Acrylics vs. Oil Paints
Make no mistake! I love oil paints! I love the smells of the sap turpentine and the linseed oil. I love the way the oils just slide and glide on the canvas. I love the ability after an hour or two to come with a knife and scrape off the coat of paint. I love the textures/ I love preparing the oil paint medium (yes, I know how to do that, too): the heating of the beeswax and mixing it with linseed oil. Taking some of the medium, mixing/ grinding it with the desired pigment between two pieces of flat marble stone. I love the stories surrounding oil paints, from being a fantastic north European mid renaissance start-up to the fantastic flop of the De-Vinci’s last supper (who puts oils on a wall?? Only fresco, something that breathes) to the impressionists that took lock- stock-and-barrel into the field to paint the light at a certain angle, then pack up and go home. Acrylics, on the other hand, are just not as sexy. They were invented in a lab, or at least, that is the feeling.
So, the question is, in that case, why do I paint with acrylics? For starters, the smell and the fumes. It’s ok in a studio, but if one works from home (and I do) the fumes, besides being poisonous, are smelly, and not everyone in the household is as enthusiastic as I am about the smell.
Then, there is the issue of space; working as I do, in a corner in the living room during winter months and in the garden during summer months, makes moving a wet painting difficult. Acrylics dry fast, so at the end of a session I can roll up the canvas. Total space saver.
“Dancer and Trumpet” – Acrylic on Canvas 70/100 cm @Barbara Adler Art – Oct.2021
Third, I really like the translucent feeling that I can achieve with acrylics, not to mention the color range. The range can be traditional colors as in oils and can go totally industrial as in fluorescent colors, graffiti feel. The acrylics have the ability to give that “oil” feel as well as a “watercolor” or “tempera” feel. I have the freedom to “mix” medias without leaving the acrylic field. I also found, that when dry, the acrylics are slightly more elastic and giving. Acrylics also come in liquid forms, good for pouring techniques or as ink. There are also pen and marker acrylics that I absolutely love to add a ‘drawing feeling” to the painting.
Last but not least, is the easiness of shipping a rolled acrylic painting. Acrylics are less sensitive to temperature changes and can be rolled and shipped in a tube.
“Light” – Acrylic on Canvas, 100/70 cm @Barbara Adler Art, Oct. 2021
As the holiday season approaches, consider buying original artwork, as it is a wonderful gift for that special person. Take in consideration my past few blogs about, canvas, framing, paint medias, showing up, and shipping.
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