September 26, 2012
Oil Paints or Acrylics Paints
Many artists struggle making the decision between oil paints or acrylic paints. Choosing between the two is a painter’s personal preference. Most artists need to use both types of paint and become familiar with certain factors such as the consistency and drying period. Determining which medium is better, oils or acrylics, is completely up to the painter, both have their uses but definitely have their differences. The consistency of paint can allow for a painting to convey a certain feeling. One of the major differences in consistency is the base of the paint, oil paints are oil based and acrylic paint is water based. The water based acrylics can be thinned out by adding more water, making the paint become more like watercolors. Oils when thinned with turpentine or linseed oil can become more like a glaze to paint with rather than just watered down paint. There are health concerns with changing the consistency of oils because turpentine is toxic and its vapors are usually inhaled when working with it. Some artists prefer turpentine, but there are healthy alternatives such as linseed oil or Turpenoid. The drying period is very different for both paints. Acrylics, because they are water based, can dry in minutes. Some artists prefer a fast drying paint because it creates the ability to add multiple layers and work quicker. This may become an issue for some painters because they might find the paint on their palette is drying faster than they can apply it. This issue does not exist for oil paints, some painters find oils take too long to dry, making it more difficult to work fast or apply multiple layers to a painting. There is no specific drying time with oils, it can take days, weeks, or even years to fully dry paint on a canvas. The advantage with this is it allows you to move paint around on a canvas much easier and you are not rushed to beat the drying...
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