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View Full Version : CAN YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE? ACRYLIC/OIL


ivan1
05-28-2001, 10:18 AM
My firt few painting were in oil. I was quite happy with the results and enjoyed painting in oil. The fumes did bother me a bit even though I use almost no solvents, and mostly paint out of the tube. Strangely enough I believe it may be the linseed oil that gets to me. So I have now done two paintings in acrylic. Although the dry time took some getting used to I am begining to quite like them. In fact I am having trouble seeing any difference between the oil and acrylic paintings.All are landscapes. Since I'm new to all this I would like to hear what others think about what the end result differences are. Possibly If I had never used oil paints I would not be trying to compare acrylics with oils in terms of how they are applied.

ivan1
05-28-2001, 01:14 PM
Ginette

I checked out some of your paintings on your www link. Very nice. I can't see any difference between them and oils.

LDianeJohnson
05-28-2001, 02:33 PM
The only way to really tell the difference between an oil and acrylic paintings is when acrylics have had the reputation for having a "plastic" appearance. But this is all remedied in the handling of the material.

Diane

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L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
2001/2002 Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

GC
05-28-2001, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by ivan1:
Ginette

I checked out some of your paintings on your www link. Very nice. I can't see any difference between them and oils.


Thank You.

The point that Diane made is one that I have heard before and in the beginning many of my pieces had that appearance.
I have experimented a lot and figured out ways to get rid of that plastic look.
For other styles that plastic look actually works great.
I have seen pieces that are ideal done in acrylic for their bright colors for instance.

Ginette

GC
05-29-2001, 12:54 AM
I have never used oils and assumed that especially professional in the art world could tell a difference.
Not so, most of my painting shave been called oils by various art business people, until I tell them it's acrylic and that's when their jaws dropped.

Ginette

Niol
05-29-2001, 09:35 AM
To my eye, plastic is plastic and oil is oil. No amount of handling can reduce the cloud of plastic "transparency." If that were so, plastic used to simulate window glass would effectively appear as glass which it clearly does not. Ivan1, is there an explanation for this in the chemistry of each substance and the physics of light striking each (banking on your chemistry background)? Thanks.

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NJH

TMoore
05-29-2001, 09:39 AM
I absolutly love the finish of oils but cannot because of the fumes. I even considered trying to work on miniatures outdoors this summer so I could play around with the stuff. Too many bugs out here to get away with big pieces outdoors. This thread really peaked my interest. If it is possible to get the same finish in acrylic that would be great! It doesn't seem right to ask you to divulge the information that you have had to learn from trial and error - but I will. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gifHow do you accomplish the oil-like finish?

Tammy

[This message has been edited by TMoore (edited May 29, 2001).]

ivan1
05-29-2001, 01:13 PM
All materials have differences in their light reflection properties. This is due to the different elements that make up the material, the atomic spacing of these elements, density,crystal shape, etc, etc.

In the end, unless you involved with designing new paint systems, this is not very helpful information for painters who apply paint to various surfaces. I would assume that expert painters get to know their mediums abilities, and limitations.

Hopefully I can learn a few of the tricks that some of the experts in this forum have worked out over the years.

Because it may become impossible for me to work with oils in the long term, maybe I should just forget about what oils look like and explore acrylics to their full potential. In the end whether acrylic or oils should look like each other is a matter of personal opinion, and tradition.

Niol
05-29-2001, 03:51 PM
Thanks for response. Have myself wondered why a new medium, acrylics, is so often used to mimic another, oils. There are many innovative directions in the use of acrylics, 64 discussed in one book I recently read--Acrylics Bold and New, Nicholas Roukes, Watson-Guptill Publications, N.Y., N.Y., 1986. No doubt there are many other references. Particularly liked the graphite and acrylic combination discussed and the staining. Thanks again for response.

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NJH

carly
05-29-2001, 05:38 PM
I have some paintings that I can't tell the difference from oil or acrylic...I've simply forgotten which it was painted with! When I first used acrylics, I painted the same with them as I had oils since its the only way I knew to apply paint!

If you really want to know...rubbing alcohol will break down acrylics...but not oils.
carly

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"Everything is not art and Art is not everything, but it comes close."....carly

VictoriaS
05-29-2001, 06:29 PM
I like to believe I can tell the difference, but in fact I often am not sure. (On the palette I can tell, but not necessarily in a painting.) However, I do believe that a very realistic oil painting (especially a portrait) cannot be duplicated in acrylics -- but maybe I should just say that I haven't seen it. I'm not saying I haven't seen wonderful acrylic portraits -- just that they don't tend to look like oil portraits. I have been kind of trying to train my eyes to see the difference just in the surface qualities without regard to the picture or how it is painted.

Victoria