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Oil Painting => Oil Painting General Chat => Topic started by: nolan on October 21, 2011, 07:35:22 PM

Title: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: nolan on October 21, 2011, 07:35:22 PM
Quote
Gwen asks on Facebook
What is the difference between acrylic and oils in technique etc use acrylic at the moment just getting in to oils.

Gwen, as far as the painting techniques are concerned there are absolutely no differences. I use exactly the same techniques when painting in oils and acrylics.

It is just the medium that is different. Oils are oil based paints and acrylics are water based paints. This means that you will thin down your acrylics with water and your oils with an oil based medium.

As the acrylics is water based, it dries a LOT faster that oils, making oils better for the beginner to learn the painting techniques. You do however get retardant gels which slow the acrylic drying process down.

When painting impasto (thick) you will also find that the acrylics tends to flatten as it dries where the oil paints don't. Again you do get an impasto version of the acrylic paints which retain their body once dry. You also get an impasto gel which you can add to your regular acrylics to "convert" them.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Mihaela on October 04, 2012, 08:55:57 PM
I am usually into watercolours and a member of the Club, but recently I received a box of acryllics and I am very tempted to try my hand into those as well. Many years ago, I used a lot of guaches (also water based, I hope I spelled it right) and I was wondering if the acryllics are to be used in the same manner as the guache or the tube watercolours. I know that this is not quite the place for this question, but since you were talking about the differences in mediums... well, maybe you can help me. (And, as a PS, do you have any idea why I can't get to Paint basket's app on the Facebook? Keeps telling me that 'not secure browsing') Thank you, hope you can shed some light.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: nolan on October 05, 2012, 07:48:21 PM
you can use the acrylics in the same way as watercolours by thinning it down O0
Try this link to our Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/artlesson (https://www.facebook.com/artlesson)
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Mihaela on October 06, 2012, 12:26:03 AM
Brilliant! Thanks, Nolan! I'll try the acryllics and the Facebook works now. Cheers!
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: inkyminx on February 05, 2013, 08:23:18 PM
should have my first set of oils arrive any day now... plus refined linseed oil.... can u use acrylic gesso to prime work surface first then crack on using oils?.. or do u have to used oil based primer.....  :thankyou:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: musika on February 05, 2013, 08:32:38 PM
Acrylic gesso is fine for oils and acrylics. Real gesso can only be used for oils.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: ImBatman on February 05, 2013, 08:36:12 PM
Not only that, you can paint some of your painting in Acrylics then go over the top using Oils. But not the other way around.

Batman.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: inkyminx on February 07, 2013, 01:07:36 PM
Not only that, you can paint some of your painting in Acrylics then go over the top using Oils. But not the other way around.

Batman.

heheheeh yeah thts one point thats well ingrained in my head even have it written next to pc.. O0
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: lynn p. on February 07, 2013, 01:26:54 PM
Ray--Just FYI, I use real gesso boards all the time and paint acrylics onto them.  The only draw back that some people find is the the real gesso is very absorbent and so I do many layers of paint.  The paint doesn't really set atop the board like with acrylic gesso. Never tried real gesso on canvas.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: musika on February 07, 2013, 02:02:44 PM
it is not usual to use an RSG-gesso ground on canvas - it will crack very easily.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: grandmapegi on February 27, 2013, 04:09:23 PM
i just used a water based oil, or called water mixable oil..is this really and acrylic? it does act like a oil when it comes to drying, or is it already mixed with a slow drying medium?
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: musika on February 27, 2013, 04:57:56 PM
WMOs are oil paints, not acrylic. Oil paints dry slower than acrylics. You can get quicker drying mediums for WMOs.
What make of WMOs do you use, Pegi? I mainly use Cobra and some Holbein. I have also tried Jackson's, Lukas, and Artisan.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: grandmapegi on February 27, 2013, 10:01:13 PM
i used reeves colors,(on sale)and i quite like them, and grumbacher tit.white water mixable,(i bought a large tube of the white to do my tiger,) and it played VERY well with the regular oils,and acrylic, so when i go next time i will be getting alot more of the water mixable oil paint, and it is alot easier to clean out of brushes, which i also found the master brush cleaner and preserver with a bar of hand soap orignaly b&j this stuff is great..takes all meds off brushes and clothes...haha....getting me the bigger jar next trip!
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: voodoolady on May 26, 2013, 01:12:16 PM
I use Atelier Interactive Acrylics.....I love them as a fine mist of water (or their unlocker) will open the paint even  few days later making blending possible.   They also have a retarder you have use to slow drying down and several mediums if needs be....I prefer acrylics because of the fast drying times but have to admit in the middle of an Aussie summer I still have to use a bit of water/retarder.

Years ago I took a few watercolour classes but I found when I took painting up again that I was frustrated by it.  I  used Acrylics for the first time a few months ago and I love them.....I hate the smell of turps and linseed oil (as in it makes me  feel ill.....even the odourless one  :blush:

At least with the Acrylic paint I have now I have the best of both worlds  ;D
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: grandmapegi on May 26, 2013, 01:33:07 PM
i to like the acrylics and they do clean quick, and i have a really bad habit of puttin the paintbrush in my mouth to keep a sharp tip......woops :envy: , that aint so good with oils......... :-X i use a slow dri blending medium with and along with the water mist., and it seems to give the finished pic=painting a nice gloss look.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Germa on May 26, 2013, 01:38:58 PM
The pigments in acrylics aren't always healthy too Grandmapegi, same as pigments in oils.
Please watch for your health!
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: vic ' on May 27, 2013, 01:49:53 PM
When you see photo-realistic paintings, are these painted using acrylic or can you get the same effect using oils?  ???
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Germa on May 27, 2013, 05:14:37 PM
The old masters did, so it should be possible with oils. ;)
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: nolan on May 28, 2013, 08:26:36 PM
you will find photo realistic paintings painted in all mediums O0
I personally believe the medium best suited to photo realistic painting though is oils due to it's longer drying time and the fact that the colour you mix on the palette looks exactly the same when dry.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: grandmapegi on May 29, 2013, 02:53:22 AM
 :) so true about the colors when they dry.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: vic ' on May 29, 2013, 04:13:20 PM
Good. to know that,  :thankyou:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: ToniL on June 02, 2013, 04:27:58 PM
I just had to post as personally I have made the biggest mistake EVER that I think anyone can do when painting.............off I went and purchased some oil paints and started on my landscape lessons -  clouds first - not too bad but couldn't get them quite right.  The paint seemed really 'odd' and not as thick and oily but then I started on the mountains.

I tried and tried but the more I painted the worse the mountain became.  Lots of little 'paint balls' rolling into my mountains and just a HUGE mess!  I just couldn't get them to look right!

Finally and after really wanting to give up painting as a 'bad job' and something I clearly just can't do I saw that my OIL paints were actually ACRYLIC  :tickedoff:  Yes I had been mixing oils with acrylics and boy! what a mess I've made (never-mind the amount of paint wasted!).

Sadly I have started again but after trying the sky and wondering just what the hell is going on I spotted the error.  So that's two canvasses ready for the bin - I'm sooooo cross with myself BUT...............looking on the bright side, I came back after seeing the wonderful Roger Hodgson, my absolute hero singing 'live' after being a fan of his for more than ) years - perhaps I was still swooning after watching him singing all my fav' songs but at least I now know why my painting attempts are such a mess.

You're never too old to learn hey peeps.  Read the labels  :2funny: and perhaps I do need glasses  :flowers:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Germa on June 02, 2013, 04:36:00 PM
hahahahaha,  :2funny: I don't do acrylics, but I have a pot of acrylic tubes on my desk for my grandchildren.

When I was painting the acrylics/oil class, the sunset, I needed a yellow, didn't look what I was taking, mixed it with my red, and got a kind of chewing gum.

Yes, you're right, I took a yellow from the children's paint and I mixed it with my red oil paint.

Luckily, it was a permanent red and not a cadmium red, since the last one is a lot more expensive than the permanent red.

I couldn't even put it on my canvas, and somewhere in that class, Nolan is showing what happens if you mix acrylics and oils; quite a mess.  :2funny:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: ToniL on June 02, 2013, 05:54:52 PM
Germa I'm glad I'm not the only one 'experienced' in mixing oils and acrylics.  It does make quite a mess doesn't it  :o    STill don't know how I managed to buy acrylis instead of oils  :idiot2:.  I will really need to sort out the tubes as they're all mixed up .......I did wonder why the paint dried out so quickly - what a pleb  :2funny:

Anyway, going to give painting a miss today as I have to recover from almost driving myself to drink struggling to get that bladdy mountain done  :tickedoff:  >:D  Nolan could have used my painting as an example  :2funny: but I wouldn't show that mess to anyone! - just glad I 'discovered' what my problem was - thought I was going cuckooo! :fight:  :P
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on June 02, 2013, 06:50:37 PM
I just had to post as personally I have made the biggest mistake EVER that I think anyone can do when painting.............off I went and purchased some oil paints and started on my landscape lessons -  clouds first - not too bad but couldn't get them quite right.  The paint seemed really 'odd' and not as thick and oily but then I started on the mountains.

I tried and tried but the more I painted the worse the mountain became.  Lots of little 'paint balls' rolling into my mountains and just a HUGE mess!  I just couldn't get them to look right!

Finally and after really wanting to give up painting as a 'bad job' and something I clearly just can't do I saw that my OIL paints were actually ACRYLIC  :tickedoff:  Yes I had been mixing oils with acrylics and boy! what a mess I've made (never-mind the amount of paint wasted!).

[]


Wince. 
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: MSWcrane on July 09, 2013, 02:56:17 AM
Toni, been there done that,   :idiot2:  worst yet, my White paint was Acrylics.    I mixed that stuff with everything I had    :eek:   

Even worse than that my 'Art Teacher' had no idea 'why' my painting was not sticking to the canvas!   :pullhair:     Well he is NO LONGER my teacher, thank goodness.    :nana:

Anyone want a large tube of Acrylic Titanium White (well half a tube)?    ;)
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Val on July 09, 2013, 03:15:56 AM
 :faint:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on July 09, 2013, 09:49:39 PM
Toni, been there done that,   :idiot2:  worst yet, my White paint was Acrylics.    I mixed that stuff with everything I had    :eek:   

Even worse than that my 'Art Teacher' had no idea 'why' my painting was not sticking to the canvas!   :pullhair:     Well he is NO LONGER my teacher, thank goodness.    :nana:

Anyone want a large tube of Acrylic Titanium White (well half a tube)?    ;)

Probably because that Oils/Acrylics mixing wasn't something he's never seen or is so 'out in left field' it wasn't on his 'radar'.

You can start a work in acrylics then shift to oils for the top paint layer.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: liz on May 02, 2016, 05:21:57 PM
 :) Hi Stoney, I just saw this last comment you made a while back.  'Start with acrylic and finish with oil' and not the other way around!  It sounds like a good idea for quick blocking in acrylic color in thin layer and because it's fast drying you can continue with oil almost right away.  I think it may work since I usually paint oil over an acrylic white or toned gesso ground anyway.


Here's how to never ever mix your tubes of paint:  Always keep them in 2 bins separated from one another and put them back in their bins at the end of every painting session.


-Liz
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on May 04, 2016, 12:58:04 AM
:) Hi Stoney, I just saw this last comment you made a while back.  'Start with acrylic and finish with oil' and not the other way around!  It sounds like a good idea for quick blocking in acrylic color in thin layer and because it's fast drying you can continue with oil almost right away.  I think it may work since I usually paint oil over an acrylic white or toned gesso ground anyway.


Here's how to never ever mix your tubes of paint:  Always keep them in 2 bins separated from one another and put them back in their bins at the end of every painting session.


-Liz

Exactly.

I do have acrylic paints as well as oils.  They're kept separated in bins and I either only have acrylic paints out or the oil paints.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: linley.plester on January 29, 2018, 02:24:10 AM
My bugbear with the acrylics is that they dry so much darker, some brands are a lot worse than others. I had terrible skin tone problems on a portrait of Einstein. My local art teacher kept on insisting on mixing the skin tone for me (GRRRRR!) and then telling me I should have followed his advice when Einstein ended up looking as if he had been born a native of the Indian sub-continent! Time after time. He hated acrylics himself, but wouldn't admit he didn't know what he was doing. He's not my art teacher any more either! Actually, his watercolour, oils and drawing advice was pretty spot on. The only problem was his arrogance with acrylics! I'm going back to complete Einstein soon, using a different brand and less potent colours... as soon as the weather cools. At the moment it's so hot here that, even using the open brands, the paint almost dries on the brush before you get it to the canvas, lol. I don't paint in oils because I'm allergic to most of the solvents. Actually most of the time I don't mind the fast drying time of acrylics. It means I can absent minded rest my arm on the painting without messing it up... sometimes!
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Val on January 29, 2018, 06:18:16 PM
I really do understand the 'paint almost dries on the brush before you get it to the canvas'. I went through the same thing while in Grenada.  :tickedoff:

Have you thought about trying the water soluble oils?
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: nolan on January 29, 2018, 06:36:57 PM
that is why I like the Atelier brand. They also dry darker, but only slightly. Usually not enough to notice.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on January 29, 2018, 07:53:12 PM
My bugbear with the acrylics is that they dry so much darker, some brands are a lot worse than others. I had terrible skin tone problems on a portrait of Einstein. My local art teacher kept on insisting on mixing the skin tone for me (GRRRRR!) and then telling me I should have followed his advice when Einstein ended up looking as if he had been born a native of the Indian sub-continent! Time after time. He hated acrylics himself, but wouldn't admit he didn't know what he was doing. He's not my art teacher any more either! Actually, his watercolour, oils and drawing advice was pretty spot on. The only problem was his arrogance with acrylics! I'm going back to complete Einstein soon, using a different brand and less potent colours... as soon as the weather cools. At the moment it's so hot here that, even using the open brands, the paint almost dries on the brush before you get it to the canvas, lol. I don't paint in oils because I'm allergic to most of the solvents. Actually most of the time I don't mind the fast drying time of acrylics. It means I can absent minded rest my arm on the painting without messing it up... sometimes!

There's a product for acrylics (who's name escapes me) which is transparent and you mix it in your paints to extend the open time.

I don't do well with solvents, either.  I don't use them.  Most of my oil paints are 'M. Graham' which have a Walnut Oil base.  If I need to thin paint I'll use Liquin or some Walnut Oil.

To clean brushes I'll either use a dish washing soap [Dawn in the US] which biologists will use to clean oil fouled birds or Murphy's Oil Soap[TM]. 
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: linley.plester on January 30, 2018, 11:03:18 AM
I've been reluctant to move into water soluble oils because I'm told they still have an odour and Ive never met anyone who uses them so that I could take a cautious test sniff. I'm actually allergic to linseed oil, more than the other solvents (although they aren't good either). I actually like the acrylics, and, Nolan, I am moving into Atelier and finding the colour shift less noticeable. I'm currently trying to do your brilliant  introductory lesson of Strawberries, but not getting far due to a combination of hot weather and not so good health at the moment. Even with Atelier, the paint still dries pretty fast, and drips of  :sweat: mixed in with the paint don't help. :2funny: :2funny: Summer extremes are probably more suited to watercolour.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: nolan on January 30, 2018, 07:55:23 PM
just work in little patches at a time :gl: with the strawberries
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Val on January 30, 2018, 11:38:46 PM
 :yippee: Yay Linley! If I ever decide to try acrylics again, Atelier is the one I feel most inclined to try. Let me know how you like them. Looking forward to seeing your strawberries.  :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on January 31, 2018, 09:00:03 PM
:yippee: Yay Linley! If I ever decide to try acrylics again, Atelier is the one I feel most inclined to try. Let me know how you like them. Looking forward to seeing your strawberries.  :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

I can see it now.  She does the berries as negative space then grumbles a whoever ate them..... :)
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: linley.plester on February 01, 2018, 12:47:55 AM
Val might have a few problems getting real strawberries in the Caribbean/tropical South America, Stoney, but yes  I am very fond of them, and yes, I might even eat the painted ones! :2funny: :2funny:
Thanks, Nolan. I'll try that small patches idea. Val, so far I love the Atelier, but I will keep you posted.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Val on February 07, 2018, 09:32:08 PM
Actually Linley, nary a day goes by in Guatemala when you can't buy strawberries! Strawberries with breakfast, strawberry smoothies, strawberry margarita's, strawberry daiquiris, strawberry..... you get the idea  ;)      :licklips:      Not so easy to get in Belize though.  :confused:

 :idea:   You do Nolan's strawberries in acrylics..... and I'll try it in pastels!  Deal?   :deal:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: linley.plester on February 08, 2018, 12:09:16 AM
Do the grow them in the mountains? Yummmmmmmmmmm!
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Val on February 09, 2018, 01:11:33 AM
Loads of cattle ranches, and fruit/vegetable farming all over, and of course coffee on the mountain sides.   :coffee:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: linley.plester on February 10, 2018, 12:02:52 AM
Val, when you are ready to try acrylics, you might enjoy fluid acrylics. Golden has an enormous colour range, and you can always thicken them with gel if you want to paint impasto (or so I've been told - I've yet to try them for an actual painting. Atelier has a range of fluids too (High flow) but not as big a range of colours, and might be hard to locate in your situation.
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: Val on February 10, 2018, 02:35:30 PM
I have investigated the fluid acrylics..... decided that things that 'pour' (especially paint) may not be an advisable option for me.  >:D   I get into enough  trouble with w/c and dry medium!  :whistle:

As for availability, things may just be changing for me in that regard in the not distant future. Fingers and toes crossed on that one.  :pray:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on February 10, 2018, 09:13:44 PM
I have investigated the fluid acrylics..... decided that things that 'pour' (especially paint) may not be an advisable option for me.  >:D   I get into enough  trouble with w/c and dry medium!  :whistle:

Especially at sea!

As for availability, things may just be changing for me in that regard in the not distant future. Fingers and toes crossed on that one.  :pray:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: linley.plester on February 10, 2018, 10:38:34 PM
Good news, then Val?  True... acrylics are messy enough without adding a wobbling deck, :2funny:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on February 11, 2018, 09:45:58 PM
Good news, then Val?  True... acrylics are messy enough without adding a wobbling deck, :2funny:

Just call it 'abstract' work..... ;)
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: linley.plester on February 11, 2018, 10:02:58 PM
Then my whole house is "abstract"!  :2funny:
Title: Re: The difference between oils and acrylics
Post by: stoney on February 22, 2018, 06:09:45 PM
Then my whole house is "abstract"!  :2funny:

:D