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Hi there CA, as someone just starting out traditionally, I bought some acrylic paints and am finding it enjoyable. But I've seen some amazing things being done in oils and dont see many professionals working with acrylics. So can anyone tell their what personal experience is for the advantages/disadvantages with both acrylics and oils.
And any tips/advice for those starting out ie. what you wish you knew when you first started painting would be great.
(Example of my current skill level painted last night)
The differences are in drying time, and the suspension mediums; polymer for acrylics and oil for oil paints. The suspension mediums have different properties when you shine light on them or through them. Both dry a little darker; about a half step in a normal value scale. It is more noticeable in Acrylics because they dry in a few minutes and you have to compensate for this while painting. Of course both have extenders and mediums to alter their normal properties. Because of the drying time, oils have a greater range of application techniques available to them. Acrylics tend to be made with inferior pigments and you don't have the same range of choices as oils do because they are used by fewer professionals in the gallery markets.
This is very important, and something that can confound the novice.
You're doing a wash with acrylics and then the color seems much brighter than you mixed it.
This is why I conditioned myself to work in the following way: if the colors makes sense on your palette, they will make sense on the canvas; So you can compensate for any temporary bright appearance.
Professional Opinion: There's stellar work that's been done with both. Look at Palencar, Eric Fortune or Chris Bennett for examples of acrylics, for instance. Experiment and see what you're comfortable with. Both have their uses. Ultimately one isn't superior to the other, you use the one that's best suited to what you're doing.
Oils- Probably one of the most forgiving media available, goes down like butter, huge range of effects (transparency to opacity, texture, color depth, thin to thick), not as messy as people think. Can turn muddy a bit fast though.
Acrylics- Consistency of over-diluted children's poster paint, destroyer of brushes, messy as hell, possibly invented in anticipation of my birth decades later to troll me.
By the way, that's a lovely painting.
One is not an alternative to the other. They are totally separate media that require different working methodologies. If you want to paint what looks like an "oil," use oils. If you want what can only be done with a fast-drying medium that won't crack under heavy impasto, for example, then use acrylics. ...and dpaint, I'm not sure that i agree with your comment on the pigments being better with oils as a blanket assumption. It's a factor of the quality of the manufacturer. The few times I've used oils, I used exactly the same pigments as used in acrylics and had no problems. That changes if we're talking about "craftsy" vinyl/acrylic, most of which are about the level, or worse, of extremely poor student-grade oils.
The problems/animosity that pops up against acrylics is often purely the results of an "oil specialist" trying to do "oily" things with non-"oilys" for the first time. I can imitate almost any oil with acrylics, as well as water colors, gauche, casein, and other dry brush media (if I needed to), but I've been using them for nearly 50 years. At rock bottom, both have their uses, strong points, and adherents.
Last edited by Ilaekae; May 21st, 2013 at 05:11 PM.
No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary
Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
What Ilaekae said...
Most ppl painting in oil, don't really need to paint in oil.
One can do in acrylics anything he can do in oils, plus it's faster done, doesn't stink and doesn't eat your brushes at the same rate.
Acrylics may require more preparation, but once I got the formula for using them right (drying issue), never come back to oils.
Still in the end, it all doesn't matter since dumb (or 'tortured') composition is a dumb composition in both acrylics and oils alike.
So, to answer the OP...use whatever you feel more comfortable with. You can't really fight the material and be successful.
Last edited by Cola73; May 21st, 2013 at 07:09 PM.