From Acrylics to Oils - any tips?

Hello Forum!
I'm so excited to have found Mark and "Draw Mix Paint" what an amazing site, and method. I started off painting with acrylics and it was not the experience I had hoped for. Although I was warned about the drying time, I never thought in a million years that the paint would dry THAT fast. I initially was interested in oils, but a few sites had their warnings about toxins, this and that, and it just made me feel that perhaps acrylics would simply be easier...after all, all you need is water. Although later I bought all these different mediums because i didn't like the texture. In any case, I could not achieve realism with acrylics for several reasons... one, i never achieved the correct values... why you may ask... well, because I was always rushing, afraid the paint would dry. I tried to layer, and that was epic fail because acrylics dry darker.... so its really hard to anticipate what the value will be after it dries before hand... last but not least, it was really hard to blend, you have about a 5 min window... so speed is key... and painting is suppose to be fun, patient... it felt like a race against time... anyways, are there any tips one should look out for when transitioning to oils that I should be aware of? I am using non-toxic turpenoid... i am working in a small room and its where i sleep... i used it as the first layer or as the foundational layer, burnt umber+titanium white... I will probably use a few droplets with linseed oil...

Question - can I use acrylics as the foundational layer? only because it dries in 10 mins... while the oils take 48 hours or so to dry... do you guys know if thats possible? will it survive the test of time?


Can you use acrylic brushes for oils?

How often should one clean their brushes? between projects?

Thank you Mark and everyone on the forum :)

Regards,
Mark A

Comments

  • dencaldencal -
    edited June 2015
    Mark A
    Can I use acrylics as the foundation layer?
    Yes. When you buy a prestretched canvas for an oil painting they are usually coated with an acrylic gesso. I use acrylic toning layer with no problems.
    Will it survive the test of time?
    Who knows? Acrylics are too new to make judgement on the archival qualities. But sealed from the elements on both sides, they should last for fifty years or so. The varnish is the weakest and most exposed layer.
    Can you use acrylic brushes for oils?
    Yes. Even water color brushes are usable for some techniques. Mark's medium makes the paint fluid and workable
    How often should one clean their brushes? between projects?
    Never. Keep brushes in an oil immersion bath with a plastic or ss pot scourer in the jar. A quick swish and your good to go.

    Denis
    Markalex777
  • Hi Mark. It is terrible to feel rushed while you paint! Good luck with oil...
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Thank you all for your comments. With acrylics I did try a retarder, but it only bought me an extra 10 to 15 mins... I am really enjoying my first oil painting... i love the consistency of oil. I like how I am able to control my strokes... Although I am afraid that I am still making the amateur move of over saturating the values... I decided to practice by screen shooting the grey mug that Mark worked on in his free video... although my sketch wasn't 100% perfect, my main objective was to try out oils for the first time, and match the values correctly... it looks good, but still a little too green in most areas... It really is mind over matter - I must continue to remind myself that steps should be smaller - mine are too large i feel... i'll post when i'm finished :) Thank you everyone :)

    Also, can i leave my brushes dirty over night - if I haven't finished a painting? or should i clean every night when another session is over? Dencal, you were saying I should clean with oil? I was going to use turpentine - then dishwasher soap...?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited June 2015
    If you're using Geneva paint or paint thoroughly mixed with slow-dry medium, yes, just leave plenty of wet paint in your brushes overnight. If you are not using slow-dry medium or Geneva paint, however, many pigments will dry in your brush (typically burnt umber for example) and that's not good. An alternative, and something to do between paintings, is to wipe the bulk of the paint out of your brushes and then dip them in poppy oil with a bit of clove oil added (another product we might offer at some point).

    I'm not sure what the best way to clean for long-term storage is because we never do it.
  • Mark

    Solvents and detergents will destroy your brushes and then make you sick.

    Here is one of the discussion threads: http://forum.drawmixpaint.com/discussion/1453/brush-holder-idea/p1

    If you agitate the brush when placing it in the jar and giving it a swish when you take it out there is no need to clean your brushes EVER! Absorb excess oil off the brush on towel and your good to go.


    Denis
    Summer
  • My method is to first clean in a cleaner then wash them in warm water and brush cleaner.
  • i cleaned the brushes off with turpenoid - i did it in my garage with the door wide open... i put some in a jar - and dabbled my brushes in it for a little bit... then i washed the brushes with dishwasher soap and hot water... ur saying I should do that? I should just clean the brush with a paper towel and im good to go?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited June 2015
    Watch Episode 3 of the Q&A show, where Mark addresses this, and also the "why I paint with dirty brushes" video. Both are linked to on the front page of drawmixpaint.com

    And between projects, like I said, just dip into some poppy oil with some clove oil in it or something. Overnight? Just leave wet paint in your brush (so long as your paint doesn't dry quickly). I honestly have never seen Mark thoroughly clean his brushes with mineral spirits or even soap and water in my entire life, and his brushes last forever. It also helps that he doesn't damage the bristles by "poking" with the brush when he is painting and mixing (pull, don't push), but that's a different topic.
    Markalex777
  • Thank you.. so i should just drop it into some poppy oil and leave the brush in the oil all night? and in the morning ill be ready to go?
  • dencaldencal -
    edited June 2015
    Mark

    Poppy oil is fine, but too expensive for cleaning brushes. What would you pay for a liter of poppy? The net shows about $118.
    Safflower oil (as recommended by Mark) from the market at $2 liter is fine.

    Denis
  • Denis, thank you! Safflower it is! Does anyone out there use olive oil, because i do have some extra virgin in my kitchen :D
    EstherH
  • @Markalex777 About the olive oil question that you ask, I seem to remember someone saying in this forum that the green from the olive oil will eventually show up in the paint on the canvas as green thereby changing the values and tones where it exists. Maybe someone else can correct me if I'm wrong. ;)
  • Stick with approved Artists supplies. Said wit respect to those who disagree.
    [Deleted User]
  • So can I use linseed oil as a good brush cleaner/ conditioner?
  • @Markalex777 It's really not that complicated. If your brush is submerged in or soaked in oil — linseed, poppy, safflower, whatever — and especially if you add a bit of clove oil to it, your brush will stay wet for a reasonably long time. The oil isn't for cleaning, it's for making it so you don't have to clean. The reason you clean brushes is so that paint doesn't dry in them which will ruin the brush. If the brush is saturated with oil (plus a bit of clove oil), it's not going to dry anytime soon.
    Ron
  • Ooooooo loool, I get it now... Thanks for the tip and explanation. :)
  • I understand the process of letting the brushes stay wet with the oil, but I have had several brushes where the whole end of the brush came off the handle. I'm thinking was just a cheap brush. Maybe I put the brush too far down in the oil. help.
  • Greendl

    Perhaps the brush served a long apprenticeship in solvents that dissolved the glue.

    The wood can shrink, causing the metal ferrule to separate. Vigorous use can do the same.

    A pair of pliers will reattach the brush

    Denis
    Summer
  • yes, the wood was actually very oil soaked. Thanks for the tip. I did end up discarding it. I will try the pliers if it happens again. ty
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