Learn Oil painting and working with Acrylics

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Painting with Acrylic or Oil Colors - Advantages and Disadvantages

The choice of medium for painters depends on a number of things. The most important factor when deciding whether to create an oil or acrylic painting is, of course, the personal taste of the artist. Many artists have a preferred medium with which they create the bulk of their work.

For other artists, there is the consideration of the brush strokes, as oil paints tend to leave a defined brush stroke while acrylics tend to create hard lines. Ultimately the decision depends on both the painting and the painter.

Learn painting with acrylic

There are as many advantages and disadvantages to painting with acrylic as there are to painting with oil colors, and in many areas, the two are opposites. Oil paints take a while to dry, leaving the artist time to change and perfect each aspect, while acrylic paints tend to dry within fifteen minutes. This allows for a multi-layered acrylic painting to be completed much faster, but allows for less revision, thus providing distinct advantages to each medium.

Acrylic paint is suitable for a variety of surfaces, from canvas and cardboard to metal, leather, and wood. It can also be applied in a thick or thin manner, giving it properties similar to either oil paint or watercolors, depending on the artist's intention. Oil paints, on the other hand, are textured while acrylics are flat. This once again provides a stark contrast that will depend very much on the goals of the artist. The ability to utilize textures is an essential skill when you learn oil painting and is something that can not be achieved with acrylics without special texturizing agents added to the paint.

Another difference between painting with oil colors and painting with acrylic mediums is opaqueness. Oil colors, when painted one atop another, will blend, and colors are hard to cover up. With acrylic paints, any color can be painted directly atop another color with only the top layer being visible, even when a pale color is painted over a dark and rich color. This means that every color in an acrylic painting is deliberate and there is no bleeding through of one layer into another.

Another thing that is taught when you learn oil painting is to always protect pieces with a glass covering. Oil paints are sensitive to the oils on the skin as well as the pollutants in the environment. Oil paintings can discolor and disintegrate over time. For many artists, however, they provide a texture and realism that makes them a preferred method of painting. Acrylic paintings do not need a glass covering, however, and framing is typically done solely for aesthetic reasons.

Painting with oil colors

In short, there are many differences between painting with acrylic and painting with oil colors, and each medium has numerous advantages and disadvantages depending on the artist and the intention of the piece in question. Each medium has a solid place in the world of art and is a chosen medium for a large number of artists. It is recommended that beginning artists experiment with multiple mediums when learning to paint, as both the experiences and the results can truly help artists discover more about themselves and the talents that they possess.

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Learn oil painting and working with acrylics