Oil and Water Don’t Mix!

Mediums: Oil v. Acrylic

Before, I have mentioned that I am working with acrylic paints. It is hard to say which medium I prefer over the other. At times, they each have a lot to offer, but for different reasons. They are unique from one another and both help me to create a variety of the emotion, color, subject and so on

Acrylics are inexpensive when compared to oils.  Their colors are vibrant, almost garish.  Somehow, no matter what, they appear flat. (which works for me right now) There are chemical extenders to manipulate your window of drying time.   But for me, one of my favorite things about acrylic paint is, its drying time. This can be both wonderful and terrible! Depending on your perspective of the moment. I have felt both of these extremes more than once! 

Oils, on the other hand, have a depth and richness that are unmatched. They are thick, luscious and full bodied products. There is this slight odor from oils that I swear is addictive. Working with oil is more expensive. From the brushes, cleaners, turpentine, varnish and the paint itself, it all adds up. The benefit of working slowly with a large window of drying time is a plus. It too, can be a wonderful and terrible thing. Wonderful, because you have all that extra time to work, and horrible because you have all that extra time to work. What do I mean? Having a lot of time to work makes oil painting tricky and not so forgiving. If you manage to over work an area (and you will) your effort can and will turn to mud. Not all oil colors created are equal or can be mixed to create other colors, as with acrylics. This can be frustrating. Oh, and there is nothing worse than to have painted an area and get it just how you want it to look, only, to lay your hand against the canvas. Only to have smeary mess, where once, a wonderful painting was in progress. This can bring you to tears. (well me anyway) To be fair the industry has improved on oil paints safety, prices and created newer versions of products, even some water based versions.  I have yet to get my nerve up to try any of those. 

Whatever medium you choose to work with it takes time, a lot of time,  to get to know its benefits and quirks. The more work you paint, the more you will learn. Do not be disappointed if a work fails, this is how we learn. Even the great masters made less than perfect pieces, often painting over paintings many layers deep, before they created their masterpiece. The trick is to have faith in yourself and keep working
Can you figure out which medium is my favorite?

There is an old rule about using oils and acrylics that every beginning artist is warned about:
You can put oil over acrylic but you must never put acrylic over oils! If you need to cover an oil painting, use an oil based gesso. Otherwise it might slide right off the canvas. 

Remember: Oils and Water don’t Mix!!

24 x 36 inch canvas
acrylic and ink
I am calling this one finished. Well, maybe…..