Oil and acrylic paints are old school art mediums that have stood the test of time and are never going away. Both mediums are indispensable and each has its own distinguishing features.
Oil paint has a longer drying time, but also has a luminescence and captures and reflects light in a unique manner. Acrylic paint has a shorter drying time, is easier to clean up and some artists call it more forgiving than oils. Here are a few more reasons to consider each medium.
Brush cleaning and work surface cleaning are easier with acrylic paints. Oil paints, however, are available in water-soluble formulas. Acrylic paint brushes can be cleaned with water, while traditional oil paints require a solvent like linseed to clean up.
Although acrylic paint dries significantly faster than oil paint, it is permanent once dried. The longer drying time of oils make it possible to make alterations and adjustments later. Oil paints, in fact, can be remoistened and changed even after they dry completely.
Acrylic paints tend to dry darker than their wet color while oil paints dry more true to color. Also, acrylics can be applied to canvas right out of the bottle, while oil paints require you to do a bit of prep work to the canvas.
Oil paints have survived for centuries – a testament to their durability. Acrylics, on the other hand, are easier to use in a mixed medium piece of art. As you can see, each has their pros and cons. One of those is that acrylic paints are much less expensive than oil paints making them a good idea for beginning painters who can then advance to oils. The best part of oil versus acrylic paints is that you do not have to make a permanent choice. You can do one or both without completely eliminating either. We have a full line of both paints in our catalog. Browse our collection of oil paints and acrylic paints and decide which you’ll work with today and which you’ll work with tomorrow.
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