Posted on by Kai Wei Teng

Artpicktexture Oil Painting Macro Shot

Types of Paint to look out for in an Artwork.

Knowing the different type of paints that are available for us to utilize and create is an important step in understanding how each artwork can be crafted. We examine five different types of paints: namely; Watercolor, Acrylics, OilsGouache and Encaustics. As each paint requires a different type of technique and skill set to master, an individual might find themselves of being able to express better by using the right paint.

Oil Paints

Oil Paints At Artpicktexture

Oils are the thickest paints and easiest to control. They take days to dry so you can work with the paint for hours to get the images you want. Once applied to a canvas, you can work in other colors, changing the form and textures are easy, all over long periods of time. If you make a mistake, you can scrape of an entire layer of paint without damaging the layers underneath. The disadvantage of oils is that they are more expensive and more materials are needed to work with them. They are also messy and you cannot use water to clean them up where you need some assistance from turpentine.

Acrylics Paints

Acrylics Paints by Artpicktexture

Acrylics are good for beginners. They are easy to work with because they're thicker than watercolor paints. Because they are thick, they are easy to blend with other colors and easy to control when painting them on a canvas. Acrylics dry quickly and turn into plastic, so if you make a mistake it is easy to wait a few minutes for it to dry and then paint right overtop of the mistake. But be careful, and keep the paint wet or it could be tough to use and clean up.

Watercolor Paints

Watercolor Artwork by Artpicktexture

Watercolor paints are arguably one of the oldest forms of art making in the world. They are created when pigments are mixed with gum, such as gum arabic, and diluted with water to create a thin, transparent medium. Neolithic cave paintings were decorated with primitive watercolor images, and Ancient Egyptians used water based paints on the walls of tombs. However, it was the Chinese and Japanese artists of the early 17th century that truly brought watercolor to a distinctive art form. This medium is famous for its translucent washes, and it’s ability to be built up in thin layers. Watercolor also differs greatly from other mediums in the technique in which it is laid down. While paintings in oil and acrylic achieve areas of white by applying opaque pigment, watercolorists builds up the darks and leave the bare white of the painting surface as highlights. This characteristic and the unpredictable nature of watercolor makes it a uniquely challenging art form. Watercolors can be cleaned using soap and water and do not permanently dry, unless coated or mixed with another medium.

Gouache Paints

Gouache Art by Artpicktexture

Gouache paints are just as historically venerable as watercolors, and are made in a similar way. Indeed, gouache is simply watercolor mixed with an opaque white in order to add opacity. The pigment particles in watercolors become trapped and held by the fibers of the surface it’s used on. Gouache particles on the other hand, lie on top of the painting surface, making a smooth, coated layer. This difference makes the medium thicker, but capable of capturing brilliance in the same way as oil paints. The way this medium reflects light made it very popular with Rococo artists in the 1700’s, however like watercolors, it is highly effected by moisture, and can be susceptible to warping or discoloration if left in a damp environment.

Encaustics Paints

Encaustics Paints by Artpicktexture

Encaustics are a type of paint created when pigments are mixed with hot, liquid wax. The use of encaustics date back as far as 5th century Rome. Wax was originally used to protect material from damage, such as ships. Encaustics were born from the colored wax used to decorate and protect Greek and Roman naval fleets. This medium is very similar to oil as it is visually rich, with a wide range of textures that can be accomplished. One reason artists preferred using encaustics was due to its longevity. It had far greater durability than both watercolor and oil paints, as it was not affected by moisture. However, there were enormous practical difficulties in using a medium that had to be kept warm. Once an artist finished applying the color pigments to the painting surface, a heat source was then passed over them until each individual wax application fused into a uniform layer. After this process was completed, the painting would be left to cur for a few months. The “burning in” of the pigments was the trademark of the encaustic technique, and it’s this characteristic that made portraits in encaustic so strikingly lifelike. However, during the burning it was easy for the heat to become to intense, causing colors to blur together. Encaustics can be cleaned by dipping brushes in soy wax, following with soap and water.

 

Artpicktexture Oil Painting Macro Shot

Types of Paint to look out for in an Artwork.

Knowing the different type of paints that are available for us to utilize and create is an important step in understanding how each artwork can be crafted. We examine five different types of paints: namely; Watercolor, Acrylics, OilsGouache and Encaustics. As each paint requires a different type of technique and skill set to master, an individual might find themselves of being able to express better by using the right paint.

Oil Paints

Oil Paints At Artpicktexture

Oils are the thickest paints and easiest to control. They take days to dry so you can work with the paint for hours to get the images you want. Once applied to a canvas, you can work in other colors, changing the form and textures are easy, all over long periods of time. If you make a mistake, you can scrape of an entire layer of paint without damaging the layers underneath. The disadvantage of oils is that they are more expensive and more materials are needed to work with them. They are also messy and you cannot use water to clean them up where you need some assistance from turpentine.

Acrylics Paints

Acrylics Paints by Artpicktexture

Acrylics are good for beginners. They are easy to work with because they're thicker than watercolor paints. Because they are thick, they are easy to blend with other colors and easy to control when painting them on a canvas. Acrylics dry quickly and turn into plastic, so if you make a mistake it is easy to wait a few minutes for it to dry and then paint right overtop of the mistake. But be careful, and keep the paint wet or it could be tough to use and clean up.

Watercolor Paints

Watercolor Artwork by Artpicktexture

Watercolor paints are arguably one of the oldest forms of art making in the world. They are created when pigments are mixed with gum, such as gum arabic, and diluted with water to create a thin, transparent medium. Neolithic cave paintings were decorated with primitive watercolor images, and Ancient Egyptians used water based paints on the walls of tombs. However, it was the Chinese and Japanese artists of the early 17th century that truly brought watercolor to a distinctive art form. This medium is famous for its translucent washes, and it’s ability to be built up in thin layers. Watercolor also differs greatly from other mediums in the technique in which it is laid down. While paintings in oil and acrylic achieve areas of white by applying opaque pigment, watercolorists builds up the darks and leave the bare white of the painting surface as highlights. This characteristic and the unpredictable nature of watercolor makes it a uniquely challenging art form. Watercolors can be cleaned using soap and water and do not permanently dry, unless coated or mixed with another medium.

Gouache Paints

Gouache Art by Artpicktexture

Gouache paints are just as historically venerable as watercolors, and are made in a similar way. Indeed, gouache is simply watercolor mixed with an opaque white in order to add opacity. The pigment particles in watercolors become trapped and held by the fibers of the surface it’s used on. Gouache particles on the other hand, lie on top of the painting surface, making a smooth, coated layer. This difference makes the medium thicker, but capable of capturing brilliance in the same way as oil paints. The way this medium reflects light made it very popular with Rococo artists in the 1700’s, however like watercolors, it is highly effected by moisture, and can be susceptible to warping or discoloration if left in a damp environment.

Encaustics Paints

Encaustics Paints by Artpicktexture

Encaustics are a type of paint created when pigments are mixed with hot, liquid wax. The use of encaustics date back as far as 5th century Rome. Wax was originally used to protect material from damage, such as ships. Encaustics were born from the colored wax used to decorate and protect Greek and Roman naval fleets. This medium is very similar to oil as it is visually rich, with a wide range of textures that can be accomplished. One reason artists preferred using encaustics was due to its longevity. It had far greater durability than both watercolor and oil paints, as it was not affected by moisture. However, there were enormous practical difficulties in using a medium that had to be kept warm. Once an artist finished applying the color pigments to the painting surface, a heat source was then passed over them until each individual wax application fused into a uniform layer. After this process was completed, the painting would be left to cur for a few months. The “burning in” of the pigments was the trademark of the encaustic technique, and it’s this characteristic that made portraits in encaustic so strikingly lifelike. However, during the burning it was easy for the heat to become to intense, causing colors to blur together. Encaustics can be cleaned by dipping brushes in soy wax, following with soap and water.