Oil Painting - Oil Painting (online tutorial, instructions)

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Comparison between oil paint, watercolor, gouache and acrylic paint

Many painting beginners are faced with the question: which colour should I use? Nowadays, almost all classic colours are available in practically packaged tubes or boxes, so you have a wide choice. This article is intended to help you develop criteria that will make your decision easier.

Roughly simplified one can divide into:

Comparison of oil paint with acrylic, tempera and watercolor paint
Comparison of oil paint with acrylic, tempera and watercolor paint

One can imagine that these topics are very complex in each case. Almost every area can be differentiated in small parts. But that should not happen here. Instead, things are generalized and summarized. In this respect, this article does not release you from the obligation to inform yourself further and to try things out. This article should only reduce start worries and encourage you to start with pleasure and to value a possible "failure" as a positive step.

Material properties: which colour works how?

The following notes apply in general. Of course, there are still large differences between individual colors (pigments). So the list describes rather how the respective binders work.

Durability / Sensitivity: how fragile is the finished image?

The same applies here: there are great differences between the colour pigments in terms of durability. The following information is again of a more general nature.


Health hazards / toxicity: how harmful are the paints or solvents used?

Certain pigments can be highly toxic (e.g. with lead or mercury), many others are harmless. Here, however, it is primarily a matter of the painting agents themselves.

Painting technique: how easy or difficult is it to paint with the respective colours?

Oil paints - Tubes of red, yellow and blue
Oil paints - Tubes of red, yellow and blue

Each colour requires a certain technical processing. The spectrum of possibilities is enormous, and with increasing experience, painting becomes all the easier. The following list contains only a few hints that are especially relevant for beginners:

Expenditure: how time-consuming are preparatory and follow-up work?

Of course it depends on the size of the painting you are working on, how many brushes and other painting utensils you use (painting technique) and so on. The following hints are therefore only a thought-provoking impulse:

Costs: how expensive is the whole thing?

The costs depend primarily on the number or mass of the materials used. Roughly over the thumb one can say: the colors cost almost all the same much. This is also logical, because a main component of the costs are the color pigments - the respective binders are roughly the same. The big cost differences result from the environment: do you need an easel? How many brushes do you need? How large is the format of the picture? Do you need additional solvents or cleaning agents etc.?

Conclusion: Testing!

Oil painting: Parrots
"Parrots", 100 x 70 cm, oil on canvas, 1985

Finally, a word about how to deal with the information of this Artiekl: basically, most people are interested in finding a suitable means of expression for their artistic and creative lust. This has a lot to do with painting technique: which colours and utensils are best for you? What can you work with quickly and effectively, what are the low costs? Ultimately, only everyone can find out for himself, there is no universal formula. Fortunately, retailers now offer their own starter kits for almost every technique for relatively little money. I can only encourage you to follow your instinct and try it out.

Those who tend to want to work postos should use oil, acrylic or tempera paint.

Good luck and have fun painting.

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