A decision has been made to explore the hobby of painting. As you review paints, brushes, and surfaces it becomes rather puzzling. My personal opinion is use acrylics as a first choice. Acrylics are versatile. They are used as watercolors, acrylics, or oils. After experimenting with this paint, you will become familiar with brush stroke techniques and assorted surfaces. This inexpensive trial and error, will help you choose your medium.
What are you painting?
Both oils and acrylics use the same techniques. One of the main differences is that acrylics dry fast and oils dry slowly. Acrylics are water based, easy cleanup with soap and water, and non-allergic.
Oil paints are oil based, clean with mineral spirits, turpentine, or acetone. Many of today’s oil paints are odor free and nonallergic, but the cleaners may pose problems for people with skin and breathing sensitivities.
Oil paintings have been around for hundreds of years and have proven to have a long life. Acrylics came into popular use in the 1960s and their longevity has yet to be determined.
Oil paints are ready to use from their containers. If you wish to paint with acrylics and create the illusion of oil paint texture. Buy the more expensive acrylic as they will contain more pigment, have a thicker texture, and will require fewer layers of paint. Use the same oil brush techniques as in painting with oils.
Oils require high quality animal hair bristles. Pigs' hair is commonly used. However, new technology has created synthetic brushes for oil paints. You may want to experiment with both. Synthetic brushes are the choice for acrylics. Regardless of which type of brush is used. I recommend separating the brushes and restricting their usage. One set for oils and another for acrylics.
Acrylics can be applied to paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, wood and wood products, fabrics, and metal. However; some surfaces may require cleaning, or other special preparations, such as a priming agent, before covering with these paints.
After completing your artwork, spray or brush a polymer varnish to seal and protect the painted surface from dust, dirt, and other unwanted damages, fading, and chipping. Varnishes are manufactured as satin, matte, and gloss. Store finished work away from heat and direct sunlight. Do not stack pictures face to face. They will tear when separated from each other. I place my work in manila folders. One picture to a file.
Craft people who use acrylics in their decoupage and scrap booking projects may use a solution of white crafting glue and water to glue, seal, or varnish their porous projects.
Watercolors have a different appearance from oil or acrylic paints. Painting techniques are unlike oils or acrylics. Artists like to apply their skills to painting portraits, landscapes, and still life with this medium.
These paints are limited to watercolor paper. The paper is heavier and stronger as they are composed of cotton, linen, and plant fibers. It does not pill or tear and absorbs water.
Acrylics reduced to watercolor consistency can be applied on watercolor paper. Colored and graphite pencils, ink, and watercolor pencils may also be used. Watercolor paper is textured. The manufacturer recommends which side of the textured paper is to be used. Keep paper towels handy to clean unwanted paint drips from this type of paper.
These paints are non-toxic and contain no caustic solvents, However; their pigments contain heavy metals which will pollute soil and waterways. Check your state requirements for proper disposal of unused paint and its water.
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