Friday, November 06, 2009

Rapids revisited (Oil and Acrylics)

A few months ago, I painted a small 6x4 of rapids in acrylics (Below). To be fair to the Acrylics medium, I was going through a colour identity crisis. I was having a hard time foreseeing what the colours would dry as with the shift in acrylics.

Rapids, Acrylic on canvas board

Last week I pulled it off the shelf and decided to use liven up the colours using oil paints this time (below). As you can see the difference is amazing. I know artists are passionate about their mediums and I know a lot of acrylic painters are going to be upset with me for this post. I am sure I could have livened the colours up using acrylics just as well as oils, but frankly the fact that oil colours dry with the same colours as the ones you place on the canvas allows you to be the master of the painting as opposed to trying to forecast what paints will do and how they will shift your work when they dry.

Rapids Oil over Acrylics, 4x6 canvas board


  1. My mom painted in both oils and acrylics. The acrylics never seemed flat in comparison. In later years they became sticky. Oils have been used for many, many years and I think they will stand the test of time. Plus, just compare the two paintings side by side!

  2. ugh! I left a bad comment...should have read:
    "The acrylics seemed flat in comparison" delete the word never...

  3. LOL Bobbie. I think we all understood what you were trying to say. The sticky acrylics though are a mystery to me.

  4. Well...I may be wierd but I actually like the first painting best, I like the subtlety of the color although I am no fan of acrylics. I think the fact that brighter foliage is all one ctolor and shape simplifies the painting and strengthens the drama and composition.

    I have not painted much with acrylic; I do remember that acrylic colors used to appear very chemical and phony altho that's not as true as in the 80s and 90s, but I just hate the thought of painting with plastic and glue and ruining my palette and brushes!!!

    Linda (aka Linda Parrish Swift on Facebook)


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