Recently someone asked me if I prefer working with oil paints or acrylic paints. There was no hesitation when it came to me replying that I prefer working with acrylic paints. In this article I explain why I think that acrylic paints are better overall than oil paints.
As with many other products the prices charged for various brands of acrylic paint can vary widely. You can purchase entire sets of small tubes of acrylic paints for approximately $10 but the quality can be less than good.
The lower-priced brands are not always lower in quality. For many years my favorite brand of acrylic paints has been Delta Ceramcoat. For more than five years I was purchasing two-ounce tubes of this excellent acrylic paint at a West Hartford, Connecticut art supply store but they discontinued the brand.
Delta Ceramcoat paints are available in a broad spectrum of colors and provide high quality, long-lasting performance. At roughly $1.99 per tube it is a true pleasure to work with these paints.
Oil paints are consistently priced higher than acrylic paints. In addition to the paint cost there are items such as turpentine and paint thinner that usually need to be purchased.
For the most part, oil paints are sold at art supply stores but they can also sometimes be purchased at department and discount stores. Besides being stocked and sold at art supply stores acrylic paints can be found at craft stores, gift shops and discount and department stores.
Sometimes oil paints and acrylic paints can be found at thrift shops and consignment stores with inexpensive prices usually charged.
While oil paints are preferred by many people, when it comes to cleaning-up any spills and/or accumulations of paint on surfaces or your body the process can be time-consuming and sometimes very difficult to accomplish.
Because they are water-based in nature, acrylic paints are much easier and quicker to clean-up than oil paints. In most situations where acrylic paint needs to be removed from surfaces or skin, all that is needed to clean everything up is soap and water. Most of the time I just use plain water to clean up acrylic paint messes.
Quality Of Work / Finishes
Particularly in years past, acrylic paints were often regarded as being inferior to oil paints in composition and performance. During the past couple of decades acrylic paints in general have vastly improved in quality.
Quite frequently, I utilize Liquitex and Winsor & Newton brand paints which are known for their high quality. When I use these paints, as well as Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paints, they produce excellent results on canvas. Whatever effect I’m trying to produce can be done with acrylic paints
More than once I have created oil paintings that took 10-14 days to dry. Because of their chemical make-up oil paints always take longer than acrylic paints to dry.
When acrylic paints are used, a painting is usually mostly dry in less than an hour, usually 20-40 minutes. Depending on what type of surface was painted upon acrylic paints should really be given at least an hour or two to thoroughly dry.
Whether you prefer using acrylic or oil paints, the important thing is to just paint. Have fun.
Personal experience with utilizing oil paints and acrylic paints