Dipping into the oils

Lovran, Croatia, 18 x 24 cm, oil on panel

Overall most of my painting experience is with oils, but for the past five years acrylics have been my main medium. I love both types of paint, really – the crisp vivid colors of acrylic, the smooshiness of oil – but my primary reason for choosing acrylics so often recently is due to my painting set-up. My studio is a room in our apartment. Oil mediums and thinners, even those that claim to be odor-free, stink. While personally I don’t mind the smell (like it, even), it seemed that having our apartment reek like an art department would be a bit ridiculous.

I’ve played around a bit with water-mixable oils over the years, and generally I’ve liked them, but they are not well-stocked at any of the art stores I frequent, which I think is why I find myself going back to acrylics again and again. But I still find myself longing for oils.

So, I’ve decided to stop thinking about whether it’s feasible to paint with oils in a home studio, and just try it out. This week I packed my acrylic paints up and made room for the oils. My first attempts out the gate are a little shaky (see the little Lovran painting in this post), since I’m not quite used to the medium any more, but I’m figuring it out. Hopefully I’ll have some decent work to show you over the coming days.

What medium do you use for painting most often, and why?

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2 Responses to “Dipping into the oils”

  1. linda says:

    jul,, i am so glad to find you again and surprised i did frankly…i was on tammy’s site and there you were in comments! so popped over – love the work you’re doing..as always, love your sense of color + the portraits are wonderfully expressive and so colorfully different, it makes them very special! keep it up…it’s interesting to me you are using oils as i have been thinking about them but hate to spend the money on a whole new thing but am wanting to anyway…i will be watching how it goes with you…yes, i agree, it’s stinky too but i have a separate room for my art making….
    anyway, the site and your art looks great. ♥ xox

  2. Jul says:

    Hi Linda – So glad you found me! I have been so slow about publicizing this new blog.

    I have really loved working in oils over the past month. I also found that I could give them a try for not much money – my local art store had a starter set of little paint tubes on sale, and solvents are reusable so I’ve made my first small container go a long way. Those plus a little oil medium and I was good to go. Of course as soon as I was hooked I had to start investing more – but trying them out was pretty cheap. Go for it!

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