View Full Version : Help - what paints should I get?
01-29-2001, 11:53 AM
Hi, My 10 year old daughter has just enrolled on a short oil-painting enrichment class at school and I'd like to encourage her at home as well. I'm strictly a watercolour artist and know very little about oils - I also can't stand the smell of oil paints as they give me bad headaches. I was thinking therefore of getting her some water-soluble oils to try and noticed that Van Gogh did a student-priced version of these. Has anyone used them and do they think that these would be our best choice - or is there anything else you could suggest. I don't want to spend a fortune on materials at this point. You never know, I might even be tempted to try them out myself http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
01-29-2001, 04:47 PM
Watersoluble oils is a good choice for a 10 year old if you want to go with oils. I never used Van Gogh, but if your child has never painted in an oil medium she has no frame of reference to compare these paints to, so it should be just fine. The pigment load of any student grade paint will be less, just like in your watercolors, but it will be a good introduction into this medium. I don't know where you shop, but Grumbacher Max has a try out set for about $11.00. They're very little tubes of paint, probably 10 ml., but a good way to try out a paint.
01-29-2001, 07:15 PM
I agree with Degas. They are a great way for a beginner to get the 'feel' for oils without a large investment. Yes the starter sets have small tubes but you need to remember that oil generally goes a long way with simple applications. I'm not 100% sure but i also think that they are non toxic. If anyone else knows this for sure please let us know.
How cool that your daughter is getting this opportunity! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif i sure do hope you 'play' too Lynda! Have fun!
01-30-2001, 05:54 AM
I had the chance to try the Van Gogh. I found them sticky or they bubbled with too much water.Maybe I didnt give them a good enough chnce,I dont know about the toxic bit.
I wish you both good luck.You can get the corresponding mediums and stuff.Dont mix them with turps or oil, you then defeat the purpose.
01-31-2001, 01:37 AM
I love the smell of oil paints. It brings me back to my art school days - longer ago than I care to mention.
Originally posted by bk7251:
I love the smell of oil paints.
me too! i'm now into spike oil mediums as a nice air freshner!
even though your daughter is young, i think giving her REAL oil paints is better than water soluable ones. why not start from the beginning with the real thing? if she is in a class, she'll be learning techniques for oil paint with apropriate mediums, right? so if you give her water soluable, than it will go against the process. i would find out how the teacher is conducting the class and if infact water soluable will work.
oil painting has certain processes that use mediums to make a certain outcome, i would assume, even at 10 years old, she'll be learning about this. if not, it wouldn't matter what medium she used and they could simply call it a "painting class".
one other thing, there are ways to help with the smell of oil paint. certain mediums, terps, etc...
my suggestion would be to purchase a non smelling terp, basic mediums, and a FAN for her painting area. she'll be working small, right so the smell won't be soo bad. also, you can get student quality oils cheap, cheaper infact, than water soluable because the WS oils are a bit of a marketing hype right now.
sorry...I LOVE OIL PAINTS, and think if she is going to take an oil painting class, she should use the real thing.
dum vivimus vivamus...
[This message has been edited by lori (edited January 31, 2001).]
01-31-2001, 08:18 AM
A can of turpentine and most solvents, including "odorless" has a a CAUTION detailing it's dangers. For that reason many schools today will not allow art teachers to use these solvents, even at college level. I would assume that is why you choose to go with watermiscles with a 10 year old and believe it's a clever choice. Of course, there is no comparison to true oils, but when becomes older she can move into those if she chooses to. As the mother of a 12 yr. old and 20 yr old, who started with the acrylics and watermiscle oils, I think that she will appreciate them for their long open time and with the mediums they're easy to use the same techniques as regular oils. To others who try to dissuade you, I would advise they read you post again. You ask if she would like watermiscles, not oils.
01-31-2001, 10:27 AM
I've got to agree with Degas on this one. But Lori's suggestion of talking with the teacher is very good advice too. It's just always a good idea to not expose children to toxins if possible.
01-31-2001, 01:50 PM
So much depends on the child. If the child is a fool, they should not be allowed near oil painting materials because, at very least, they will be difficult to clean when they squirt a tube of paint in their hair and bathe in turpentine.
Assuming that your ten year-old is of normal intelligence and is responsible enough to use scissors, needles, electrical appliance such as toasters and even kitchen knives, she should be responsible enough to handle the materials properly if given some clear instuctions.
Obviously, you will want to avoid lead paints such as Flake White, Naples Yellow, etc. They can be dangerous to developing children. Turpentine can, in rare cases, be hazardous in contact with the skin. The fumes are benign. Mineral spirits are less reactive, safer to contact but the fumes can be harmful in closed areas.
The biggest danger your child will face using traditonal oil paints is trying to wash stains out of her clothing. The dangers are greatly overexaggerated by companies who wish to market cheaper products for the price of good products.
Hard-to-find materials for the serious artist http://studioproducts.com/forum/forum.html
01-31-2001, 02:50 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Poor Lynda! you're probably no closer to a decision than you were at the beginning! Which ever way you decide to go she'll have fun!
Originally posted by Degas5:
A can of turpentine and most solvents, including "odorless" has a a CAUTION detailing it's dangers. For that reason many schools today will not allow art teachers to use these solvents, even at college level.
you've got to be joking. is america so paranoid that it now prohibits terp. in colleges? or is this for exageration purposes? what a joke. whoopee, lets sue the universities for toxic poisoning in a painting class.
To others who try to dissuade you, I would advise they read you post again. You ask if she would like watermiscles, not oils.
as one who tried to dissuade from watermiscles, i just have to say that i read her post, and re-read it if it makes you feel better. i still stand by my original post. WS oils are not the same as oil paint, and if it is an "oil painting" class, one would assume that that means OIL PAINT.
i STILL believe its best to talk to the teacher about the class instruction. or perhaps they have a materials list.
dum vivimus vivamus...
01-31-2001, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by Degas5:
Of course, there is no comparison to true oils
this statement i agree with. water miscible oils do not handle the same as real oils. they are sticky and weird. if you try to thin them with water, as they are supposed to be thinned, they get worse. the colors are not the same, though they have the same names.
for their long open time and with the mediums they're easy to use the same techniques as regular oils .
i'm not sure how you came up with this long open time thing degas5. the water miscible paints dry very quickly, like to the touch overnight. faster if you thin them with water. even faster if you use the mediums.
the only advantage is clean-up. they will stain clothes just like regular paint. in my opinion, if you use the water based oils, you may as well paint with watercolor or acrylic.
i gave them a try and they are all in the trash now.
[This message has been edited by degreene72 (edited January 31, 2001).]
01-31-2001, 06:24 PM
Well, I guess that I must be using a different paint for the last 7 yrs or so than I thought. When I say it has a long open time, I'm comparing it to mediums other than oil and, aside from drying to a matte finish, which can be changed by adding the fast drying or alkyd watermiscible mediums imparting a gloss, it would have similar working characteristics to a novice painter. Let us not be snobbish and thumb our noses at inferior paints like watermiscibles. They do sell and alot of people who used to use oils and can no longer use them love them. I know alot of painters who don't want to spend the price of an artist quality paint and buy the 200 ml. Georgians at a fraction of the price and laugh at us. Beautiful paint does not make a beautiful painting. Lynda, your child will like it more than regular oils because she doesn't have to use ventilation, use barrier cream and can clean brushes easily.
02-01-2001, 03:40 AM
what lori said. linda, as to the original topic, it is likely that if the teacher wanted the students to bring water based oils, she would have said so. water based oils belong in their own category as far as paints go, because they are not "just like oils." there are techniques and mediums that they will likely be learning about, as lori said, and she will have the wrong paints for that. if you feel that oils are dangerous or messy or too much for her to handle, it would probably be best to send her to a different sort of class. perhaps watercolor, acrylic, tempera, or pastel would be more appropriate. if she's to learn to paint with oils, however, it would be in her best interest to get real oils. i'm also not sure where the idea that the water-based are cheaper came from, either. they are actually rather pricey, although the lines don't carry the equivalent of the more expensive oil color..like cobalt blue (they have cobalt HUE, cerulean HUE, naples yellow HUE etc.)
[This message has been edited by degreene72 (edited February 01, 2001).]
02-01-2001, 04:09 PM
I started with oil painting when I was ten as well. I have to agree with Cheryl, Lori, and Rob--starting with real oil paints in the beginning will aid your daughter in the future, as she won't have to relearn how the mediums react with the paint. Do check with the instructor to find out what products she will be using in class and try to supply her with the same at home, so that she won't be fighting against her class time. My mother is/was also sensitive to fumes, so she set me up in a lesser-travelled section of the house and set up a fan--never once did she complain of a headache (she was probably grateful for my occupied time. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif) Buy her a smock and make sure she keeps the brushes out of her mouth and she should be fine. (Twenty years later I'm only suffering from mild bouts of brain damage. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif)
02-01-2001, 10:59 PM
I love water soluable Oil paint and they are not all hues. I've tried Max2 as well as Max and Artisan.
Though I like Max really well, I can't help but feel that Artisan comes closer to non water soluable oil paint.
True they do dry faster than regular oil on the canvas and I use mine without water to thin.
As far as the smell, I can smell the oil from my paintings when I'm done with them and while they are drying, and not so much while I'm actually painting with them.
Saying all that, I'm like the others. You need to check first and see if the teacher demands traditional Oils or not. If so, then, I suppose that the real question would be if that's the class you want her in or not.
Don't worry, its gonna be all right....
Tammy's Home for Artists (http://tammy.artistnation.com)
02-02-2001, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by degreene72:
if you try to thin them with water, as they are supposed to be thinned
I don't believe that the manufacturers say that they should be thinned with water because the water an oil have different refractive indices. You can see that when you mix vinegar and oil together. The mixture turns cloudy because the water is refracting light at one angle and the oil at another. Where they cancel each other you get a cloudiness. That's why the darker colors look light when they have the water mixed in and turn dark when they dry. For that reason, water soluble oils make it impossible to predict what your painting will look like when dry. That's also the reason that the manufacturers make special mediums (which are not water miscible) for use with their water soluble oils.
In truth, the only reason to use them is because they are slightly faster to clean up (about a second or two). They are no more environmentally friendly than any other paint. However, fact never won out over emotional decisions.
Hard-to-find materials for the serious artist http://studioproducts.com/forum/forum.html
02-02-2001, 11:19 AM
sorry, rob, but that is exactly what they say. a blurb from grumbacher's own advertising for max:
Who uses Max Grumbacher? Artists who prefer the convenience, economy and lowered environmental impact of using water instead of solvents. Artists who are allergic to turpentine or other aromatic solvents, and those who are alert to the possible long-term health effects of exposure to solvents. Teachers and students who are barred from using solvents in the classroom.
Representing the first true innovation in oil colors since their inception, Max offers all the beauty, adaptability and durability of conventional oil colorwith the convenience, safety and simplicity of thinning with water. Simply stated, Max is the traditional oil color for the 21st century. Max GrumbacherTM Artists' Oil Colors have already revolutionized painting. These buttery, brilliant oil colors are indistinguishable from a professional oil color, yet they can be mixed, thinned and cleaned up with water
02-02-2001, 04:07 PM
Rob MacDougal ,
it's one year later , the Artisan Painting has cured nicely - no tack - and a fingernail can't scratch the surface .
The Artisan Stand Oil , can accept 2/3s or
so normal walnut oil and remains water miscible . That's the medium I used to finish the painting.
Their fun paints , relaxing and good for those with breathing problems or phobias.
My only problem would be , that the commercial tubes are too full of fillers ,
but that's O.K . since I mull my own paints
out of the Artisan Linseed oil .
So what if their not proven to be archival as
of yet , they still make good outdoor studies and are useful for Hobby or Sunday painters.
No Professional Painter would sell someone a water miscible painting or would they ?
02-02-2001, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by lori:
...you've got to be joking. is america so paranoid that it now prohibits terp. in colleges? or is this for exageration purposes? what a joke. whoopee, lets sue the universities for toxic poisoning in a painting class....
Oh my, yes. No less an august institution than the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts prohibits the use of Turps in studio painting, as I found out this term. IMHO, if you don't like turps, you have no business entering the premises at a place like that, but they didnt ask me. I could understand it in "Paintin' 101" at the Dogpatch Community College & Screen Door Installation Trade School, but the ACADEMY? sheesh.
And yet, for two terms I was taking printmaking classes there using every evil substance seen on the planet ('cept benzene). I spent the summer using a wonderful litho technique that requires liberal sloshing of white gas (coleman camp fuel) over the entire plate. *Sniff*... no one cares about the printmakers! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif
[This message has been edited by JeffG (edited February 02, 2001).]
02-03-2001, 12:31 AM
lol - what did I let myself in for posting this! We've come to a bit of a compromise in the end - I bought her traditional oil paints (just cheap Reeves ones for now), along with linseed oil for thinning, which is what the teacher recommended. I also bought odourless thinner to clean the brushes/palette with - but this is done by either me or my husband as the warnings on the can really put me off letting her use it herself. The disadvantage is that she won't learn to clean up after herself yet....
Thankyou for all your help,
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