View Full Version : Graduated to Oils..........

09-27-2008, 04:49 PM
I heard this again the other day......Its getting older by the minute, "I used to paint in Acrylic's when I was a beginner". What am In 4th grade here or something??????:evil:

09-27-2008, 06:20 PM
You gotta take it where it comes from Mike.
You see, they (well at least some of them) couldn't learn the proper way to paint in acrylics, so they went to the second choice! :)

09-27-2008, 06:36 PM
I think that people find their own medium. For some people acrylics are easy, for some Oil, for some watercolour, or pastel, or ink or whatever!

I get tired of hearing people put down one medium in favour of another. What I would like is an acknowledgment of great art, no matter how it is achieved. To me it doesn't matter if it is painted in acrylic, or crayon or marshmallows.... as long as it says something.

09-27-2008, 10:18 PM
Right on, Kathy! You're my kind of poster. From the many beautiful paintings I see in acrylic, I would venture to say that more people will be won over to acrylics by the paintings than by having a chip on the shoulder. The early acrylics were less than many cared for - too "plastic looking, too harsh in color, very apparent color change between wet and dry and rapid drying," for starters. But acrylics have come a long way and are still being improved. My own viewpoint is that it is only a matter of time until the paintings themselves will gain equality between the two mediums. Haven't you all noticed the excitement on both sides of the aisle over the new Golden Opens? Hopefully, this is just the beginning of even more advances for acrylics. No solvents, no flammable waste and no volatile fumes and allergies is a big plus for acrylics - just keep painting folks! You are bound to wind them over with the lovely paintings I see posted everyday on this forum.
:thumbsup: Cheers to all of us who find painting with acrylics such a joy!

09-27-2008, 11:15 PM
Amen to the hope that people just learn to appreciate good art for good art...and who cares what the medium is!!

09-28-2008, 12:09 AM
I work in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors...they each have distinct advantages and disadvantages I think...I try not to worry about the remarks of others, starting out in pastels taught me to toughen my hide,folks can be veryyyy ugly about the "chalk" ... I always smile and either school them or leave them in their ignorance.

Bright Eyes
09-28-2008, 01:04 AM
Well if it helps, I started in oils and switched to acrylic. I'm impatient and oils take far too long to dry. I think there is a medium for everyone. But it really gets to me when oil painters refer to painting in acrylics as "going to the dark side":mad: I hope their linseed oil catches fire:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

09-28-2008, 01:41 AM
Well, I personally prefer the "Dark Side" as it better suits my taste, so I'm with you there!:evil:

And as for the whole elite-factor, I have to say, as a former custom framer, I have had the displeasure of encountering countless horrid oil paintings, much more frequently than acrylics. Too many clueless buyers think, "hey it's oil, it must have some value/cache/artistic merit" and bring in seascapes done with paddlebrush, florals with daubs an daubs of impasto, and worse.

If oils are so superior, I would agree that yes, they also win by sheer numbers in the Ugly category.

09-28-2008, 01:47 AM
Well if it helps, I started in oils and switched to acrylic. I'm impatient and oils take far too long to dry. I think there is a medium for everyone. But it really gets to me when oil painters refer to painting in acrylics as "going to the dark side":mad: I hope their linseed oil catches fire:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Well, to be perfectly honest I started in Oils as well, and still mess with them from time to time. Ive nothing at all against them and feel they have their place. If Im doing portrait work and need some really good blending, for me oils are where Ill turn...Its just the snide remarks I can live without the rest of my life.....:D

09-28-2008, 07:36 AM
..Its just the snide remarks I can live without the rest of my life.....:D
sure you can :heart: what do you usually say?

Charlie's Mum
09-28-2008, 09:20 AM
I don't like this feeling of superiority of one medium over another either!
I too use a variety of mediums - acrylics only in the last few years!
I find acrylics more difficult than oils - or more frustrating - but I don't think one is better than the other - just different advantages and disadvantages!

09-28-2008, 09:48 AM
Well if it helps, I started in oils and switched to acrylic. I'm impatient and oils take far too long to dry. I think there is a medium for everyone. But it really gets to me when oil painters refer to painting in acrylics as "going to the dark side":mad: I hope their linseed oil catches fire:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Me, too. Oils to acrylic here.

Lady Carol
09-28-2008, 10:40 AM
...where did you hear these remarks? They are not constant statement in acrylics, so I am curious. If you read them in Oils, then what do you expect?

09-28-2008, 06:04 PM
Lady Carol

Example: Quite recently a well known oil painter/moderator submitted his first ever acrylic painting and jokingly referred to "coming over to the dark side." One would think since he said it was his first ever acrylic painting that he would have received a welcome and nothing but encouragement.
He had to placate a few who took exception to his using that terminology and mentioning his coming from a background in oils. Point: many artists wear several hats, use several mediums so it seems safe to suggest that more is won with honey than with vinegar. I do not know the artist cited but thought it was less than admirable to attack a well known moderator/oil artist for a joking remark. After all, it takes some humiltiy to put your first attempts in another medium out for C&C when you have an established reputation in another medium. Shouldn't newcomers be embraced? Perhaps we need to be less sensitive to newcomers to the world of acrylics, no matter the background they come from? Oils seem to be a red flag to a few. This example was not an exception, it happens quite frequently though not by the majority. I'd like to see galleries be less exclusive and I understand the frustration... just don't think needling people who try out acrylics is the way to get there.

09-28-2008, 07:12 PM
Carol...I was told that acrylics "did not count as art" in the first gallery I ever visited...also that if I was 'self-taught' I should look around the gallery and see what REAL ART was. I did look, and was amazed at what ugly things they had hanging...for outrageous prices. I would never ever sell anything there....assuming that I ever learn to paint well enough to suit them...:lol:

09-28-2008, 08:42 PM
...where did you hear these remarks? They are not constant statement in acrylics, so I am curious. If you read them in Oils, then what do you expect?

I would fully and 100% expect them from a Oil Forum...:D
I hear them in Gallery's along the French Quarter, about 3 dozen of them or so....:thumbsup:

09-28-2008, 08:47 PM
In reply to Aires;
Would it not have been nicer for the individual to come here and say;
"I have not painted in Acrylics before, and really would appreciate help/critique from those of you familiar with this medium."
To call this forum "The Dark side"is wrong.
There are a plethora of fabulous artists that post here, and (rightly so) are proud of their work.
Never ever would I go to another forum with any art work of mine and even before presenting it, make a banal statement re their chosen medium.
Yes, I get my gander up when my medium of choice is abused and belittled.
It has been going on for eons now, and the only way to stop perpetuating the misnomer that Acrylics is not a true art form is to stand up and be counted.
I respect other art forms, I may not understand them, and I may not be able to work within their confines, but I would never belittle another for excelling in Oils/Pastels/Pencil/clay/stone and or whatever.
As it was, the presenter of the "Dark side" comment was/is a mod on another forum here.
That individual should have had a better grasp of just what Tact was/is.
(My opinion)

09-28-2008, 10:00 PM
Aires got 2 different posters mixed up. One a moderator and one showing his murals. I also believe they both knew exactly what they were saying would be taken the way it was. This is just my opinion. I expect this posting to disappear, hehe.

09-28-2008, 10:56 PM
I don't think anyone's remarks should 'disappear', since no one has said anything wrong...simply answered a question. I have read, and re-read the two posts...and I have to agree with Ray.

I also agree with Kathleen, about using tact in ones opening remarks...which would be the most logical way to begin.

But then some people cover insecurity with brashness, or fear with humor...not to excuse anyone. I would say that it seems there are possible better ways and worse ways to introduce ones self. Suffering from frequent foot-in-mouth disease, I have been known to say alot of wrong things in the wrong places...so I don't know that I should throw stones. I do know that some people's 'humor' is cutting and hurtful...my ex was one such person...his 'jokes' were often painfully cruel, and extremely tasteless...but he did not understand that, and still does not.

Originally Posted by Bizkit
..Its just the snide remarks I can live without the rest of my life.....
I agree with that....keep trying to come up with a good comeback...:)

Until "everyone" just appreciates good art for good art...medium, education, and style aside...I will be happy to be here on the dark side. :angel:

09-28-2008, 11:40 PM
I apologize if I have offended with my remarks. Kathy, your paintings are worth a thousand words and stand on their own merits for promoting acrylic painting. I feel strongly that good work will bring about its own reward in due time.

Simply put, I would like to see more respect on BOTH sides of the aisle. Sometimes it feels like a room full of Democrats and Republicans as there is so much wrangling on both sides of the aisle that the educational qualities get lost. This comment is not directed to just this forum, a few on both sides are equally forgetting that forums are meant to promote art, to be helpful and to encourage artists of all types. Peace.......

Lady Carol
09-29-2008, 12:19 AM
I would fully and 100% expect them from a Oil Forum...:D
I hear them in Gallery's along the French Quarter, about 3 dozen of them or so....:thumbsup:
Ahhhh!!! I thought it was in the forum.

I think Oils still has that appeal, unfortunately. They have been around for ages. Often it is what the client or a gallery wants. I hear that acrylics are more accepted on the West Coast.

09-29-2008, 12:47 AM
Ouch...lord save us from becoming like politicians....:lol:!!

Aires...you are right...but sometimes a person just has to speak their minds. Perhaps we are all to quick to jump into the fray...to defend our friends, and our medium. I doubt that very much of the 'venom' is actually directed at the individual...it is more likely to be the 'straw that broke' so to speak. I know I am not the only person here who has been rejected, not simply because our work was not good enough, but because it was not in oils. Or god forbid, it is not oils and we are self taught. I think the hurt from that lingers, and perhaps colors our reactions in the future.

Besides, I cannot ever imagine switching to oils...I am in way too much of a hurry to wait for paint to dry...I don't have enough years left to spend waiting...:)

09-29-2008, 01:03 AM
My daughter & I spent the afternoon in the "Trendy" part of Calgary today.
We went into four different galleries, and I was astounded at the high numbers of very good Acrylics that were on display! (They actually out-numbered "Oils".)
One person commented (We were all looking at the same painting) "If only it were in "Oils". and the gallery owner lit into her like nothing I ever expected.
I could not believe it, she said all the things that were said here, plus,
"If you were a serious Art collector, or just wanted a painting for your wall, what is wrong with any medium if the end result pleases you?"
It is not the medium, it is the message! (What I derived from the owners retort!(And yes, I soon will have six paintings hanging there.)):)

Aries, I don't know which Kathy you were speaking too, but I, as well understand your words.

09-29-2008, 02:10 AM
Wow, Kathleen....that had to be great to hear...and even greater to have your work there!!!

09-29-2008, 04:34 AM
I heard this again the other day......Its getting older by the minute, "I used to paint in Acrylic's when I was a beginner". What am In 4th grade here or something??????:evil:Tell them you used to be scared of progress, too.

09-29-2008, 08:55 AM
I rarely give a darn what others say as far as what medium I use, but I've noticed that when I've done something the remark would be "you should have painted it in oils" :lol: Had I it would have looked like a mud pie!

Competitive natures are a by product of the artist I think, some greater then others, but if in essence they were truly in love with art for the sake of art I would think they could appreciate the works done in skills and talent rather then in what medium first. I wander around in most of the mediums, where I feel most accomplished is in acrylics, if that is the only thing that prevents anyone from appreciating it then how sad for them. I can recognize talent in
cake decorating..haha. What I hear more today is the new line of comment regarding computer art, now there I can paint in oils. :wink2:

Eye to hand bottom line, whatever's in your hand or on your palette is just a means to an end.
The mind percieves and the artist achieves if that weren't true then I could go out an buy supplies in all mediums and just sit and watch them create themselves...foolishness to think that one is better then an other, but that's
how it is sometimes so ignorance just might be bliss in some less then objective comments but I'd rather ignore their bliss and find my own. Wonder what medium God used to create such beauty, bet it wasn't oils he did it in six days...just kidding. It's all good.


09-29-2008, 10:01 AM
I painted portraits in oils for the first 10 years. Then I graduated to acrylics to my full satisfaction.:)

09-29-2008, 10:22 AM
In the most recent "Artist's magazine", there was an example of a WATERCOLOR painting that I thought was either a photograph or a very realisticly (sp?) done acrylic. Not to mention that the magazine "by artists and for artists" covers ALL of the media.

I would like to try oils, but I'm scared off by the drying times, solvents (I have two little kids, and by necessity have to paint in the house), and learning curve of going from acrylic to oil. Besides, I can't take them to the VA for Open Studio, as there are some there that have respiratory problems that oils affect, while acrylics don't.

Personally, I think that those that make statements such as the ones that have prompted this thread and the MANY responses are nothing but bigoted, uneducated, elitists that have no DESIRE to see beyond their self-important snobbery. Please note that I am NOT refering to those that post here , or those in the oil forum for that matter, that don't belittle other media.

So, when I am confronted by that kind of statement, I choose to not stoop to the level of their ignorance and bicker. After all, "One should never argue with a fool. He will have fun, and others won't be able to tell the difference." (I can't remember who said that, and I'm not sure I have it verbatim.)

I've seen beautiful artwork in all media, and I've seen junk as well. Should I be "forced" to like pure CRAP just because it was painted in oils? Especially when the EXACT same work, if done in acrylics, would be considered bad art?

Just my opinion. Yours may vary, and I hope I haven't offended anyone with this rant.


09-29-2008, 10:32 AM
I tried oils. In many the fumes from the paints, mediums and thinners cause instant headaches. Who wants to wait 6 months for a painting to dry just to be able to varnish it. 6 months from now and you might be in jail, or the hospital. Brush clean up is a nightmare too. Be careful where you store those oily rags. They might just explode for no good at all. Is this layer fatter than the last? Who needs it.-... Just kidding and no offense to oil painters. One of my best friends is an oil painter. :D
Technically, could you put a clear layer of oil medium over your acrylic painting and call it oil over acrylic? The pigments in both mediums are the same so why not? Or at least mixed media with oil. Who makes those rules?

09-29-2008, 11:32 AM
Many moons ago I was visiting a craft store and noticed a painting on the wall. I fell in love with that painting and mentioned it to the shop owner. She told me that the artist was giving lessons on that painting and I could join if I wanted to. Thinking to myself "Yeah, right... I can't paint"... I told her that I would have to do some more thinking about it. I had wanted to try painting for a long time, but what if I bought all the supplies and couldn't paint or didn't like it? After all they are expensive. It never occurred to me to ask what medium was used. My sister-in-law has a degree in art and uses oils, so most likely I thought that was it. Well, after thinking about taking the lessons (three nights a week for one week) The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to join the fun. So... the next Monday evening I went to the craft store, got a list of supplies and found out they were acrylic. It made no difference to me, I still loved the painting. And, because we traveled a lot in a motorhome I didn't have to take chemicals. Besides, I would be impatient waiting for the paint to dry.

Looking at my SIL's paintings and mine... I can't tell what was painted in oil and what was painted in acrylic... and I don't care!!! She doesn't paint anymore and has not for many years, so her 4-year degree in art didn't do anything except cost a lot more money than my three nights of lessons. :lol: She never used her art degree for anything.

I believe that the person who said he was going to the "dark side" was saying it in a joking manner and that some people take these comments way too seriously. Who cares what medium you use as long as you enjoy it and it is your chosen medium. If I were forced to use oils I probably wouldn't paint because it would be such a change... not because I think there is something wrong with oil paint. I vist the landscape forum and enjoy doing so. I don't look to see what medium was used... I just enjoy the work. Some are wonderful, some I don't like... but it is my personal likes and dislikes and not because of the chosen medium.

If the galleries did not put a sign up saying "oil" or "acrylic" would consumers really know the difference? Probably not. Watercolor or pastel is pretty easy to spot.

If we lighten up and embrace people who are trying acrylics we might have a convert!!! :D

Note: No paints were harmed in this thought process, only my brain cells.

09-29-2008, 12:49 PM
Never heard any of these remarks!
Our little art club has everyone doing all sorts - no arguing, no elitism, no nothing.
And, for my two penneth - I've never tried oils!
Pastels, charcoal, acrylics, watercolours, pen and ink, but never any oils, and I'm still sane (alledgedly)!

09-29-2008, 02:18 PM
Note: No paints were harmed in this thought process, only my brain cells.

http://www.pic4ever.com/images/funny.gif (http://www.pic4ever.com) Time for a good laugh!

09-29-2008, 02:51 PM
Meh... there are plenty of galleries out there, and plenty of venues to show and sell our work online... and plenty of people to actually appreciate the view, rather then care what it's painted with... Those are the people to reach and educate...

If someone comes in here and seriously puts down the medium, then I just won't comment... Honestly, there's little point in getting bent out of shape over it, really... Silence can really make a statement most times... Or kill them with kindness... 'I'm glad you've decided to really look into another medium instead of listening to the detractors about it... that shows real open minded creativity! And you do so well with it, too! I looks like such an advancement over <pick one of their oil paintings from their signature>.' Might make them think...

I agree that 'scaring people away' won't get acrylic paintings looked at any better, and might turn us into the 'elitists' we dislike... I can COMPLETELY understand the 'graduated to oils' or 'It would have been better painted in oils' comments... I've been asked a few times why I don't work in oils... most times I've simply explained the faster drying times and less smell and no chemicals... but I think I'm gonna start saying 'Why don't you drive a different car?' or 'Why don't you wear green instead of blue?'... Maybe by pointing out that it is a personal choice, and that they make them too, it'll make people think a little more about their silly comments. Or maybe just asking them why it's better? Make THEM explain their reasoning, and they might just talked themselves into realizing how ridiculous it sounds... Old doesn't always mean its better... and new doesn't either... they're all different... and that's what's great about the world, we have choices in art and cars and clothes...

We'll see how I do when I get into doing galleries and asked that. I can see myself turning their question right back on them and making them essentially answer themselves...

I challenge everyone to do that... instead of becoming defensive when asked about your choice of acrylic over oils, ask them why they think oils are better... Ask them what they paint with... and ask them how long acrylics have been around and what the longevity of them is compared to oils... bet they can't answer that one. hehehe And then, don't degrade oils by saying acrylics are better... if they press, give them why you prefer to paint in acrylics over oils... And leave it at that... sweet education is usually the way to go...