Hello and some questions

Hi, I've been following this forum for a while, and this is my first post. I normally paint in acrylics, and I prefer them because they have a more fluid consistency than oils, which I find stiff and sticky. So I wanted to ask, why is it that so many seem to have a preference for still oil paints? The consistency of the Geneva ones looks lovely.

Also I have some tubes of Holbein Duo water mixable oils, which come with their water mixable linseed oil. I was thinking of premixing some of the oil to the paint, and store in jars. Can I do that? I see that Mark's recipe for slow dry medium also contains OMS and turpentine, what happens if I don't add these.



  • Hi, @john72. Welcome to the forum.

     I think people like the luminous effects you can get with oil and the slow drying time allows you to make adjustments that are not possible in fast drying acrylics. I don't know anything about water mixable oils so can't help there. Denis is your man. He knows all about them.

    Enjoy the forum.  :)
  • john72

    Hello and welcome to you.

    Mix anything you would normally mix with oil paint in water mixables. Slow dry medium, oils, Liquin, Turps, citrus solvent all fine. I would avoid water.

    Oil paint is stiff and sticky out of the tube, The right medium transforms it into buttery, luscious color.


  • Thanks for your replies!  I realise I misspelled in my original question, I did not mean stiLL oil paint, but stiFF - as in, why are most oil paints sold in a high viscosity? For me even HB acrylics are too stiff... so I don't understand the general preference, as unless someone wants impasto or works with a knife, paint is hard to move around. 
  • John72

    Oil paint is stiff and sticky out of the tube, The right medium transforms it into buttery, luscious color.

    Oil paint is expensive, but with a medium a little goes a long way.

    Many artists in oils like to see bold brushwork. Look closely at Rembrandt.

    With oils you paint at arms length, putting your arm and shoulder to work with chunky pig bristle brushes.

    Water colourists and acrylic painters hold a soft brush like a pencil and employ thin paint.


  • Yes, but much of what you say can also be done in acrylics, acrylic painters also leave brush strokes, and certainly it is wrong to say they work with thin paint holding brushes like a pencil. Anyway, my question was not oils vs acrylics, and this does not answer why, given that unless one uses impasto, oils are sold in such a stiff consistency, and so many people prefer them that way when it's a pain to move around - I think. I see the attraction of having the medium premixed in as in the Geneva colors.

    Thanks for your previous reply, I'll try and mix some linseed in the WMOs, and see how it work. If it turns out I like working with fluid oils, I might make the jump and but some Geneva paints.
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    Oil paint is sold without medium, to yield maximal flexibility.  This is more generally useful to people.

    You then get to choose which medium, if any, from among dozens of alternatives, each with different properties - slow dry, quick dry, water miscible, non-yellowing, non-toxic, low-odor, traditional, etc.  Furthermore, you then get to mix the amount of medium you need, for the consistency you want.

    Geneva paint has medium and slow-dry formula mixed in.  It's very convenient for some, but it limits flexibility a little.
  • Ah, I see, thanks for clarifying, it makes sense. 
  • Acrylics or oils, it's all about the mediums added to the color. Think of the tiny solid blocks of water colors and how long they last because you're really painting with  tinted water. oils are "compact" in the tube for denseness but allow the artist to control the consistency and viscosity by adding solvents or oils. Very few paint with colors from the tube without adding something. Welcome to the forum, I look forward to when we will be taking advice from you.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 2018
    I still haven't been tempted to use water miscible oils.  I'm going to give this article about water miscible oils another read, but so far I'm still afraid to use WMOs because if thinned too much, they will slip off the substrate more easily than acrylics do now.  Hmm.  Summer



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