Learn How to Decide Between Oils, Acrylics, & Watercolors

When it’s time to begin work on your next painting, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. But when that tool is paint, you have to make a choice. Do you want to use oil-based, acrylic, or watercolor paint? Because there are so many different kinds of painting that you can choose between, having multiple options for kind of paint can mean a real headache for beginning painters. Take a look at this guide from Jerry’s Artarama to learn which kind of paint you should use to make your next project the best one yet.

Each Paint Has Its Own Strengths

The key thing to remember about different kinds of paints is that they each are ideal in certain situations. Likewise, you can’t use one kind of paint for every project. Each one is a good choice on the right surfaces and in the right conditions. Some of them dry faster than others, some of them handle wear better, and some of them produce a distinct visual.

You Can’t Use One Kind of Paint for Every Project

While some paints are more likely than others to be used in a given situation, you shouldn’t ever use one kind of paint for every situation. For instance, you’d never use watercolor paint for textile art. Because the paint is so delicate, it would run the risk of washing out in the presence of water. This makes it an impractical choice. On the other hand, if you use acrylic paint on your textiles, it can dry fast and resist any water it encounters, maintaining the integrity of the art for longer.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil painting traces back its roots a long time and has been used as the primary paint choice for many projects, dating back to before the renaissance. Many famous paintings we study today were painted using oil-based paints. The Mona Lisa is just one famous example of many. Oil paints work by suspending pigment particles in an oil base. Because of its makeup, it’s a great choice if you’re thinking about bright, vibrant colors or creating a picture with depth. They’re also much easier to mix than acrylic paints, and mixing them often results in a much wider palette of colors. The biggest downside to oil-based paints is that they take longer to dry than acrylic or watercolor paints, taking days or even weeks to fully dry.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is different in one key way from oil. Instead of being made of pigment suspended in oil, it’s made of pigment suspended in a polymer emulsion. This gives the paint much different properties than oil-based paint or watercolor. Acrylic paint is better for people who want their paint to dry faster. Where oil paint can take a very long time to dry, acrylic paint can be dry within hours. It’s also resistant to water more than watercolor or oil paint, meaning that it’s less likely to get damaged by moisture in the short term. The main downside to acrylic paint is that it’s much less versatile when it comes to mixing and combining colors that the other options.

Watercolor Paint

Watercolor paint is the least expensive kind of paint out there. It’s created by pigment suspended in water. Watercolor paint can dry fast, but it’s incredibly delicate when it comes to standing up to even a single drop of water. Because of this, watercolor paints are the least resistant option among the paints. That being said, it can be used to create unique images unlike anything else created by oil or acrylic, images that often have a quality all their own.

Get Started on Your next Masterpiece

No matter what kind of paint you want to use for your next project, the experts at Jerry’s Artarama are happy to help you find it. We can show you what different kinds of paint look like in action and give you the complete rundown on which one will work best for any project. Just stop by one of our stores, or contact us to learn more about how Jerry’s can help you find the paint for your perfect next project.

Lawrenceville, NJ