Acrylic, Oil, Watercolour - What’s the diff?

There are so many different ways to channel your creative energy and bring the arts back into your life! From picking up that old instrument you have in the corner of your living room that’s been gathering dust throughout lockdown, to finally trying out that baking recipe you’ve put off now for ages - sometimes you just need a little mindful and meditative release away from that phone screen!

If you’re not one for the musical or culinary arts, maybe you have your sights set on something a little more visual - painting perhaps? Even if you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since school, no experience is necessary when it comes to bringing out your inner artist! You just have to decide you want to go for it and voila, you’re halfway there!

Okay, you’ve decided that you want to go for it and become the next Bob Ross but then you went to buy paints and were overwhelmed with all of the different types - acrylic, oil, watercolour, gouache, and encaustic! So many choices, but what’s the difference between these? 

We’ve done a little digging and put together a little guide to help you along your art journey!

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are the specialty here at Brush & Bubbles, and are extremely versatile, and work well for detailed brushwork! Acrylics go onto the painting surface very smoothly and hold true to their pigment quality and colour. Some great advantages of using acrylics are that it's fast drying, can be mixed and/or cleaned with other water, and can be layered to build up its texture!

Image by Brush and Bubbles, Ltd.

Oil Paint

If you’re looking to dive into the world of Picasso and da Vinci - oil painting is for you! Oil paints offer a gorgeous glossy finish and dry slowly, which allows you to work your paints gradually, making changes along the way. This is a huge advantage of working with oils because you blend the colours and manipulate the areas better than if you were working with acrylics! The only tricky thing is to remember that you have to clean your brushes with a solvent, though you can use oil or dishwashing liquid rather than just plain water!

Image by Anne Nygård via Unsplash

Watercolour Paint

Watercolouring is a truly meditative form of a painting! Like a dance, the paint colour is suspended in water with fluidity and dries, staining the surfaces quite quickly. The advantages of working with watercolour paints are that brushes can be cleaned easily, paint can be taken off by rewetting, and paint can be reused if you add water to it!

Image by  Carissa Weiser via Unsplash
Now you know the differences, it's time to get creative! Grab those brushes, choose your paint and create your next masterpiece! Don't forget to share your favourite paints in the comments below!

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