbonate 16oz

Magnesium Carbonate 16oz

Gamblin 1 on stock
16oz (473ml)
In Stock
PHP 931.00
Gamblin Inks: Portland Litho Black 300ml

Portland Litho Black 300ml

Gamblin 0 on stock
1lb Series 1
Out of Stock
PHP 1,431.00
Gamvar Varnish Brush: Gamvar Varnish Brush 50mm

Gamvar Varnish Brush 50mm

Gamblin 10 on stock
2 inches
In Stock
PHP 1,403.00
Gamvar Varnish Brush: Gamvar Varnish Brush 75mm

Gamvar Varnish Brush 75mm

Gamblin 8 on stock
3 inches
In Stock
PHP 1,903.00

Showing 1 - 7 of 7 items