Why Paint With Oil?

Among the many types of paint most college students and professors prefer oil paint, but why?

There are many types of paint, ones that are often thought as “easier to work with,” so when it comes to classes where oil paint is a necessity many students groan. This is not only due to the perceived difficulty that comes with oil paint but also the price, as it is definitely not the cheapest type of paint out there. Not to mention the argument that most classes focus first on the Master Painters who typically used tempera paint instead. Yet with all of this stigma around oil paint, what with it’s yellowing over time (which depends on the bonding agent) as well as it’s difficulty to clean off brushes, it has some amazing perks.

Let’s Focus On The Good Stuff!

Oil paint is insanely beneficial to art students when one looks at it with an open mind for more than one reason! Let’s start with the most obvious of reasons which is the color that they give off! Bright, eye catching pigments that keep the viewers eyes locked on one’s piece. Colors that are easier to capture and blend only with oil paint. Acrylics aren’t the best for blending and let’s not begin the discussion on watercolor blending (especially for beginner or intermediate painters). So if you want to make a piece with colors as bright as the ones in your mind oil paint is definitely the way to go!

They also take a long time to dry, which is both a pro and a con. Of course people can easily see why the long wait is something negative but it means that the painter has more time to go back and fix their work. They don’t need to paint over layer and layer of paint in order to get the desired result. Instead they can scrape away and start from the base once again, something that is very beneficial.

Longevity is another reason why a student should reach their hand towards oil paints, well- why any painter should truthfully. When one makes a piece they most likely intend to use it for a portfolio or to sell it or pin it up, so one should definitely use a paint that can take on the clock and keep running. With the right kind of binder Oil Paint can withstand years and keeps its beautiful color and vibrancy. Take a look at old works made from oil paint, it is very rare that they need restoration for color rather than destruction.

So, keep this in mind they next time you’re walking down the paint aisle and reach for the paint that’ll help you out in the long run!

2 thoughts on “Why Paint With Oil?

  1. I love oil paint, the beautiful, rich, expansive, adaptable medium! I love the smell of the linseed oil. Oil has a je ne sais quoi, a surface beauty that is unique.

    Acrylic paint is good too though. As you note blending colors is tricky with acrylic, but that also makes it a good challenge. To learn to master color acrylics can be great just because they are so difficult to use in that aspect. To get the color the same without blending means really knowing how to make each color each time. Then all that you learn, of course, can apply back to oil — oil with its wonderful beauty.

    I had a love-hate relationship to acrylics once. But it has turned now to love. But I still love oil paint more!

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