Until my senior year of college I never painted with oil paint. I didn’t like the idea of it because it took so long to dry and required fancy things like turpentine. One of my art teachers decided that before I graduated I had to try it out, so we created an independent study course for me so I would get the credits I needed while trying something new.
At first I was extremely unsure, but after one painting session (where I painted with too many dark colors) I was hooked. Oil paint was smoother than acrylic, it smelled better (weird, but I now love the smell of oil paint) and although it took forever to dry, it was worth it. The slow drying time allowed me to take more time with my paintings. With acrylic, I was rushing even if I didn’t think I was because in the back of my mind there was always a voice saying, “This spot will dry soon so finish it now.”
With oil paint that isn’t a problem. I can put a layer of paint down one night and come back to it several days later (depending on the colors I used) and I will still be able to add to the canvas and mix new colors with what’s already there.
Oil paint allows me to be more creative because I can take more time with my art. Without having to worry about time, my paintings are more relaxed. I have the ability to develop each part of a painting as quickly or as slowly as the ideas come to me.
It’s also nice that I no longer have to clean my paint brushes after every painting session. If acrylic paint dries on a brush it’s ruined, but oil paint can still be removed (with some effort depending on how dry the paint is).
I love using oil paints because they’ve helped me develop my style as an artist. So if you’ve never tried oil paint and are interested in trying something, I suggest you try it out. You never know, you may love it, too.