What Type Of Paint Should I Use? - Oil Paint vs Watercolor

What Type Of Paint Should I Use

Oil vs. Watercolor - What type of paint should I use?

Part of the fun in being an artist is making your own rules!

You get to choose....

  • What you paint.
  • Where you paint.
  • What you paint on.
  • What paint to use.

I believe in the freedom of artistry and letting an artists find their own method of expression.

But I love giving some insight into the different options that an artist has to express themselves. And today, we'll discuss oil paints vs watercolor paints. 

Oil Paints are paints where the color pigment is suspended in oil. A variety of oil can be used in this process, though Linseed oil most common. Oil paints have a prolonged drying time, allowing an artist plenty of time to paint "wet in wet" during use. Oil Paints need to be thinned with other oil or solvents, unless, of course, you choose to use Water Mixable or Water Soluble paints, as I've been using for nearly 20 years! I switched in 2000 in order to move away from the potential toxicity of petrochemical solvents, and I haven't looked back. My preferred brand is the Artisan line by Winsor Newton. High quality, archival paints without the need for solvents!

(Fun fact: Oil paints can take years to fully dry.)

Watercolor paints have pigments which are suspended in Gum Arabic, and can be lifted after they are dry. Usually, watercolors are used on paper. Some artists, however, will use watercolor on canvas to with a unique effect! Watercolors can be in layers giving the painting more depth and tone. Watercolor paints are also water soluble, making them ideal for the traveling painter.

My advice: Give them ALL a try.  We are artists, after all! Most of us are willing to try anything once! I personally settled upon oil paint quite a long time ago and have fully embraced the oil painting journey.

Whatever direction you take as a painter, I hope this insight helps you on your journey!



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