Acrylics and Oils: What’s The Difference- An Artist’s Approach
There is no shortage of mediums for artists to work with today. You’ve got water color, digital art, pen drawing, ceramics and a host of other media from which to choose. Though these are usually distinctly different, there are some mediums that might sometimes confuse those attempting to differentiate.
Two mediums that though never interchangeably referred to; do spark a degree of confusion with regard to how the two are different! The two forms of media we’re referring to here are acrylic and oil. Do you know how these two differ? Would you like to? Read on!
The Difference between Acrylics and Oils
There are a number of differences between acrylics and oils both when working with them as well as subtleties relating to the final work or product. We’re going to go over these one at a time.
The first and most obvious difference between acrylics and oils is the time it takes each to dry. Where oil takes days to fully dry and can be worked and reworked at the artists own pace, acrylics dry much faster. This means those working with acrylics need to be a little quicker than they might have to be if working with oil.
The slow drying speed of oil makes is a great choice of media for work that needs to be constantly altered, built on and adjusted according to the artist’s process.
You cannot use oil paints on anything and everything. Acrylics on the other hand are rather versatile when it comes to what you use them to paint on. One of the requirements with oil paint is that they can only be used on absorbent surfaces. If not, the paint will not dry and can be smudged or wiped out entirely. Further, even when working with oil on canvas, preparation is needed.
When it comes to blending colors and shades, oil is usually the preferred media to work in. Where acrylics allow for harder and in a sense and crisper line work, oil is always better in creating smooth blends and for intricate shading.
You don’t necessarily need too much space when you’re working with acrylic. Working with oil on the other hand might require a significant amount of space as well as ventilation. This is because turpentine is used extensively when oil painting and tends to give of fumes which can be toxic long term. For this reason most artists working primarily with oil require larger and better ventilated studio spaces.
Depending on the quality of the artwork and who did it, the value may vary. You could have an oil painting done by a mediocre artist which is out valued by acrylic work done by someone brilliant. The value of the work to be fair has less to do with the medium used and more to do with the artist, the skills exhibited and the process followed.
Though oil paintings for the most part are associated with high grade artwork with a value which is bound to appreciate, this is not to say that a well done piece of acrylic work cannot be high value!
There are other differences between acrylic and oil painting as well. If however, you’re looking to buy a painting for your own collection and are trying to figure out media, these points should help clarify things! If you’re located in or around Dallas TX and are interested in modern art, abstract art and oil paintings for sale, check out our online gallery and see if you can find something that speaks to you!
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