Tuesday, June 10

An Opinion on Painting with Water- Mixable Oils

Looking Northwest
Water-Mixable Oil on Canvas Panel
8 x 8 in/20 x 20 cm
Copyright 2014
About eight months ago I made a concerted effort to try water-mixable oil paints--which is what I call them--although they're also known as water-miscible and water-soluble as well.

I wanted to try them because I had previously painted with regular old oil paints that  everyone is used to, but to be truthful, just couldn't abide the solvents, the smell, and the messiness. I realize almost every painter, bona fide or otherwise, since the Renaissance paints with oil.

However, I have primarily used acrylic (for years) and continue to do so. But still I wanted to try something different and, as I've said before, that's how we learn. In the ensuing eight months I have painted more than 15 paintings, give or take, with water-mixable oil

 Like anything it takes time to get used to something new; however, if you have been painting with either oil or acrylic, it's a pretty easy switch, especially from oil.

No surprise, what I like about water-mixable is that you don't need toxic solvents, it's much less messy, there is less odor, and brushes clean up with soap and water. They handle pretty much like oil in my humble opinion. I did notice a difference in viscosity among the brands. I have used W&N Artisan, Weber WOil, and Lukas Berlin.

WOil is buttery, Berlin seems creamy, and Artisan has the most body among these three, but as with a lot of things in painting, it's a personal choice. Today's image was painted using all three brands, and there was no problem with mixing them. I've also read good things about the Holbein and Talens brands, but haven't tried them yet.

There's not too much I don't like about using these paints except they don't dry as fast as acrylics--but what else does? I have added fast-drying medium to speed up the process, but it still takes at least 24 hours for some colors to dry to touch and up to more than a week for others. Without the fast-drying medium it takes months to dry completely just like regular old oil paints, bummer.

Anyway, if you haven't tried them and are looking for something in between acrylic and oil--process-wise, that is--I say go for it.


No comments:

Post a Comment