Acrylic vs oil

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by chickNjake, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. chickNjake

    chickNjake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all you painters out there!
    I've been painting for a while and decided that I like it. I've been using Acrylic paints so far and was thinking about trying out oil paints, but from what I've heard they are a lot more difficult and expensive but have similar results.

    So... convince me! what are the pros and cons to both and what do I need to know to use acrylics (I was actually given some for Christmas but just green, red, blue, yellow, and brown(?!) no black or white [​IMG] [​IMG] so I couldn't do any mixing)
    Thank you! -Jake
     
  2. catnip

    catnip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2008
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    I worked in both oil and acrylic back in college. My personal preference, acrylic. Less expensive, more widely available to purchase, fast dry time, you can extend dry/working time with an additive if you want to, you can use water to thin the paint (cheap) and most important of all (to me at least) soap & water clean up and not too much smell. Also, if you don't like what you painted, wait till the next day and easily paint over it.

    With oil, you have to use paint thinner or minneral spirits for clean up and then there's the smell of boiled linseed oil. Linseed oil is in the paint and you also use it for a thinner if you need to. Some people like the smell of linseed oil, it's not one of my favorites. You do have a longer working time and you can do some really cool impasto work with oil. But the thicker you paint on the canvas, the longer it will take the painting to cure. A really big painting or one with thick layers can take weeks if not some months to finish curing.

    Ultimately, try both mediums if you can. Every person has their likes and dislikes.
     
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I work in acrylic because they are relatively inexpensive. If I had extra money I would definitely work in oils. The colors (to me) seem a bit richer, and you can do much better blending with oils because the paint takes so long to dry.

    When I was using oils I used paint thinner to clean the brushes, I just kept it in a small jar and used it over and over - all the paint sediment settles to the bottom of the jar overnight.

    Definitely try working with oils to see what you think.
     
  4. chickNjake

    chickNjake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thanks! I'll go get:
    -Black and white first of all
    -Linseed oil
    -paint thinner
    Is that all I need for oils that I don't need for acrylics? [​IMG]
     
  5. Nikki28

    Nikki28 David Bowie is my co-pilot

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    Dec 15, 2008
    I paint with acrylic also and have been considering oil.....let me know how it goes for you...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. chinbunny1

    chinbunny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started working with oils a year ago. I don't think they are any harder then acrylics are. They just take longer to dry.
     
  7. Felicitas

    Felicitas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:You don't even need linseed oil if you don't want to use it. Linseed oil is what is called a "medium". Other mediums include Liquin, Neo-meglip, and on and on and on. You don't have to use a medium. All mediums are for is to give the paint different consistencies. You can paint with just oil paint and a little thinner. And in fact, I recommend that beginners don't start out using a medium and just get used to the paint.

    For a thinner, I personally prefer turpentine, but the modern PC culture says turpentine is evil, so you'll probably be directed to one of the many brand-name versions of mineral spirts (Gamsol, etc.) It's all OK. In the beginning you just want to get used to it

    One thing to remember is the "fat over lean" rule. That is: always use paint alone or thinned a little with turp or mineral spirts on the first layer of the painting. Then, if you're using medium with your paint, use that on the upper layers. If you do everything in your painting in one layer, this doesn't matter as much.

    Painting with oils can be very rewarding. Just enjoy yourself while you learn. [​IMG]
     
  8. chickNjake

    chickNjake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you all! you've been very helpful!
    and Felicitas, thanks for explaining the "fat over lean" rule, I'd heard that and didn't fully understand [​IMG]
    I'll go buy some paint next time I'm at hobby lobby or something [​IMG]
     
  9. chinbunny1

    chinbunny1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can get low odor thinner from wal mart in the paint/craft section. Its made by daler rowney. I would suggest checking out any art and craft stores in your area, or places like hobby lobby to see if they have anything larger. Because the walmart brand comes in a tiny $3 bottle.I don't use linseed oil that much either. You can't use it on white paint. It will make it crack when it ages.The paintings turn out just fine without it.

    I use the thinner to thin down the paints, like water will with acrylics. Takes them less time to dry that way. One other thing you will need is some cleaning soap. You can use a regular bar of soap, or you can use what the art stores carry. I found thats the only way the oil paint will come out of the brushes.
     
  10. Chicken Salad

    Chicken Salad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2008
    Frederick, Maryland
    Oh hey, Jake - let me really confuse you. How about water-mixable OILS? They're quite close to the richness of the oils, with a slightly longer drying time than acrylics so you get better blending - but not so long as oils, but with the easy acrylics clean-up and no smells.
     

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