Acrylic or Oil?


So, are you trying to figure out what the difference is in painting with acrylic and oils?


Why do some people prefer one over the other?


Is there a difference?


Yes…most definitely there is a huge difference between the two types of paints.


Unfortunately, both paints will stain your clothing so if you are looking for a non staining paint, you might be better off not painting at all.


Top secret info (kidding of course):


The best paints to use to avoid stains are either water colors or tempera, but even those can stain if the right hue attacks your garments.


Now…one of those hues?  Alizeran Crimson.


As my old high school art teacher said….it has a way of getting on everything and she was not kidding.


You might note even use it and it still finds a way onto your clothing.


If you still want to paint and don’t care if it gets on your clothes, use acrylic or oils if you like the deep hues in painting.  Water color is limited in this respect (although it doesn’t have to be) for most people.


Some people will even use aprons.


If you’re like me, no matter what type of paint you use, you get it everywhere even when you use an apron, so I just prefer to put on a whole painting outfit which involves and old pair of comfortable jeans and along sleeve shirt.


Why long sleeve?


Because otherwise my forearms will be rainbow colored for weeks and it’s not because of a showering or bathing issue.


I just get so involved with my painting that worrying about where my arm is brushing is the least of my concerns.


So, what is the different between oils and acrylics?


Well for starters, oils will stain immediately just like a greasy french fry.  Acrylic have a few minutes were you can actually run the clothing under water and maybe get it out.  Oils are way less forgiving.


IN regards to brush cleaning, you can use water for acrylics but you will need mineral spirits or even turpentine for oils.


OIls are more smelly by far.


So there  you have it in regards to your sensory affects.


As far as painting?


Acrylics dry much faster and do not give you as much “working time”.   This means that blending on the canvas (not always recommended anyways) and working on the painting over time is not as easy as it would be with oils.


Oils and their slow drying time allow you to make changes more frequently and push the paint around with a great impact than with acrylic.


In addition, oils have a more organic and warm feel to them whereas acrylics tend to be less dense and creamy (even the creamy ones) and they have a more “fake” appearance in some respect because of the sheen they often leave behind.


Oils are capable of bonding better with most mediums that you use and acrylics tend to lay on top and bond less. This makes a difference in the way the painting will show to the trained eye.


My preference is oils.  I like the consistency and the way they mix together. Acrylics tend to be less forgiving and more annoying to me.  I can use them, but it’s not as enjoyable for me.


I’ll take the extra steps in cleaning my brushes to keep oil painting.


Another bonus of using oils is that when you mix a certain color, you can simply cover it and come back to it the next day.  If you try to do this with acrylic, 9 times our of 10 the mixed color will dry up even if it is colored and won’t be nearly as usable as an oil will be.


If you are in a hurry and need a fast painting done and ready quickly, then go with acrylics.


If you want a painting that is organically more pleasing in both the creation and the look, along with being longer lasting…go with oils.


There you have it!  It’s like plastic blankets vs. cotton.   Cotton is better.


Nature wins!

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