Did you know that even the art world has stereotypes? Think about it; when you hear about pastels, watercolors, or oils, certain images and beliefs might instantly pop into your head without questioning it. If you’re considering buying paint supplies as a beginner artist, don’t be too quick to shy away from oil.

Oils have been viewed as difficult to work with but the truth is that oils are much easier to work with than other forms. The fact that it dries slowly makes it easy to accomplish blending passages. Watercolors lighten ad they dry, acrylic darken and get dull but oils being the richest and most saturated will remain the same.

Oils are also seen as messier than other media but they’re really no messier than any other media. How “Messy” or not a session is depends on the artist themselves and not the paint. Together with acrylic and watercolors, oil requires a liquid solvent for thinning the painting, glazing and clean-up. One of the things you can use for cleaning up the messy after effect is 100-percent odorless mineral spirits.

It’s said that Turpentine is questionable but years ago turpentine was the standard for use with oil paints, simply because that’s all that was available. Due to the strong odor turpentine can be unpleasant to work with but odorless mineral spirits are a good alternative.

Another misconception is that oil paint is very toxic. Yes, they do have chemicals, as other kinds of paints do, but those chemicals are not necessarily toxic. Basically, oil paints consist of pigments, oil, color enhancers, and fillers. The same pigment that you find in watercolors are the same you would find in oil, there are no special poisonous pigments. Oil used in paints is absolutely safe as it’s usually linseed oil but painting oil and cooking oil are just processed differently. The solution to this is simple, buy good paints instead of the cheap stuff because it’s generally the cheap ones that have toxic chemicals.

Oil painting can be quick, easy, and fun. Just as acrylic paints were invented, the same goes for water-soluble oils, odorless oils, and the wet-in-wet technique.

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