Acrylics is winning over oils(?)
Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic has certain attractive properties and is much similar to oil paint. If what they claim is correct, then acrylics is winning the contest between oils and acrylics, because it seems that the latter is simply the most archival choice. Most old oil paintings have developed craquelure, as one can see when visiting a museum.
"These are our very finest acrylic paints--they're made with the latest developments in resin technology. Most acrylics darken as they dry, but our clever, translucent binder means that what you see is what you get. With no colour-shift, colour-matching is made much easier. We've also made sure these paints have a longer working time without compromising the famous acrylic fast-drying time. And, with 80 brilliant colours, you're spoiled for choice." (here)
They claim that, depending on the thickness of the paint, the working time is approximately 20-30 minutes. It also retains brushstrokes. (here)
I have tested a tube of Azo Medium Yellow. Indeed, when dried, it looked the same as when laid out on the canvas. The brushstrokes are retained, but not in the same measure as oils. Of course, when acrylics dries it also shrinks, so it cannot have the same pronounced effect. However, it is virtually impossible to differ between this paint and oil paint.
I've been an inker for 40 years, recently added watercolor to my skills list. You've made a good case for me setting on acrylics next and then stopping. I always thought that any artist aspiring to reach the highest heights would end up doing oils. Maybe not?
I absolutely agree that Acrylics are winning out over oil in popularity but I actually like using oil better than using acrylics and these are my reasons.
1. It's nothing to do with 'status' of the medium. I actually think watercolors are much more difficult to work with than any of the other paints. It's all about personal preference and how I can use it.
2. Most importantly I love the feel of working with oils. From thick impasto paintings to using washes that look like watercolor paintings. My pictures are generally right in the middle with a flowing creamy consistency of paint. Every time I've used acrylics the paint on my pallet dries too fast for me and I loose the flow of the paint. I realize there are ways around this like spritzing the pallet but I don't want the extra bother.
3. I find the quick drying time of acrylic drives me nutso. Even at a 30 minute drying time it is much too fast for me. Almost every day I will paint an area of my painting and then look at it hours later and hate it, get a pallet knife and scape it off, clean it off with a little mineral spirits and redo it. This can not be done with acrylics. Yes you can paint over it...but honestly not too many times before you have a mountain of mess, and if you tend to paint with thick paint painting over it is a real problem.
4. Also because of the quick drying time I find cleaning up more of a problem with acrylics than with oils. For oils I don't have to clean my bushes until the end of the days painting where as with acrylics I'm constantly cleaning them so the paint doesn't dry on the brush. Plus I think using water on the brushes is not a good thing, they get stiff for some reason.
5.When it comes to myself I find cleaning up acrylics much more difficult because the paint dries on the skin and scrubbing it off is a problem. With oil all I do is wash with a little soap and water and it's off.
6. Most people point out that you have to deal with toxic stuff like Mineral Spirits and resin with oils and many of the oil colors have toxic ingredients like cadmium. For that reason I would never let my grandchildren use any of my oil paints, but for me it doesn't bother me a bit.
I have played with acrylics and watercolor but not oils because they are way too needy for the RV lifestyle. I have discovered I do not care for wet mediums, I am a dry kinda gal. Give me color pencils, charcoal and chalk pastels any day. I love to look at paintings but I do not really like to paint.
I find that clean up with acrylics is much faster and easier than with oils, though it is true that you have to clean the brushes more often to keep the paint from drying on them.
Couple of days ago I dropped a palette full of acrylic paint on my ivory carpet, I was shocked and thought the carpet was good for the dumpster but I managed to get the paint out. Now the carpet has a big clean spot in the middle, lol.
oil painting is healthy and safe
So oil painting is today entirely safe, because one needn't use hazardous solvents and lead white. It is important to point this out, because otherwise we induce neurotic attitudes among artists who think that they are dealing with lethal products.
Thanks @M Winter it's good to know that the toxicity of the oil paint is exaggerated. I've heard that on videos from some really good oil painters but the common belief is that it is dangerous and I find you can't change peoples minds once they are made up.
I do use odorless mineral spirits as a solvent and my main medium is Walnut Alkyd Medium. Either I'm very use to the smell or there is no smell to it.
I have got to try oil painting.
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