Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moving on from Acrylics

After trying very hard to use acrylics, I am giving up. I don't know who convinced me that it can be used like oil. That should have been my first hint. "Like oil" does not sound like it is. And frankly, I gave it all I could and Acrylic is not oil... and it is not watercolours either. Just a step in between and will take many more years for it to amount to a medium that can work indoors and out.

I wasted almost a year trying to make acrylics act "Like oils" and THEY DON'T. I give up. I will use what ever supply I still have for impasto studio work and start transitioning to oils asap. For anyone about to attempt what I have done for a year. Don't. Work with a real medium and forget the plastics. They dry too fast, are pasty and sticky if you use mediums, dry far from the wet colours and all around need more work than I care to give them. I need a medium that works with me, not one that I need to pamper.

I have been using watercolours for several years and know how to work with a tough medium, but acrylics are not tough. They are an ongoing experiment. Maybe when the experiment is done and the results are published, it will be time to revisit them. For now, I will forego open and closed and high viscosity and mediums and retarders and go with watercolours and oils.


  1. Zan, I too have spent long periods of time 'experimenting' with many mediums and there does come a time to concentrate on one, I believe.

    However, art experience is never wasted...some things you have learnt using acrylics will run over to oils etc. Sometimes we have to have frustrating times in one medium to really understand where to go in another....I think this is the thinking behind a foundation art year before a degree course.

    I look forward to hearing about your progress and to see your paintings in oil.

    One other thing....I have spent a lot of money on water mixable oils and quick drying oils....but really like good quality regular oils without using too much medium or turps....and be sure to try out different surfaces to see what works for you best....

  2. interesting points. From the point of handling and work, though oils smell so nice and feel so nice - it feels real in a way acrylic doesn't

  3. I agree with Maggie and Frances.There is no wasted time in experimenting in Art,and the other side it's true that a medium is fit better for each of us.
    Keep going,it is very beautiful.
    Jean Marie L.


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