So I’m at it again… I broke out the oil paints. Every once in a while I get the urge. Sometimes it’s just that I want a break from gouache (as much as I love it), and sometimes it’s as simple as “hey I’ve had this cool-shaped canvas sitting here for months! I shall do something with it!” Since gouache doesn’t stick to canvas, I have few options.
Oils have this delightful quality to them that’s hard to explain. It’s something about the glowy transparency of the oil that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The ability to layer and create large, smooth areas is a great perk, which I take advantage of every time, since gouache can’t do that. And they smell good, too.
BUT. I don’t break them out too often. The main reasons: They’re such a mess. They try my patience. And they take up a too much real estate. The mess: oil, thinner, and sticky paint that doesn’t dry fast enough and all the sudden you put a thumbprint in your masterpiece trying to pick a cat hair out of it even though you painted it 3 days ago. Patience: see above about drying time. When I want to paint, I want to paint NOW DAMNIT. And space: again with the drying time and needing someplace to set it for 3 days that I could be using for my smaller gouache commissions. And everything’s bigger.
Oil on left. Gouache on right.
Here’s a comparison list of what you need to paint with each:
- canvas or masonite or etc.
- palette knife
- oil medium
- dryer (i.e. japan dryer)
- brushes to paint
- brushes to blend
- brushes to varnish
- extra brain cells to replace those destroyed by inhaling varnish
But despite all that they’re out and I’m enjoying it. Maybe it’s the Spring in the air, or maybe I’m just due for a little crazy.