Posts Tagged ‘Shifting Gears’

Shifting Gears

Friday, November 1st, 2013

As you’ve read in preceding blogs, watercolor drew me back into art after a three-decade hiatus. Acrylics allowed me to shift gears, providing a transition to a different approach toward paint application. This past summer I felt an almost irresistible urge to shift gears again and try my hand at oils. Yet I remembered using oil paints in my youth and being overwhelmed with the pervasive odor of turpentine and the mess of cleanup. I was also leery of using mineral spirits of any kind because of my husband’s sensitivity to so many different types of solvents.

130817 Shifting Gears

But there have been many changes in the art world since I last used oil paints. Among them are virtually odorless solvents and even water-soluble oil paints. I was still leery of the odorless solvents, since it was the chemicals themselves, rather than the odors, that concerned me most. So the water-soluble oils seemed to be a better alternative for my use.

Online research provided mixed reviews for water-soluble oils. I asked my artist friends about their experiences using the w/s oils, and again I received mixed reviews: Reportedly, they required as long to dry as the regular oils (one of my concerns, due to storage space needed during the drying period—reportedly, as long as a year for full curing), and they didn’t provide the lovely, buttery feel of traditional oils. I decided that, being used to the less than buttery feel of acrylics, I could forego the luxury of that tactile experience. I was also assured that the slow drying time could be reduced by mixing an additive into the paint. So I bought a small trial set of the water-soluble oils to experiment with, threw in a bottle of fast-drying medium, and set about to investigate their advisability for me.

Check again next time to see what I learned.