Last Monday I wrote a blog about 3 paintings I’m working on, each using a different medium. The purpose was to test water mixable oils which I’ve never used. The experiment is now complete and I can reveal my findings.
These are crops of the paintings and the mediums used in order from the top are: Acrylic, Traditional oil & Water mixable oil.
I knew what I’d find with the top two paintings as they’re my usual mediums but I was dubious about the water mixable oils, after all, if you’re not going to use traditional oils for whatever reason, why not just use acrylics? This was my reasoning until I tried them. These oils have the same consistency as the thicker of the traditional oils but are easily transformed to whatever consistency you like without sacrificing depth of colour, and all by using water. Different mediums are available to use with these paints, all being modified to use with water, however I didn’t have any of these so my test was carried out with just water.
As far as techniques are concerned, I found no difference in those that I use with traditional oils. Glazing layers are good and although I used water to thin the paint, there was no lack in vibrancy as can be the case with acrylics. One thing to bear in mind is that the fat over lean rule still needs to be applied so glazing with thin layers would need a glazing medium. The glazes I mixed, although thinned with water still contained more paint than the previous one.
ADVANTAGES OF WATER MIXABLE OILS
To sum up, these oils are great for the following reasons, (and probably others I’ve missed) :
1 Opportunity to use genuine oils without the need for solvents.
2 Ease of use especially for those new to oil painting.
3 Easy clean up using just soap & water.
4 Quicker drying time than traditional oils although longer than acrylics.
5 Easier to use when painting on location.
Although I will still use traditional oils for most of my work, I shall certainly be investing in a basic palette of these oils in professional grade quality. I’m glad I decided to test these paints as I’ve now discovered a mid ground between acrylics & traditional oils and they will certainly have a use in my studio.
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