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Beginning Artists - Acrylic Vs Oil

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 106

Paint Choice - Acrylic vs. Oil

I'll just let you know first that I use Acrylic. When I started thinking about getting into painting, I fortunately had a little background as my older brother had dabbled abit in his day. He however used oil, and to this day swears by painting in oil. So under his tutelage I learned a little bit about the differences between oil and acrylic paints. After careful discernment of the words from my teacher and taking what I've learned by trial and error, I have chose Acrylic as my main source of paint medium.

So what is the big deal, why does it matter so much what type of paint I use? Well there are a couple of big differences that will help you decide which type of paint you may want to lean toward using. Let's start with Acrylic paint. As I mentioned I use Acrylic and as of now I don't plan on making any changes to that decision. Here's why.....

Acrylic paint is less messy to clean up. This may not sound like a major concern but for those of you that don't like to use a lot of chemicals, acrylic paint will work out well for you because you don't have to use paint thinner, paint lacquer, or turpentine to clean your brushes. Brushes used with Acrylic paint can be cleaned with just good old fashioned water. I put my used brushes in a cup of water, letting them soak until I can get to cleaning them. I have left brushes in standing water for days without any ill effect on the brushes.

Another big difference is the time it takes the paint to dry. I think this is probably the biggest difference between oil and acrylic and is probably the major deciding factor on which you will end up making your decision of which paint type to use. Acrylic paint dries faster than Oil, in fact a lot faster. This I prefer because I like to see the final result quick, and if I want to paint over it for some reason I don't have to wait very long to move on. The drying time for oil can be days depending on how thick it is applied. Those who like oil like oil for this reason. The artist can go back and make changes to the wet paint, but of course this can be scary to the beginner.

The downside of Acrylic, and so far I have found only this one, is that due to the fast drying time, you do need to think of ways to extend the life of your paint. This can be achieved by using a product called Slow-Dri Blending Medium, found at your local craft store. Or you can simply dab your brush in water, or even use a spray bottle full of water. This is where experimentation comes in and you never know you may discover a whole new world of painting effects because you chose Acrylic vs. Oil. I have, and because I'm not afraid to step out of the box or canvas in this case, painting has become wonderfully exciting.

I love being an artist. I have learned useful information and helpful tips along the way and I would like to share them with you as I continue to learn along my artist journey. Happy Artistry!

Jule Cole enjoys artistic expression and likes to find ways to make it budget friendly, easy and most of all fun. You can follow and purchase her art at

Source: EzineArticles
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