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Oil vs. Acrylic Paint: Spotting the Difference Between the Two

Choosing the right medium is a tough and fateful decision for every emerging artist. When you are completely new to painting, you basically see no or little difference when it comes to various types of paints. You must have already heard that the majority of painters have a heated debate about what is better: oil or acrylic paint.

The answer to this question is fairly simple: you need paints that will allow you to express yourself through imagery most successfully. But what is better for you? Let’s try to spot the main differences between the two, so you can choose the medium most suitable for your needs.

Oil vs. Acrylic Paint

 Oil vs. acrylic paint: main characteristics

1. Drying time

Drying time is a category where two paints differ the most. Oils take days or even weeks to dry completely, whereas acrylics need a couple of minutes. This factor is overly important, as it directly influences the painting process.

2. Color

Oil paint has more pigment in it, making it markedly richer and vivid in terms of colors than acrylic paint. The latter usually darkens after drying, so you need to take this into account.

Oil vs. Acrylic Paint

3. Longevity

Longevity is hardly comparable in this case because acrylic paints have not been around long enough to stand the test of time. Oil paintings, on the other hand, do not deteriorate with time if taken care of properly.

4. Color blending

Due to the short drying time, acrylics are hard to mix with other paints. It makes oil paints an absolute winner in this.

Oil vs. Acrylic Paint

5. Cost

Acrylics are more cost-effective, so they might well seem a sound choice for beginners. However, you do not need to form your opinion based on the cost only. 

Hopefully, this comparison will shed light on what paint is best for your art. Both acrylic paint and oil paint have their pros and cons, and it is you who make the final decision.

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