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Old 09-30-2017, 02:45 PM
The Avenger The Avenger is online now
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Difference between oils and acrylic.

I'm debating on trying oils. Are they easier to work with? What are the good bad points? Cheers
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:57 PM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

Here is my experience when I tried oils. They are very wonderful to work with, blend easily, dry slowly, and layer beautifully wet into wet with a knife -- like sculpting. There is a sensuousness to how oil paint flows off a brush and knife that is really wonderful. That's the pros.

The cons were they dry slowly, having to think/worry about fat over lean and proper preparation of a surface, odor that my wife did not like, and safe storage and disposal of oil soaked rags and paper towels. If you are going to use a solvent, then good ventilation is a must, too. In the end, I found them too complicated to work with compared to acrylics. I sometimes think about trying them again, but the odor and having to deal safely with oil soaked rags discourages me. I am convinced that one can't tell the difference between an oil painting and an acrylic painting, so I think it comes down to what you enjoy working with, and which kind of paint you find more or less easy to work with. If you haven't tried oils, why not read up on safe studio practices and, if you are willing to follow the safety advice, give them a try?
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:00 PM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

Also, to answer one of your questions directly, I think that once you learn how to use oil paint and get used to it, it is neither easier nor more difficult to work with than acrylics, just different, although some of that determination may depend on how you like to paint.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:30 PM
bluefish bluefish is offline
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

back in the 50's, acrylics entered the marketplace....no more solvent fumes to breath, no more suspected change in appearance as it aged, no more 'cracling' of the finished product, as it aged.....what a breath of fresh air.....and the new developements in acrylic technology are mind bogling!.....why, oh why would anyone want to go back to a historical art form that has been updated by modern methods and technology!....

Last edited by bluefish : 09-30-2017 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:52 PM
scmelik scmelik is online now
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

When i first decided to start trying to learn how to paint I started with acrylics, it was nothing but pure frustration for me from the onset. I didnít like to have to work fast in order to get the look I wanted and liked. I didnít like having to keep spraying my pallet in order to keep the paint wet and a whole lot of other reason.

I switched over to oils and they definitely have their drawbacks just like acrylics do, slow to dry, slightly messier to clean up, a few more requirements in materials. However the benefits for me completely outweigh the drawbacks. I can work much more methodically on my color mixes on my pallet with no fear of them drying out. I can put down color rather blockily and go back and blend later. The slow drying aspect allows me to have multiple pieces working at one time keeping my interest in each piece much higher than if I were to only work on one at a time.

I would say that if you are interested in them go pick up a couple of inexpensive tubes of W&N Winston paints. Black and white are fine and see if you like how they work and if they are right for you. You donít need to get anything special other than maybe a small bottle of Oderless Mineral Spirit to do the initial cleaning of your brushes, or you can just use soap and water.
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Old 09-30-2017, 04:06 PM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

I go back and forth. Acrylics take time to learn and it is good to use all the various and unique mediums that go along with the process. I sometimes use oils over dried acrylic wash (thin application).....so I get the best of both worlds.
Oils are frustrating at times. Imagine a show is coming up and your painting is not dry, or you have to wait 6 months to varnish.
My friends who are good artists can't tell my oils from my acrylic works.
Then there is WATER MIXABLE OILS. the best ever is Holbein aqua duo. A great product. We just have Too much fun.
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Old 09-30-2017, 04:15 PM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

Extended drying time acrylics are available. I use Golden Open paints quite a bit. Chroma Atelier Interactive is another extended paint; I've never used it.

If you've been using artist grade acrylics, student grade oils may not give you a fair test.

Artist quality oil can be low cost if you go with a limited palette. Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Siena will give you a warm color and a cool color. They're complementary, so you can get a whole range of cool and warm colors. Oh, don't forget the titanium white.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:40 PM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

I have health issues so oil is not for me.
That being said if you want to give them a go, try it I know you do wonderful work with acrylics and I'm sure you'd do fine with oils also.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:43 AM
The Avenger The Avenger is online now
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

Some great tips and advice here thank you. I sometimes find acrylics clog and don't flow, I also find they are very hard on brushes. I go through way too many brushes.
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:20 AM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

There are also ways to speed drying time for oils. I use Gamblyn's Neo Megilp. It can dry the oil paint in literally a day or two. It goes a little faster in winter I find. With good odorless solvents, I have since moved almost exclusively to oil as a result.

When I decide I need a break and want to do knife painting I will bring out my acrylics.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:32 AM
georgetroy georgetroy is online now
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

I do mix media and will do watercolors for awhile then acrylics, and WMO. I also have some paintings I did years ago and will cover in WMO. Most of my paintings are 9"x 12" and smaller. I can do more that way. I will use acrylics for backgrounds on oils. Wood Working is another hobby of mine using mostly acrylics on cravings. Santa's are fun to carve and paint. Want landscapes? I do those in relief and finish with acrylics or watercolors. I don't really have any favorites.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:55 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

The main reasons I don't enjoy using acrylics as much as oils:
  • The smell of acrylics is at least 20x more obnoxious to me than painting with oils using solvent free methods. They give me a headache, and in a tight space make me sick to my stomach.
  • I have never been able to achieve the deeply saturated luminescent look I can get with oils using acrylics. When dried they look like they are encased in a thin layer of translucent wax. Various mediums and / or clear varnish on the finished piece helps but it just doesn't cut it for me. Maybe I am too picky.
  • The way they mix both on the palette and on the panel are a disappointment after having used oils.
  • There is a fairly large segment of the art buyers around here that simply will not buy an acrylic, or a watercolor or pastel for that matter so by using them I am reducing my chances of selling a piece by perhaps 60%.
What I do like about them:

  • Essentially instant dry time. If I need a painting started and ready to hang on the wall in a few hours it can be done.
  • More flexible so I can paint on an un-stretched canvas and ship it in a tube for a fraction of the cost of an oil painting. I know people say its ok to roll an oil painting but my own testing has proven that rolling an oil painting almost always causes micro cracking on the surface. The more it is rolled / unrolled the worse it gets.

Last edited by contumacious : 10-01-2017 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:56 PM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

can you show us one of your acrylics Contumacious?
I've shown in some prestigious galleries and often the judges can't tell my oils from the acrylics.
smell of acrylics : 20% more obnoxious? C'mon.
I don't know where you live, but in the high end galleries of Scottsdale AZ and Sante Fe, acrylics sell really well. Also no problem in NYC.
William Hook and Gil Dellinger are well regarded.
I love both mediums and I'm comfortable working with them. The only drawback for me is; with the oils, I have to plan way ahead for a show.
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Old 10-01-2017, 01:57 PM
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Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
can you show us one of your acrylics Contumacious?
I've shown in some prestigious galleries and often the judges can't tell my oils from the acrylics.
smell of acrylics : 20% more obnoxious? C'mon.
I don't know where you live, but in the high end galleries of Scottsdale AZ and Sante Fe, acrylics sell really well. Also no problem in NYC.
William Hook and Gil Dellinger are well regarded.
I love both mediums and I'm comfortable working with them. The only drawback for me is; with the oils, I have to plan way ahead for a show.
Contumacious said 20 times. That's 2,000%. Just sayin'. Seriously, though, I think different people react to different smells and chemicals differently. I notice no smell with my acrylics, except for my Liquitex soft body zinc white, which smells like house paint.
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:33 PM
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Talking Re: Difference between oils and acrylic.

Actually, 20 times is 1,000%.
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