Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Hate Oil Paint

Having had some success with an oil painting class a year or so ago, I decided to try another oil painting, and boy, did I hate it, even though I had professional grade paints.  The subject was a Varied Thrush in a tree with berries.  Here is the background stage:

The paints were thick and even with a medium added, difficult to get to the consistency I wanted.

As you can see on the tree trunk, oil paint often produces a sheen -- apparently people who actually know what they're doing can control this via the direction of the brush strokes.  I sure couldn't!

What I truly disliked was the smell, and the mess of clean up.  Watercolor is so much easier to deal with!

Mixing colors was not too hard, all in all.  But the overall feel of the paint, the difficulty in controlling where I wanted it to go, and my inability to get thin enough paint for fine detail work were all horribly frustrating.  Plus the smell...gah, the smell.  And the clean up...did I mention the smell and the clean up?  Awful, just plain awful.

So I've tried oils, and acrylics, and pastel chalk of late.  And I've reached a conclusion:

I am sticking to watercolor!!


  1. You should definitely stick to watercolor if the smell and the clean-up are that bad. It is a lovely painting however.

  2. Replies
    1. I haven't totally given up on the acrylic paint, though. My earlier acrylic efforts involved cheap paint and bad brushes, and I have better paint and brushes now so will give it another try or two. But yeah, NO MORE OILS. I could work for only 30 minutes at a time before the odor drove me away. Truman did not like them, either!