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What is the worst medium you have worked with?

Hi all,
What is that medium you really dislike or cannot get to grips with at all?
Personally no matter how many times I've tried over the years I just cannot get on with oil pastels. To me they are just so stubborn to manipulate, blend, layer and can be quite messy too.
I absolutely love other pastel mediums but for some reason oil ones drive me nuts.


  • I am writing my media preference in descending order. I hope you'll understand.

    Above all 'Fresco'. Way up there in the ceiling. Not for me but God's own paint!
    1. oil paint
    2. gouache
    3. charcoal / conte/ sanguine or charcoal pencil et al
    4. ink
    5. oil pastel
    6. egg tempera {maybe no. 1 when I'm like 70}
    7. Acrylic
    8. soft pastel
    9. graphite pencil (hate those needles)
    10. Digital
    11. watercolor (hate the water :s )
    But nothing works better than BLOOD!  
  • Acrylic. When I first started trying to paint about 2 years ago I struggled with acrylic for about 6 months and was just about to give up when I thought I would try water mixable oil to see if I had any more luck. The extra drying time allowed to fix mistakes more easily and premix colours (coincided with finding Mark Carders videos on youtube about premixing / colour matching etc). I'd probably enjoy acrylics fine now that I have a bit more experience and I no longer premix colours. Gouache dries a lot faster and I'm fine with that now...
  • I LOVE the idea of watercolours and gouache. Thin with water, no need to worry about mixes drying out (just rewet them), or of brushes drying solid. Easy to clean up and take anywhere. BUT, I just can't get used to the value shift and the way I work with blending wet in wet really is opposite to watercolours and gouache.
  • Chalk pastels,even if I take my time to blend ,it still looks like a five year did it.
  • Coffee ~ seemed like a good idea at the time!
    Google: paintings using coffee
  • edited February 7
    There are wonderful paintings done with acrylics. But I find them awful to use. I've tried my best with them but I can't deal with the colour shift that happens when they dry. I find that shift hugely annoying and frustrating. One mixes values that look perfect when laid down and then it dries and it's all wrong because the colour shift doesn't happen evenly - the darks dry darker while the lights don't change so much. You don't need this added complication when you are just beginning to learn how to see and mix values and colour. In my experience there's very little change when oils dry except  that darks, especially those with burnt umber in them, can dry a bit flat. But this is fixed by oiling out or varnishing. 

    Another thing I don't like about acrylics is that, when used thickly/impasto, they dry with a sort of shiny, plastic look - not too suprising because they are plastic paints. But I prefer a more matte finish that doesn't look like Tupperware. There might be some sort of matte plastic medium that could be used to overcome this. But the other difficulty with acrylics is the rapid drying time. I think there might be acrylic drying retarders for that ...
    But given all these problems I'd need another lifetime to learn how to handle them so I stick with oils.  Wiith oils I don't have to use solvents because I keep my brushes in walnut oil and just wipe clean on a paper towel so the water clean up of acrylics is of no advantage to me. And water wrecks brushes as quickly as solvents. 

    There's too much plastic clogging up the world already.  The only real use I find for acrylics is for thinly toning a canvas that I want to use right away. They are great for that. 
  • 1. Water - any medium that uses it.
    2. Oil pastels, I tried and tried and failed and failed.
  • @Ajoe
    I'm currently getting into watercolour as it is easier to take around with me when I go on holiday and find it challenging but very interesting to use especially control as they say it does have a mind of its own.
    Absolutely agreed on oil pastels, awful awful medium, I'd rather try and use lipstick!....hey that gives me an idea  =)
  • Her name was Hermoine and she convinced me to sell my vintage 1964 Mustang and use the money to invest in ENRON.
  • edited February 23
    Ha ha, good one @BOB73   :)

    My grandmother was a medium, before she became large.
  • I’m still a medium but for some strange reason my waist has moved.
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