Is It Harder to Master Oil or Watercolor Painting?

Many people are hesitant to get into oil or watercolor painting because they aren’t certain whether it is the right medium for them to practice.

While the painting medium can be exciting, it can also be a challenge for some who don’t have prior experience in the field.

But it is easy to get into the painting world if you know what to expect. Oil and watercolor painting are two different forms of art that you can enjoy if you know what works.

Understanding Oil Painting and Watercolor Painting

Oil and watercolor painting are two unique art forms to explore. First, let’s look at oil painting. The practice entails painting with pigments that use a drying oil as a binder. You can utilize many oils and pigments in your art piece to create a more detailed look.

Watercolor painting takes a different approach, as the pigments are suspended in a water-based compound. The artform produces a soft look, but you can create shades of all sorts when you master the work.

The Brushes Are the Key

You’ll have an easier time mastering painting when you use the right brushes. Oil and watercolor paintings are best when their artists use brushes that can evenly and smoothly apply the paint. It is easier to master painting when you understand how your brushes work and what they do for the painting.

You will need to utilize brushes in many forms:

  • A round brush is useful for outlines and sketches, while a pointed round brush is for fine details.
  • A flat brush is necessary for more massive surfaces. It can handle wide spaces and broad strokes.
  • A fan-shaped model is for smoothing and works for textures.
  • You can also use an angular flat or shader brush for curves. The design features a slanted look with a small tip at the top.
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You can get a paintbrush set that features these and many others in the same kit. You’ll need a full assortment of brushes to handle whatever paint projects you wish to complete.

Each brush will also require the proper bristles. The bristles may be natural or synthetic. Synthetic brushes work well with oils, but natural ones are all-around options.

The Right Canvas Helps

You can learn how to paint and hone your skills when you have a suitable canvas. The canvas is the surface you will use when painting something. You can choose a canvas that helps you manage your paint and apply it well, but there are some tips to note when finding something:

  • Watch the weight of your canvas. The weight is a measure of the thread density. It is measured in ounces per yard, with a higher value meaning that the canvas is of better quality. Always stick with something more than 10 ounces for the best result.
  • Each canvas features a different texture based on the weave. A fine canvas is smooth and ideal for detailed work. A rough canvas is for more massive projects and extended brushstrokes.
  • You might need to add primer material over your canvas before you start painting. A primer helps prepare the canvas surface for the oil or watercolor paint you will utilize.
  • A thin canvas that is easy to frame on a wall is ideal for your painting to blend in with its surroundings. A thicker canvas will protrude from your wall and ideal when you’re trying to create something dynamic or easily visible.
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Choosing the right canvas before painting helps you get a better hold of your project. It keeps the learning curve for painting under control.

Drying Considerations:

New paints often don’t realize that it takes a while for some paints to dry. Watercolors dry faster, as the water-based solution can evaporate quickly to bind the pigment to the canvas. Oil paints take a little longer, giving the artist time to push the tones around and add new hues as necessary. Be aware of how much time it takes for your paint to dry when looking for a suitable method to enjoy.

Managing Mistakes When Painting Watercolors Compared To Oil Paint

One problem people have when painting is that they often make mistakes. Such errors are common among all painters, including the masters. But you can fix those mistakes if you act well enough or use the right preparatory materials.

For watercolors, you can blot the paint while it is damp, or you can use an artist’s razor to scrape off the unwanted paint.

Some darker hues might stain the paper and become harder to remove. You’ll need to be patient when painting with watercolors, although using a paper that doesn’t absorb the paint as much also helps.

It is easier to correct mistakes in an oil painting, as you can use a palette knife to scrape off any errors. You can also paint over mistakes, as oil paints or more opaque than watercolors.

But planning your work ahead of time and figuring out the right hues for each part is essential in preventing mistakes from developing.

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Additional Tips

You can use a few other tips to help you go forward with your art:

  • Think about the strokes you want to complete before you start. Never add things on a whim, as it might be tough to fix some things.
  • Use an extended palette for mixing colors to produce more entertaining results. Experimenting with different colors is always ideal.
  • Allow for a bit of darkening when waiting for your paint to dry. Some oil or watercolor tones might become dark as they dry.
  • Always maintain your brushes well when painting. Be gentle when washing them off when planning on changing colors. Use multiple brushes of the same type for the best results, as it is easier to produce art pieces when you don’t have as many residues on your brushes.

Don’t be afraid to try oil or watercolor painting. You will enjoy painting in either medium when you know what to do with your work. But be sure before you start that you know what you are doing and have the right equipment on hand.