Lessons on Painting – The Pro's And Con's of Oil Paint

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Very often when people tun to the internet for phrases like lessons on painting, acrylic painting lessons or learn to paint with oil, they are beginners and have not yet chosen a favorite paint medium. Its a good idea to play with a variety of styles of art to get an understanding of which materials and medium you prefer. Although oil is perhaps the oldest form of paint medium, newer styles, such as watercolor and acrylic have made it easier and faster to produce artwork. Many artists however still struggle with the question of choosing oil over watercolor or acrylic.

There are pros and cons of using oil paint in your works.

Pros

  • Oil paintings seem to be the favorite and most respected mediums in the sought after arena. When people hear the terms watercolor, acrylic or oil painting, they automatically deem the oil painting as a better category.

  • Oils produce vibrant, soft, rich and beautiful colors.

  • The colors blend easily. They are easy to manipulate on the canvas and can be worked so there are no hard lines or edges.

  • Recent technology has introduced an oil paint that is water soluble or water mixable. This means that artists can still use oil paint but avoid using toxic solvents and thinners, replacing them with water!

Cons

  • When using traditional oil paints, your works can take weeks, months or even years before they are complete. This is because the oil that is used in the pigment dries very slowly. Artists apply consecutive layers and often wait for them to dry before continuing. This is most often the case when doing portrait work.

  • Solvents and paint thinners used for paint and brushes can be harmful to your health. Be absolutely sure to use proper precautions and ventilation if using traditional solvents and paint thinners.

  • Mediums such as linseed oil is mixed with paint pigment to produce a consistency of product the artist desires. Too much linseed and the finished piece could wrinkle, too little and the paint is too difficult to maneuver. Getting the correct proportions could be a problem for beginners.

I guess in the long run, it’s up to the artist as to which paint to choose as their medium.  As you can see, there are several reason to choose oil paint, but there are several reasons to stay away as well.

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