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Acrylic or Oil

Postby johnwalkeasy » Tue May 01, 2007 6:02 pm

Oil paint is the type of paint most used by painters. Why is that a fact. Are oils better in color? What are the advantages of oil over acrylic?
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Postby Singular » Wed May 02, 2007 10:37 am

Hey John,
There are pros and cons to both. Oils definitely have their advantages colorwise, because not all colors are available in Acrylic, due to its chemical makeup. Also, most acrylic colors do not have the same concentration of pigment as oils.

Oils are, however, much more difficult to paint with that acrylics.

all the best,
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Postby johnwalkeasy » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:26 pm

Might start useing acrylics for the alumimun paitings. Done some test pieces a little over a year ago with both oil and acrylic on alum. They have been outside in the weather all that time. They both have helded up very well. I like to work fast and oils are slowing me down. It,s a lot harder to paint on the alum. than any other paiting surface. And the drying time of oil is even longer on alum. But I would like to know how to make the acrylic paint have the same
ighness and dept as oil. (Well, kinda the same) And I find that more and more painters are useing acrylic paint. What are the factors that would lead one to use oil or acrylics?
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Keep it simple

Postby pehiatt » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:39 pm

Use the acrylic painting mediums. Avoid using water only it kills the paint. Use simple colors. Scrumble and wash. Try to keep the paint as transparent as possible. Avoid mixing in white. Use multiple transparent layers.

This painting "flight of Apollo" is acrylic. 24 X 48 inches on untempered Masonite.

Have fun.
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Postby skenyon » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:39 pm

i started off with acrylics because:
1. they are cheap
2. they dry very fast, i can finish an entire painting in one sitting,
3. i can mix additives for a gloss finish or special texture easily,
4. when it dries, it kinda protects itself a little, i dont have to worry about smudges or scrapes nearly as much.
5.you can use acrylics for under painting, you can slap oil on top of it, saves money and time.

but oil looks better, feels better, and blends so much more beautifully and easily.

i often use a gloss additive with acrylics, either by mixing it into the paint, which extends the drying time a bit, or i put a coat on when the painting is finished. it gives a nice shine.
it can also be used as an adhesive to the canvas or whatever if your doing mixed media work.
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Well said

Postby pehiatt » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:47 pm

skenyon wrote:oil looks better, feels better, and blends so much more beautifully and easily.


Making acrylic look really slick is a lot of hard work and there are very few people who use it well. Bright colors simple areas ok anything else you have to work at it.

skenyon is one of those that knows how to use acrykics
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Postby Erika Takacs » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:16 am

"Flight of Apollo" is amazing.
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Postby DLKeur » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:35 pm

Flight of Apollo is wonderful.

I'm not fond of acrylics. I use them occasionally, but that's when I'm doing something bold and stark. There's a feeling to me with acrylics -- sterile and very in your face. I like them when I want that really flat, hard, isolated expression on canvas board.

Oils are my play medium. And I do play. It's like there's so much you can do with them, and, if you don't like it, you can start again. Plus, I've done a couple of very neat pieces that were flubs, where I scraped the paint off the canvas, and this wonderful "retching" happened, and I got a wild hair and I started literally "washing" the canvas with carbon and then water, and then sponged on some inks and the whole thing "gelled." Then I fixed it all leaving one of hub's industrial heaters on it in the garage, and it came out WONDEFUL. It was CRAZY. I was feeling CRAZY, so.... Anyway, I lacquered the whole thing, slammed it up on a wall in the studio and got a tidy bid for it two months later.

That's FUN. That's ART my way. Just nuts, I know. I love when I have the energy to do real world art. Right now the fumes knock me dead out cold, though.
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Postby johnwalkeasy » Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:48 pm

Dawn, Are you saying you put lacquer over oil paint? And does anybody really wait 6 months to varnish an oil painting?
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Postby DLKeur » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:12 pm

I used a vinyl clear adhesive on that painting once it hardened. A couple of days with the industrial burner blasting away. Luckily it was winter.

As to does anybody wait? Yeah. I use old fashioned oils and they take about six bleeding months to dry. That's a pain when it's a big canvas.
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Postby nigelartist » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:05 pm

I have only one painting in acrylic...Victorian Lady.

I love her but hated using acrylic...my one and only time. Dries too quickly and is not movable like oil.

Oil is my favourite because its easy than watercolour. I have to be more precise with watercolour.

I sculpted a pyramid
ush holder out of some das clay...when it dried I painted it abstract with oils. When dry I used a varnish to make it shine. Haven't got any now and I dont remember what it was called.

I've just sculpted a bigger
ush holder and painted it. I need some varnish for that if anyone can recommend some please.
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Postby DLKeur » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:35 pm

Watercolor requires a quick sure, decisive hand...in my opinion. My watercolors are usually 20 minutes in the making and I work strictly when it rises in me, an energy and an image that says: Now. It happens NOW. It's a wave. Oils are my favorite...and clay because they are forgiving of life interruptions...which I have a lot of, especially these days. But one doesn't hurry oils. It makes "oily mud." Of course acrylics make a worse disaster if you muck it up. at least you can scrape an oil canvas and reuse it for something else.
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Postby beakerless » Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:14 am

I tend to paint right out of the acrylic tube and blend colors as I apply the paint to the canvas. Of course this last few months is the first time I have tried painting with acrylics. I was trained in oils many years ago. Sigh paint is expensive though so I use acyrlics for now.

Flight of Apollo reminds me of the paintings of Maxfield Parrish. I like it very much/
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Postby arlynnhr » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:36 am

Personally I don't like acrylics very much. I tried to start using them because they're cheap, but I almost went nuts! I guess I should give it another try to see if I can find the good side of it... I also used them once under oils to give texture. Anyway, my favorite medium is oil because as Dawn says it allows interruptions and since I'm not a full time artist I usually have work in progress on my easel for long periods of time.
Skenyon, I'll ask you many questions if I make another try with acrylics! I see you know a lot about it! :lol:
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Postby beakerless » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:47 am

There is a technique with acyrlics I haven't tried yet where you put gloss medium underneath the paint. Its supposed to make the colors more vi
ant. I still don't think it will come near the vi
ancy of oils however. I have been mixing what colors I need to mix and putting them in containers with lids and then like I said painting out of the tubes. Sort of mixing the paint right on the canvas. After learning to blend colors with oils I am having to find entirely new methods with acrylics which in itself I suppose is not a bad thing.
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Postby BAReam » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:39 pm

I've used oils, alkyd enamels,watercolor and believe it or not, plain old house paints. I currently use primarily acrylic and watercolor simply because space restrictions confine oil esters and solvents to an intolerable level. When I was younger they weren't as bothersome as they are now.

Many of the drying time and blending issues with acrylic can be mediated by using gel mediums and drying extenders. Windsor Newton makes the best, in my opinion, and I wouldn't consider them cheap by any means. You get what you pay for as a rule.

Depth of color and saturation {acrylic} can be controlled by glazing with matte, semi-matte or gloss mediums.

all the best... Bruce
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Postby beakerless » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:00 pm

Yes I got a sample kit of mediums from **** Blick awhile back and did some experimenting. I use a lot of matte medium when working on altered books. So many mediums so little time..................... :D
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Postby skenyon » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:37 pm

i use gloss medium alot

havent used matte very much,

i will try to find the stuff my friend uses, it adds a crazy texture
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Postby beakerless » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:58 pm

Thanks skenyon. I am going to be babysitting for my 2 month old grandson now full time since my daughter changed jobs. This means I will have money for art supplies although less time to actually paint. I don't mind in the least though as it was partly due to teaching my oldest grandson while babysitting for him that I got back into my art. He is five now and when he comes over he still gets out his box of art supplies and so he can "do art with Nawnee".
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Re: Acrylic or Oil

Postby artauction » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:15 am

Both, oil as well as acrylic, has its own advantages. However, I don't think that acrylics have the depth of color that oils do. Also, color vibrancy is one of the big advantages of oils over acrylics.
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