Differences between Oil and Acrylic Paintings
If you are interested in learning how to paint but don’t know much about the different kinds of paints available in the market and the different ways each can be used then you have landed on the right page. We are going to highlight the major pros and cons of two of the most widely used paints; Oil and Acrylic. We have laid out our guide in terms of several questions that will help you decide the best medium to suit your painting needs and requirements.
Let’s get started then.
Are you a slow or a fast painter?
Acrylic pros: The best thing about acrylic paint is that you can use it almost on any material, be it paper, canvas, card or wherever you may want to paint to reside. So it’s a great choice for those who are beginners in this field.
Acrylic cons: Although you can use it on any material, acrylics are not a good choice if you enjoy taking your time because they tend to dry up really fast hence leading to loads of paint ending up dried on the palette rather than being on the canvas.
Oil pros: In case you are a slow painter, the best choice for you is oil paints because they stay wet for longer periods of time than acrylics. Thus you don’t need to be in a rush and can continue your painting in a relaxed stance and come back to it later the next day or so. The paint will still be wet and malleable and the colors can still be blended easily.
Oil cons: Oil is corrosive in nature so if you are going to prepare the surface of the canvas yourself you have to be very careful regarding the timing as it can take long. We advise you to buy a prepared canvas to avoid the inconvenience.
Do you prefer subtle blend or hard crisp edges?
Acrylic pros: These are best in case you want sharp edges. You can easily mix clean and bright colors with acrylics in any way you want. Furthermore, it is quite easy to cover a hard shape with a thicker layer of paint.
Acrylic cons: It can be very difficult to achieve a smooth blend while you are using acrylics because of the rapidly drying nature of the paint. So if you are working on a large canvas, we advise that you avoid acrylics because blending would become practically impossible.
Oil Pros: Oil paints are perfect for smooth blending because of their slow drying nature hence creating beautiful subtle blends.
Oil cons: If you want to create a crisp sharp edge with oil paint then you will have to wait one day before you put a layer otherwise the paint will mix with the layer underneath it hence destroying the effect you want to create. So it definitely takes a little more time to create an oil painting.