View Full Version : Oils or acrylics?

03-21-2001, 10:54 AM
One of these days in the near future I am going to actually pic up a brush instead of a pencil and start painting. I have never really painted before and would like opinions on oil vs acrylic for someone starting out. Which is the "easier" medium to start learning painting with?

Cathy Sheeter
Sheeter Zoo Crew Animal Art

03-21-2001, 11:04 AM
Wish I could help you with this, but I've not done oils since I was 19 and I've never touched acrylic :P

I pretty much went from pencil to pastel, dunno if you want to consider this. It's a great stepping stone before picking up a paintbrush, although my reasons for doing so were much different.

<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">"Bu shoilleir a dhreach, 's bu luath
Shiubhal: Sith-fada b'e ainm." --</FONT c>
<FONT size="1">"Shining his coat, and speedy
His pace -- Si-Fada his name."
Si-Fada = "long pace"</FONT s>
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Gary B
03-21-2001, 11:31 AM

You learn with any color medium. I agree, pastels are great. Pastels over watercolor is one of my favorites.

Try Prismacolor pencils. Not too big a step from drawing and the results can be amazing. Use a hand sharpener...saves pencils. And an extender for when they get too short.

A good compromise between Oil and Acrylic is Alkyd. Works like oil, but dries almost overnight.

Have fun.


"First you get you a pen and a ink."

03-21-2001, 11:38 AM
Acrylics allows you to paint detail directly, whereas oils you are better to learn to "suggest" detail...unless you want to go very traditional with glaze after glaze, etc;

Acrylics, you can take a small 2-3 round, and draw quickly in a similar fashion to line hatching, etc; It would be similar to using colored pencils, but instead of reaching for each individual colored pencil, you have one color pencil that allows you rid the point of its color, ...dip it into another color turning it to another colored pencil. it can dry so fast, that you can layer over layer.

The problem is...such an approach can also in working for you demand so much time that you could easily put 100-300 hours into a large painting...because you can go nuts with the detail!

Now...after 20 years of mastering acrylics, I have these past 5-6 years gone nuts with oils, and have enjoyed the impasto quick expressive brushwork and clever use of color to suggest, suggest, suggest....

For example, if you check out the 15 minute demo 12"x 16" of trees I did for my 8th graders...noted on this forum, as being in the "Landscape" forum...that was in acrylics, but painted as I have been learning oils.

Its pretty much relative to whatever will catch your fancy, and what you'll decide to develop. Plenty of time over the years to then become proficient in many mediums.

Personally...for someone that draws and feels painting to be a bit intimidating, I think acrylics allows you to continue that "drawing" feeling though in a more sophisticated manner.


The Artsmentor

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!" Edgar Degas

03-22-2001, 01:07 AM
Personally I started and stayed with Acrylics for a very long time but now...I've done Oil. Oh decisions, decisions.

Don't worry, its gonna be all right....
Tammy's Home for Artists (http://tammy.artistnation.com)