The Perfect Paint

Posted: June 4, 2017 in art, Roz Abellera, techniques, Uncategorized
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As a visual artist the question comes up sometimes, “What is your favorite medium?” or “What is your favorite paint to use?” Gouache, watercolor, ink, acrylic, oils, etc. -I’ve tried them all. My favorite paint to use by far in terms of color and feel would have to be oils.

Oil paints have a deep, rich, vibrant quality about them that is unmatched. I love working with them because you can blend colors together much easier than with other paints. I love to come in with another color and drop it in onto another patch of color right on the canvas as I’m painting and start blending. This is great for when you’re doing flesh tones. Oil paint is excellent for when you are doing portraits. This ability to blend is one of the main reasons why I love oils but comes with a drawback: drying time.

The reason you can blend so well with oil is that it takes long for the paint to dry. Oil paintings can take weeks or even months to 100% completely dry.  Another benefit to this is that it allows an artist to go back to the painting and rework certain parts of it before it dries. But what if you need the painting to be done fast? You’re pretty much in trouble because you have to take into account the drying time. This won’t work if you have a client that needs a painting yesterday. So what do you do?

What I have done in the past is I chose to do the painting in acrylic instead because it dries faster. Acrylic paint dries as you are working with it within minutes. But  I consider acrylic “second best” to oil.  A finished acrylic painting can look very much like an oil painting and there are tons of acrylic masterpieces out there. So I am in no way, shape or form knocking this paint. Acrylic paint even feels similar but not exactly like oil when you are working with it while it’s wet.

The problems I have with some acrylics is that they just don’t have the same richness in color to them by comparison to oils.  Also, although I stated that the fast drying time of acrylics can be a benefit it can also be a negative. I find it harder to blend colors together with acrylics because they dry so fast. You also don’t have the luxury of coming back to the painting a week later and blending in some wet paint to what you already did. I still blend colors on top of each other with acrylics but I have to work really fast before the paint dries.

So what’s the perfect paint? It doesn’t exist.

I find myself switching back and forth between oils and acrylics, depending on what the situation calls for, whether the work has to be done fast or not. But the perfect paint would be a paint that combines all the great qualities of oils with all the great qualities of acrylics with none of the drawbacks.

Can someone please invent this?





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