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Old 04-19-2012, 09:01 PM
PictureMaker PictureMaker is offline
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Oil & Acrylic

Does anyone in this Café perhaps know of a simple, but sure way, to distinguish between an oil & acrylic painting?
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:17 AM
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

i figure you need real life to tell
i think oil colors tend to be deeper, more rich in color
not more vibrant necessarily, but richer
and acrylics tend to have a different shine to them

not so simple, nor so sure
but there it is, my opinion

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Old 04-20-2012, 05:53 AM
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snoball snoball is offline
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

Ask the artist. With some techniques it is impossible to tell the difference, especially if they have been varnished.

OTOH, I paint acrylics very thinnly and smoothly and, at shows, have had people tell their companions (with me standing right there), "These are prints, there are no brush strokes."

A very astute person might be able to tell the difference but the man on the street probably can't.

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Old 04-20-2012, 10:26 AM
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

smell it.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:37 AM
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joe galioto joe galioto is offline
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

i'm not sure i could really sure if i could tell for sure 100% of the time, but acrylic seems to be more opaque and oils have more translucency and luminosity.
i guess it depends on the style of the way the artist used the medium.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:25 PM
Tatianapaints Tatianapaints is offline
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

Perhaps you could say that you could paint a painting in oil that would be unmistakably oil - but not so easy to do that with acrylics.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:37 PM
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Jane Stuart Jane Stuart is offline
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

Originally Posted by PictureMaker
Does anyone in this Café perhaps know of a simple, but sure way, to distinguish between an oil & acrylic painting?

Funny you would ask, because I almost showed my sister a few painting tests I made, and I was going to ask her which one(s) she felt were painted with oils, and which one(s) were painted with acrylics. I was interested in her unbiased response to color, texture and aestheticism, but, since she’s not familiar with such painted subtleties, I ditched the idea...

I paint many tests (I try everything), and, on first glance, you can’t tell the difference. Acrylics sometimes have a “tired” look, especially if they are thinned with water, and they also have a plastic look – you have to be tuned-in to the latter, since acrylics are equal to oils in color and vibrancy. The relatively new Golden Opens are glossy, and they look a bit like oils. Oils and alkyds have a slightly softer, friendly look, IMHO, in fact I’m often amazed at how beautiful they are...

I paint very thinly, but opaquely, in both mediums. Sometimes you can tell the difference by running your fingers over the surface – oils feel softer, and perhaps more vulnerable...
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:41 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

The only sure way is to run a chemical analysis of some sort...
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:18 PM
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Re: Oil & Acrylic

Phase one: place your nose really really really close to canvas

Phase two: smell

Maybe this will work

Read about it on my Blog

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