As a professional paint I have been asked several times why I use oil and not acrylic paint. Acrylics, created in the 1940’s, are faster to paint with as they dry very quickly.
In fact this water bottle is a must if you are painting with acrylics. Depending on the environment, you spray water on the painting and the palette to keep the paint from drying while you are in the process of painting. Acrylics are less expensive to buy and easy to clean up-no ruined clothes.
On the other hand, oil paint used for centuries, has its own advantages and disadvantages. The famous masters of painting had to create their own colors from ground up stone such as lapis mottled with white calcite and brassy pyrite to create blue. Their palette was dictated by availability. As a modern painter I am fortunate that I am able to buy
pre-made colors in many shades and blend oils on the palette in such a way that I can create the exact shade of color that I want. This gives me much more flexibility and the expanded palette that I desired. Oil takes longer to dry than acrylic paint, but it gives me the chance to continually “edit” my painting because it takes so much longer to completely dry, and i can touch it up for a long time.
When i first started painting, i used acrylics for the obvious reasons listed above. With acrylics i could produce a fast product. Next I branched out into combining acrylic and oil-called mixed media. With mixed media the painter uses acrylics for the base and the waits a few hours for it to dry. After the painting dries oil is applied over the acrylic. It is not possible to paint acrylics over oil. After experimenting with the three processes, I settled on oil painting which gives me the opportunity to create the best possible product.
The next time you are in a gallery, take note as to what medium is used in the painting. All three are popular. I venture to say that painting that are very thick are generally mixed media or acrylic. It is always interesting to see what medium the artist used and perhaps guess why.