6 Pros and Cons of Oil Paint

Painting is a hobby that many choose to follow. Some of history’s greatest masterpieces come from the art work. For many artists, oil paints were almost exclusively used because that was the only choice available to them.

Today is quite different. Artists have access to acrylics and watercolors as well. Oil paints require a certain level of skill to use them properly, but they can also create a palette that is versatile and realistic.

Here are some additional oil paint pros and cons to think about.

Pros of Oil Paints

1. You have more time to work on your art.
Oil paints take a long time to dry, even when drying agents are applied to the canvas. When working with this medium, you can set aside your hobby for a few hours and then come back to the painting. You could even wait until the next day to keep working on it, with the paint still pliable.

2. You can create realistic transitions. .
Because of the drying time involved with oil paints, you have more time to work on your color transitions. You have the opportunity to keep working on the subtle coloring shades and that allows you to alter or revise your concepts without starting over on the piece.

3. Your colors stay true to form. .
If you’ve used watercolors or acrylics in the past, then you’ve likely encountered the color shift that happens with them as they dry. Oil paints don’t have this issue. They stay true to their application.

Cons of Oil Paints

1. It requires a time commitment. .
You must prime your canvas for oil paint. You must have the patience to let the painting dry. You must maintain the integrity of your paint. Compared to other paint options, oil paints have a much larger time commitment.

2. It offers little in contrast. .
To create a crispness to a brush stroke, oil paints require a couple of days. Acrylics might require a couple of ours.

3. Oil paints still change color over time. .
Oil paintings tend to yellow as they age. It is a process that cannot be avoided, even if the painting is sealed. Using good binders can slow, but not stop, this process.

The challenge with oil paints is that each pigment can require a different drying time. They also tend to cost more. On the other hand, your vision for the painting is easier to reproduce using this medium.

What are the oil paint pros and cons you’ve discovered with your painting?

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.