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Oils and Acrylics – A Fine Difference

​Imagine standing in the middle of the arts and crafts aisle. You want paint. You want your drawings to basically come alive with it. The colors are easy to point out and buy. But there’s one thing: what kind of paint do I use? What are the differences? Does it even matter?
The answer is simple. Yes, there is a difference. It might not look like it, but I’ll let you know all about it. I’ve been there. When I first started painting, there was a lot of confusion. I just started grabbing whatever I felt like using at the time. And even use said paint on whatever paper or canvas I wanted.  I’ve done this until I learned and broadened my view on painting. I will try my best to make it easier for you.
Okay, so first of all, the biggest difference between acrylics and oils is the length of time it takes to dry. Acrylic paints dry instantly. So, if you’re a fast painter, this would be no problem to you. But, let’s say that someone knocks on your door. You would have to answer it, right? Mostly likely anyway. You would have stepped away from the paint. Who knows how long it will be. Then, when you come back to the painting, the acrylic paint has dried. It makes it seem a little interesting to get back to your masterpiece. If you happened to make a mistake right before you walked over to the door, that would be too late to fix. Then, another plan of action will happen to change it! I have to admit that sometimes it can be fun because you can test your creative side more. Meanwhile, same scenario, when you come back from said door, the oils will still be wet! So, that makes it easier to get right back to work!
Another difference is during the clean up time!!! Yes, I know I said that dreaded word that no one likes hearing. Well, except me. I love to clean! Yes, I know that makes me weird and even being the odd one out but oh well! Someone’s gotta be the odd one, right? Ok back on topic. Yes, there is a difference when cleaning the brushes. For instance, if you use a brush with acrylic paint on it, it will take a longer time and a little more effort cleaning it. But, if you use one with oil paint on, there’s less time and effort with that. So with anyone who’s not into cleaning, using oil paints would be better for you. I like to use both; it just depends on the day. It’s kinda like the opposite of the first reason!
So for the third and final reason that I will explain the difference for you are the…wait for it…smells!!! Acrylics don’t have an odor at at all. This would be extremely helpful if you happen to have children running around even after you have finished the painting. Another plus is if you have any breathing problems (asthma, etc.), then this would be a suitable choice for you also. Or if you’re just a person who doesn’t like to deal with odors, this would be an ideal match for you. Oils, on the other hand, have a distinctive odor. The turpentine smell can be strong and overwhelming. It takes an amount of willpower to get through it. And perhaps, a mask (like the one doctors use) can be helpful to still use oil paints if you happen to be sensitive to the smell.
If you still have questions or concerns, then please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Enjoy your day!

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