Oil, acrylic and watercolor and how they affect the creative process
The materials artists use when creating art are probablty just as impossible to count as it is to describe and categorize the styles and types of artistic expressions there are in the world. Art is a time – consuming and usually expensive endeavour, so artists are universally known for their ingeniuty to invent new mediums and tools for artistic expression.
Today we are going to look at three of the most popular types of paints empolyed by the modern artist.
Watercolors, also called aquarelle ( French), are made of pigments suspended in water-based solution. They are thin and translucent in texture and usually applied on paper or specially primed canvas.
Their most unique characteristic is that, unlike acrylic or oil paints, they don´t become water-resistant as they dry. You can easily modify or correct a trace of water color with a wet brush or diluting it with a different color. The trick is to keep the surface they are applied to from damaging in the process as paper could easily deteriorate if numerous applications or corrections are carried out in the same spot. Thus, good watercolor results require medium to advanced skills and quite some technique for precise execution. Paradoxically they are the first paints young kids and first -time artists ususally come in contact with as they are compact, dry quickly and are generally quite cheap.
On the dowside watercolors don´t have high density or viscosity and by themselves they cannot create relieves and textures.
Oil paints consist of pigments suspended in a drying oil, the most popular of which is linseed oil. Since they don´t go through the evaporation process like watercolors when drying, they are very slow-drying and maleable in nature before completely dry. Once completely dry they form a water-resistant layer, that doesn´t deteriorate over time.
Oil paints can be mixed easily for high impact colors and shades and are usually glossy when dry. They can be diluted in turpentine or other thinning mediums for creating layers or different thickness of the paint.
Drying time comes to thickness and consistency and it can take months and even years to dry, thinner layers dry more quickly. One advantage oil paints give is that the artist can play with and modify the painting to their heart´s desire while it is still wet, something quite impossible when using acrylic paints.
Slow-drying and much more expensive than acrylic or water colors, oil paints require additional solving mediums as well, unlike readily available water. They also tend to become darker as time passes.
Acrylic paints are fast-drying paints composed of pigments suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. In a way, they combine the best of two worlds- they are water soluble, but once dry the layer becomes resistant to water and can be painted over as many times as necessary.
Acrylic paints are very versatile, they can be diluted to the maximum, resembling watercolors or used in paste for relieves and textures like oil paints. From experience, even the thickest layers dry overnight. A medium layer takes only a few hours to dry allowing for short times of execution and re-painting.
Usually, it is said, acrylic paints are for the impulsive or fast-paced and self-assured artist. Quick drying times don´t allow for much pondering and lingering when using acrylic. Once the brushes start rolling, there is little time for hesitation. Modern chemistry has long since developed mitigating mediums of course, additives which can slow down drying time and modify layers into glossy, matte or satin.
When adecuately diluted in the proper medium, acrylic paints can become extremely fluid, opening the gates to the the very popular ¨pouring style¨ of painting.
Acrylic paints don´t crack or go yellow over time and are offered on the market in a wide range of qualities and prices, allowing for a more affordable execution on oversized paintings.