topiary cats

topiary cats

Monday, May 18, 2015

Acrylics and Oils

If I had to pick a medium that is most parallel to oils- as far as working properties goes- it would be soft pastels.

Not acrylics.

But as far as end results, for the most part, it is difficult if not impossible to tell the difference between oil and acrylic.

It is true that oil can take a higher pigment load than any acrylic paint.  It's just a physical property.

Here is a comparison chart between several paints, all artist-grade.  Oil, Golden, and Golden Open.
These are all single pigment colors, the same ones with two exceptions as noted.  Paint application is the same, as close as possible as I could get it between all paints.

Click images to enlarge.

You can really see the difference on the palette between the Ultramarines.  These are piles straight from the tube- Golden Open, and Lukas 1862.  You can see not only is the pigment load different, but the refractive index is different.

Golden Open (acrylic)                  Lukas 1862 (oil)

Lisa asked a question about my plein air gear. Transporting wet panels.
Everything fits in a backpack, (Well, my Yellowstone box doesn't, so if I bring it out I just carry it)
My tripods have carry cases with straps, I just hang it crosswise across my shoulders, making travel hands-free.  I practically require being hands-free.  Wet panels go right in the back of the box.  Video is here.

You can also use separate wet panel carriers.  Most people have cars, I guess.  I don't.  I walk everywhere and I have to traverse the subway and stairs and buses and streets- so I'm minimalist when it comes to gear. Backpack.  Tripod. That's it.

If I want to be ultra-minimalist I can just pack up my Belly River box with some panels, paint, solvent, and brushes, a little oily rag, and nothing else.  I have done that.  It's fun.

I did a lot of research, and practice, and my setup evolves as time goes on and i discover New Stuff. But I do pretty much have it down to a science.  And I love plein air gear setups just as much as regular art supplies!

Plein air isn't supposed to be bring-the-whole-studio-along.  That's part of the fun of it. Do a lot with a little.

Card today: Unexpected Visitors (reversed)
Oh gosh... eek...

My interpretation: Nasty surprises. Bad news.  Rude people.  Bugs. Expecting the worst when in fact it is only a cute little bunny. Worry.  Those negative, mean, and persistent thoughts in our heads.

Booklet says:  "If you expect the unexpected, you'll be prepared for miracles."
Sometimes the thing which you most desire is kept away from you because it is not for the Highest Good. loss or disappointment due to a pattern that cannot be understood yet.  Forced change,  Adapt and accept, and a more fulfilling path will be revealed.


  1. Thanks for the paint comparison. I really find the pigment load in acrylics incredibly weak compared to oils. With oils, a tube lasts ages, but acrylics get used up so fast because you need to use so much for the same result.

    I hope your unexpected visitor is a good one!

  2. Interesting comparison of the paints. I don't do much plein air painting. I often think about it but for some reason it doesn't happen. I take a lot of photos and paint from them. That set up in the video is quite the thing. I am still a little fuzzy about how the wet panel is protected. That is ok. I am easily fuzzed up. ;)

    The girl on the card looks pensive. Sometimes unexpected visitors can bring good tidings. Let us hope for the best.

  3. Ohhh, love the color chart! That is well-done, v cool to see how close you can get.


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