Mar 16, 2021
When you first decide to paint, it can be difficult to decide on what is the best painting medium to use if you are a beginner. Below, American painter Eliyahu Mirlis goes over the options for each paint and the other things to think about before choosing your medium. This roundup includes lists of pros and cons for the most comment painting mediums. In addition to those listed below, paintings can be made with many other mediums such as gouache, oil pastel, ink, pencil, markers, spray paint and silkscreen among others.
To choose one or another paint medium, look at the works of some artists. You may be inspired by the specific use of a type of paint. Some artists use a variety of mediums and techniques, while others use the same one for all their paintings. The choice is made based on factors such as drying time, ease of use, and the size of the painting. If you are interested in a work with a specific feel, identify what technique was used to create it.
Watercolors are diluted with water, which makes them easy to use and clean. They re-thin even after drying, so new colors can be added to an already dry color. You can use transparencies to quickly cover large areas.
Acrylics mix advantages of both oils and watercolors. They dry fast and can therefore be layered in a short time. They can be mixed with water, so there is no need to worry about paint thinners or cleaning products.
For absolute beginners, New Jersey artist Eliyahu Mirlis recommends acrylic because is the easiest medium to gain confidence. The paint is opaque, meaning you can paint over mistakes – great when you’re starting out.
Oil paints have a great tradition and popularity thanks to their rich color palette. They confer a thick and structural quality. With techniques such as glazing, filling and layering, everything from abstract works to hyper-realistic images can be created.
A watercolor can contain different techniques, from delicate glazes to clean lines and clear highlights. With acrylic you can build vibrant layers of color and add depth with bright hues. With oil you can use soft colors or not and achieve filling qualities that acrylic or watercolor will not give you.
Choosing an art medium can be challenging, especially when you are new to the arts. As Eliyahu Mirlis explains, there are plenty of strategies, tips, and proven methods for choosing an art medium. But at the end of the day, this is your choice, and it will be up to your own feelings, thoughts, and conclusions about different art styles to ultimately help you decide on a medium.