Acrylic vs Oil Painting: What's The Difference?

Acrylic vs Oil Painting: What's The Difference?

The quality of a masterpiece takes more than skills. There are uniquely multiple ways to express art, and even more ways to appreciate it. Painting being one of the earliest forms of fine art, its subdivisions are determined by the medium used. But what is the best option if you are a beginner looking to get started in painting, acrylic painting vs oil painting? 

Knowing Your Paints

Painting can be confusing and intimidating, you often make the mistake of purchasing the cheapest paint available or you might even buy things you don't really need. I understand, there are so many choices out there! To decide which medium is best for you, you need to ask yourself a few simple questions about oils and acrylics. In this article, you'll learn about the difference between oil and acrylic paint.

What are Acrylic Paints

One of the many advantages of working with acrylics is that you can create the same vibrant colors and sometimes even the same methods without having to wait for your artwork to cure for an extended period of time. 

What is Acrylic Paint Good For

artist pouring acrylic paint

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Acrylics can be used for a variety of painting and craft applications. Acrylics are suited for use on paper, canvas, wood, glass, and even ceramics due to their rapid drying time. If you intend to do an outdoor project, make sure to get outdoor acrylic paint, since it will be more resistant to the elements.

What are Oil Paints

Oils are distinguished from other media by their consistency and texture. Oil paints are quite thick and greasy. They are composed of binders, pigments, and an oil base. It is typically a natural oil such as linseed or safflower which gives their silky, creamy texture, making them suitable for a variety of surfaces and applications.

What are Oil Paints Used For

Oil paint uses commonly include canvas or thicker boards, although they can also be applied to wood, some metals, and ceramics. Due to their oily base, these paints perform best when applied over a primer. 

Differences Between Acrylic Painting and Oil Painting

Mixing Paint

Drying time affects a multitude of other aspects of painting! Acrylics are harder to combine than oils due to the fact that they have already begun to dry. With oils, you can combine colors for days, resulting in subtle color variations that are impossible to achieve with acrylics.

Drying Time

The drying time is the primary difference between oils and acrylics. The drying time for acrylic paint is one hour, if not fifteen minutes. Depending on the humidity and temperature of your region, oil paints will remain wet for days or weeks.

Painting Finish

When evaluating various paint mediums, we must also consider the painting's final appearance. Acrylics have a flatter, more matte appearance. You will need to use a separate product if you like gloss or shine. Oils, on the other hand, naturally impart a high sheen and a strikingly smooth finish. 

Tips for Using Acrylic Paints

acrylic paints
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  • Use glazing liquid gloss even if a gloss finish is not required. 
  • The most likely reason for fading is the use of non-lightfast pigments; this is true for both oils and acrylics. 
  • You can temporarily prevent your acrylic paints from drying by softly misting your palette with water.

Tips for Using Oil Paints

  • When painting in layers with oils, it is essential to allow the previous coat to dry fully before applying the next.
  • It is best to utilize an oil painting medium while using oils. 
  • Your oil painting should always begin with an underpainting layer of thinner paint. 

Know More About the Difference between Acrylic and Oil Painting

Acrylic paints have surpassed oil as one of the most widely used painting mediums worldwide, yet despite their increasing value as an investment and the fact that they can be displayed more easily than oils, art collectors continue to favor acrylic paintings. There is no right answer to the question of acrylic vs oil paint. Depending on your preference, they are both great ways to be artsy! Memorialize Art is the place to go if you want to see painting at its best! We provide customized services such as oil portrait painting and acrylic painting. Get yours now!