OIL VS WATERCOLOUR: WHICH ONE IS BETTER FOR YOUR PORTRAIT PAINTINGS?

Art is an all-enveloping form that holds up the mirror of the artist as well as the contemporary society, the culture, and the very nuances of a place. The earliest form of art was adorned with oil paints which give an exquisite texture and definition to the painting. But with changing times, watercolours came into the picture which enabled to infuse life into the painting. 

People nowadays like being surrounded by the aesthetics created using the fine brush strokes and tranquil works of art. It’s a booming market where oil painting reproductions of the finest pieces are well in demand. You are bound to spot a custom oil painting or two as a part of the home décor when you strut into even the modest of households, that’s how much art affects everyone!

Oil paints: just a primordial tool for portraits or more?

Oil paints are best to kick start one’s journey into the majestic world of art. The best part about starting off with oil paints is that you can come back to your painting after a day and they’ll still be wet waiting for you to work your magic. Also, oil painting reproductions make room for more of your mistakes so fearlessly paint away!

Now, due to this very factor of slow drying, they’re basically the Michael Jackson of smooth blending and let you carefully transition into a different color palette with a defined finish. Oil paints are your best pals when the portrait requires a lot of recaps. 

That’s not all! You can please all your whims and fancies with oil paints by either going thinner or thicker which will give your portrait immense depth.  Also, oil paints let you stain the canvas with the most vibrant pigments that add life to the masterworks.

Dark Side of the Oil Paints 

The slow drying asset that oil paints have seldom backfired as it takes hours, days, and even weeks to dry off making it frustrating at times to complete one piece. So, if you want to create an underlying layer, you’ve to wait for the sunrise or the depth won’t be there, spoiling the aesthetic!

Now, oil paints may be a little setback for beginners who want to start with a handmade painting on canvas as they’re generally expensive and require more supplies to deal with. Most importantly, turpentine- a thinner you’ve to use for oil paints that releases fumes that can be a skin irritant so you’ve got to be careful with them.

Watercolors: a tool for the millennials or tool of the millennium?

Water-Lilies 29 by Claude Oscar Monet - Reproduction Oil Painting

Watercolours have always had an upper hand in the dealings of paints as they’ve been called the easiest to start with. They represent the liveliness and vibrancy of a portrait as the paint gives it depth whereas the water-soluble properties enable deliberate transparency, making it very dynamic.

You see the immediate effect of the paints on sheets of paper which by the way is an economic option to start with. The mingling of water and paints makes for blended colors and a “messy” look which makes the portrait all the more appealing. 

Watercolours dry up in no time which makes layering very feasible for the artist. It also lets you add as many details with fine brushstrokes as you want, giving it the kind of look everyone wants. Even though they display a matte texture, people vibe with the fresh appearance they portray.

Also, with intense water coloring techniques, the portrait can portray a more vibrant and glossy look which is highly desirable. While the mistakes made are beautiful, with time you master the very technique of immaculately applying the watercolour. 

But like everything good and nice, they also have something to hide!

Watercolours are more difficult to put a leash on due to the multitude of techniques they involve. Apart from this, one has to consider the brushes that are kept in stock as they have a major role in shaping the face of the portrait. 

It leaves no room for mistakes as the paper soaks up the watercolors very easily and even more if the paints stain intensely. This makes it even worse for little negligence as rubbing off the undue lines is a hard-on task. The paper in this case is highly unforgiving and it can take hours to rub off the stains.

They are matte in nature and it takes an immense amount of time, effort and sweat to make it look glossy on canvas. To perfect this, you’ve to undergo hours and hours of mastering the techniques of layering and washing. 

After a thrilling match of cut-throat competition, the result is a fair tie. 

Both watercolors and oil paints have different techniques in their bag to offer that create entirely different aesthetics to the soul of a portrait. It’s totally a matter of personal preference as to which paints you lay your hand on. If on the one side, watercolours are less fuss to start with, they demand loads of expertise whereas oil paints are tricky and intimidating to begin with; they are comparatively easy to master. 

It’s entirely up to you to practice your free will to put up whatever kind of art for your home, the outcome will nonetheless be mesmerising. 

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