What kind of paint?

oceannaJuly 13, 2009

If you do a painting on canvas, what kind of paint do you prefer to use, oil or acrylic and why?

I used to do oils many years ago. I remember them being stinky and taking a long time to dry. I do acrylic craft paints now (can you do those on canvas?). I'm thinking I'd like to do some painting on canvas and I don't know what kind of paint and brushes to buy, and if I have to fork out money for yet more paint, I hope I get something I'm happy with. I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences!

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I think you can use any type of paint on a canvas. I love the depth of oils, the blendability, and the open time you have to work with them. I use a cobalt siccative dryer added to my oil paints which speeds up the drying time, usually overnight.

I like the crispness of acrylic and the quick drying time. You can purchase a small bottle of Canvas Gel which helps slow down the drying process and allows you more time to blend.

I would not purchase a lot of brushes - get the ones that are called Soft Grip, $2.99 for any size. You can use them with any paint. Then once you have decided to stay with one medium, then purchase a few of the more expensive (always use the 40% off coupon at Michael's or Hobby Lobby), brushes. I have on my painting table more than 300 brushes. Some are still new, some I use only for canvas portrait smooth oil paintings. Some are all scruffy and are good only for background foilage, fur, etc. I rarely throw a brush away because even when it get all flared out, I can find a use for them.

The Genesis heat set paints are expensive but they have no smell. They feel like oil paints but dry only after being heated with an embossing gun. Alkyds have the same blendability as oils but dry much quicker. You might try taking a class in the above mediums to see which you like best - usually they will rent you a palette of paint so you don't have to buy any.

If you already have acrylic paints (my favorite being Americana) and a few brushes, go ahead and try a canvas so you can get the feel of it. Start on something small so you won't have to deal with the paint tacking up so quickly.

Hope this helps, it is just my humble opinion.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 11:24AM
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Thanks, Brenda! I have tons of FolkArt Plaid Acrylics. But will those work on canvas?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 3:48PM
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Yes, they will. You may have to thin them down when you base coat the background or else the weave will show through. Or use the canvas gel, it will help. Most canvas' are made of muslin and then gessoed over. If you use the paint out of the bottle you will skip over the little holes and will have to come back and fill in. So I just dip my brush in a little bit of water, blot lightly and then into my paint. That is the only problem I have had with painting on canvas. I think I posted an egret I painted on canvas, also sunflowers - I think it will come up if you put in the search box - paintingfool.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 5:50PM
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